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Obama puts Allen’s NATO supreme commander nomination on hold

President Barack Obama has put on hold General John Allen’s nomination as NATO’s supreme commander pending a probe into his email correspondence with a woman at the center of a sex scandal, a White House spokesman said Tuesday. “At the request of the secretary of defense, the president has put…

Toxic nickel found in Finnish lake

Toxic levels of nickel have been found in a Finnish lake after waste water began to leak from a nearby mine, the government’s environmetal agency said on Tuesday. “Measurements show that in the lake Kivijaervi, the concentrations of nickel are now exceeding the level regarded as harmful to organisms,” the…

Warhol works sell for $17 million

A plan to sell off the Andy Warhol Foundation’s entire collection of works by the Pop artist got off to a $17 million start at Christie’s in New York. The sale on Monday in Manhattan saw 91 percent of lots going under the hammer. The 354 works auctioned were led…

TEDTalks hits one billion views

Videos stemming from TED, the gathering of the brilliant, famous and influential, passed the billion-view milestone on Tuesday. The number continues to rocket with more than a million TEDTalks watched daily, according to the organization behind the prestigious TED gatherings that give rise to the presentations made available free on…

Chinese demand for robots increases as labor costs rise

By Jonathan Kaiman, The Guardian As young Chinese seek skilled, high-paying work to support their parents, robots may fill the jobs they have left behind In China, there’s no better time to be a robot. Pictures from last week’s International Industry Fair in Shanghai show them duelling with light sabers,…

Skin-lightening creams faces backlash in west Africa

New advert for ‘all white’ product promising extreme skin-whitening provokes public outrage and calls for ban It is a familiar formula for persuading women to buy a new beauty product: plaster billboards of a beautiful model in the capital city, accompanied by a catchy slogan written in the language of…

Eclipse hunters chase sun to tropical Australia

It lasts for barely two minutes, but the chance to witness the eerie spectacle of day turning briefly to night in a solar eclipse has brought thousands of shadow chasers to Australia. Eclipse-hunters have flocked to Queensland’s tropical northeast to watch the region’s first total solar eclipse in 1,300 years…

Britain outraged as terror suspect goes free on bail

British officials and media reacted with outrage after judges allowed terror suspect Abu Qatada, dubbed Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe, to go free on bail Tuesday. Monday’s decision to uphold Abu Qatada’s appeal against extradition to Jordan is a major blow for the British government, which has fought…

Windows president leaves Microsoft

Microsoft announced that the head of its Windows unit is leaving in a management shake-up that comes just weeks after the release of a new generation of the computer operating software. Windows president Steven Sinofsky will depart Microsoft and, effective immediately, his duties will be divided between a pair of…

Dalai Lama urges Japan to investigate Tibet immolations

The Dalai Lama urged Japanese lawmakers Tuesday to visit Tibet to find out the reasons for a spate of self-immolations, after Beijing accused him of instigating the deadly protests against Chinese rule. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader was addressing around 130 parliamentarians including Shinzo Abe, a former premier and the…

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