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Rapping the revolution: Syrian sets war to music

If his words were bullets, Ahmad El-Khalaf would have already brought down President Bashar al-Assad to end the bloodshed tearing apart his family’s homeland of Syria. But for now, this 23-year-old has to make do with setting the revolution to his own rap music, putting his indignation into stanzas slamming…

Researchers: Pesticides causing dramatic die-off in frog population worldwide

A plunge in the world’s population of frogs and toads may be blamed, at least in part, on farm pesticides, researchers in Germany said on Thursday. Tests of fungicides and insecticides, when used at recommended dilutions, killed 40 percent of frogs after seven days, and in one case, 100 percent…

3 die in central Europe of swine flu

Three people have died in Romania and Macedonia after being infected with the H1N1 influenza strain known as swine flu, the two countries’ health ministries said Thursday. “Two people have died from the H1N1 flu,” Romania’s state secretary of health, Alexandru Rafila, announced on private TV network Antena 3. The…

Missing Matisse to be displayed in Stockholm museum

Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art said Thursday it will put on display this weekend “Le Jardin”, a Matisse painting stolen 25 years ago and returned to Sweden this week. “We’re going to put it on display for two weeks”, as of Saturday and then take it into the studio for…

Two Anonymous members jailed over PayPal hack in London

Two computer hackers were jailed by a London court on Thursday for a series of cyber-attacks by the hacking group Anonymous that cost the US online payments giant PayPal millions of dollars. Christopher Weatherhead, a 22-year-old student, was sentenced to 18 months in jail after being found guilty last month…

Twitter launches iPhone video-sharing app ‘Vine’

Twitter on Thursday launched Vine, a service that lets people share video snippets from iPhones or iPod touch devices. Perpetually looping videos clips up to six seconds each can be shared using Vine or easily embedded in “tweets” fired off at the globally popular messaging service Twitter. “Like tweets, the…

Ikea founder surprised at group’s ‘too ambitious’ expansion plans

The founder of Swedish furniture giant Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad, on Thursday told a newspaper that he was surprised by the group’s expansion plans, which he said were too ambitious. “I spoke to my secretary who told me about what was written in Dagens Industri, that we’ve had a record profit…

South African rescuers save entangled humpback whale

South African rescuers on Thursday freed a nine metre (30-foot) humpback whale that was entangled in seven fishing ropes north of Cape Town. The juvenile whale was found south east off Dassen Island near Yzerfontein with its mouth snared by one heavy rope. “We had to first cut away the…

India greenlights probe into Walmart lobbying

India’s cabinet on Thursday gave the green light to a retired judge to investigate whether US supermarket chain Walmart had violated any Indian laws through multi-million pound lobbying. Walmart said in a report to the US Senate that it spent $25 million over four years on issues related to “enhanced…

Burger King drops Irish supplier after horse meat found in burgers

LONDON — Burger King has ditched an Irish supplier of beef that is at the centre of a food scare after horse meat was discovered in beefburgers sold in Britain and Ireland, where it is deemed to be a taboo. The US fast-food giant said Wednesday it has decided to…

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