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Analysts value Twitter at $11 billion as it prepares to go public in 2014

 Analysts base estimate on trading in secondary markets and Apple interest in the social networking firm Twitter is preparing to take the company public in 2014, and could already be worth as much as $11bn, according to a report by specialist financial researchers Greencrest. The rough valuation of $11bn is based…

Bank card payments suspended in Vatican

The Bank of Italy has suspended all bank card payments in the Vatican including for tickets to its famous museum until further notice because of a failure to fully implement anti money laundering legislation, Italian media reported on Thursday. The payments have been suspended since January 1 after the Bank…

4 hurt in Disneyland Paris steam train accident

MEAUX, France (AFP) – Four people have been treated for minor injuries after a wagon broke off from a steam engine ride at Disneyland Paris, the theme park and police said on Thursday. The four, including a pregnant woman and a 13-year-old girl, were taken to hospital after the accident…

World Bank investor backs luxury hotels over poverty-reduction programs

By Cheryl Strauss Einhorn, Special to ProPublica This story was co-published with Foreign Policy. Accra is a city of choking red dust where almost no rain falls for three months at a time and clothes hung out on a line dry in 15 minutes. So the new five-star Mövenpick hotel…

Scientists say new vaccine temporarily brakes growth of HIV

A team of Spanish researchers say they have developed a therapeutic vaccine that can temporarily brake growth of the HIV virus in infected patients. The vaccine, based on immune cells exposed to HIV that had been inactivated with heat, was tested on a group of 36 people carrying the virus…

Toys inspire giant ‘dandelion’ anti-mine device

Childhood toys lost in a war-torn field have inspired an odd-looking invention which its young Dutch inventor hopes can help save thousands of lives and limbs in his native Afghanistan. Decades of war, notably the 1979-89 Soviet invasion, have left the rugged Afghan countryside littered with landmines that continue to…

Obama signs sweeping U.S. defense spending bill

President Barack Obama has signed into law a $633 billion US defense spending bill that funds the war in Afghanistan and boosts security at US missions worldwide. “I have approved this annual defense authorization legislation, as I have in previous years, because it authorizes essential support for service members and…

Scientists mapping Great Barrier Reef discover corals at depths never before thought possible

Australian scientists mapping the Great Barrier Reef have discovered corals at depths never before thought possible, with a deep-sea robot finding specimens in waters nearly as dark as night. A team from the University of Queensland’s Seaview Survey announced the unprecedented discovery 125 metres (410 feet) below the surface at…

Supreme Court: Drug trials in India ‘causing havoc to human life’

India’s Supreme Court said on Thursday that unregulated clinical trials of new drugs were causing “havoc” in the country as it ordered the health ministry to monitor any new applications for tests. The comments were made during a hearing on a petition detailing deaths and health problems caused by clinical…

Nation’s first female rapper Soosan Feroz says ‘If rap singing is a way to tell your miseries, Afghans have a lot to say’

Sporting a long leather coat and western jeans under a headscarf, Soosan Feroz looks like many modern women in Kabul. But she is a surprising new phenomenon in this conservative country – the nation’s first female rapper. Her lyrics though are not unfamiliar for many of her fellow countrywomen –…

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