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Woman with thalidomide-related birth defects wins multi-million dollar settlement from drug companies

An Australian woman born without arms and legs after her mother took thalidomide during pregnancy, on Wednesday won a landmark multi-million dollar settlement in her class action against drug firms. Lynette Rowe, 50, is leading a mass lawsuit on behalf of people born with congenital defects in Australia and New…

London Olympics withdraws 500,000 soccer tickets due to lack of interest

The organisers of the London Olympics conceded defeat Wednesday in selling all the tickets for the soccer tournament as they revealed plans to slash the capacity of some stadiums. Organisers LOCOG said more than one million tickets were left unsold, but that figure has been cut in half by reducing…

Google releases new platform to share information on dying languages

Google unveiled an online information exchange platform to try to give some extra lasting power to more than 3,000 endangered languages. Called endangeredlanguages.com, it is out to help improve the exchange of digital source materials in languages spoken by small numbers of people, from Navajo in the United States, to…

Sleeping Australian teenager attacked by dingo in the outback

An Australian teenager told Wednesday of her sleeping bag being torn off by a dingo as she slept at a campsite, weeks after a landmark ruling that a baby was snatched in 1980 by one of the wild dogs. Rebecca Robinson, 13, was sleeping on a mattress under a caravan…

U.S. FDA approves weight-loss drug Qsymia for use by obese people

US regulators approved the second new anti-obesity drug in 13 years, Qsymia, for use with exercise and a good diet in people who are obese or overweight with certain medical problems. Some analysts have touted Qsymia as the next “blockbuster”, akin to the best-selling cholesterol drug Lipitor, with the US…

Chinese newspaper shakeups raise fears of media crackdown

Abrupt reshuffles at two outspoken Chinese newspapers have raised fears of growing pressure on the media in the run-up to Beijing’s once-a-decade change of leadership this autumn. Lu Fumin, the editor-in-chief of Guangzhou’s New Express, has been moved sideways to its parent paper and national and international news coverage has…

Mexico admits to 67 journalist murders since 2006

Mexico’s special prosecutor for crimes against journalists says 67 journalists have been killed and 14 have disappeared in the country since 2006. But Laura Angelina Borbolla, while testifying at a congressional hearing, said she was aware of only one case involving the murder of a journalist that resulted in someone…

Expert: Even without a cure the end of AIDS epidemic is in sight

Three decades into the AIDS pandemic an end to new infections is in sight, according to Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “We don’t even know if a cure is possible. What we know is it is possible that we can end this…

Nelson Mandela gets birthday wishes from South Africa’s schoolchildren

South Africa’s schoolchildren sang happy birthday to Nelson Mandela as he turned 94 on Wednesday, a day when he asks the world to honour his legacy by performing community service. The nation’s 12 million schoolchildren began their day with a special birthday song, ringing with the line: “We love you…

India suspends doctors over banned fetal ‘sex tests’

Twelve Indian doctors have been suspended for allegedly conducting prenatal sex tests, a practice banned to stop the abortion of female fetuses that has widened India’s gender gap, officials said Tuesday. The physicians were suspended on Monday from practicing medicine following a court order, said Archana Johri, an official of…

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