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Ukraine clashes over controversial language law

Ukraine police on Wednesday used tear gas and several people were injured at a chaotic protest against a new language law as the president summoned the leaders of parliament to limit a growing crisis. The opposition has reacted furiously to the rushed passing by the Ukrainian parliament the Verkhovna Rada…

Shy physicist whose name lives on in Higgs boson

Forty-eight years ago, British scientist Peter Higgs had a eureka moment when he realised there could be a particle that confers mass, one of the greatest puzzles in physics. “He said: ‘Oh shit, I know how to do that!’” former colleague Alan Walker told AFP of the breakthrough as recounted…

Double amputee Pistorius to race at London Olympics

Oscar Pistorius will become the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics after being included Wednesday in the South African 4×400-metre relay team for 2012 London Games, an official said. The 25-year-old’s selection comes five days after conceding defeat in a battle to run in the 400m at the…

French army hands over key province to Afghan forces

The French military officially handed over control of the key Afghan province of Kapisa to local forces on Wednesday. The transfer is an important stage in France’s withdrawal from the war-torn country, which new President Francois Hollande has accelerated by ordering the return of troops by the end of 2012,…

European parliament throws out online piracy pact

The European parliament massively rejected a controversial global pact to battle counterfeiting and online piracy Wednesday, quashing any possibility of EU ratification. Twenty-two of the 27 EU states as well as other countries, including the United States and Japan, signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in January but the treaty…

Vertical farm in abandoned Chicago pork plant turns waste into food

Urban farming is being taken to new heights in an abandoned Chicago pork processing plant where environmentalists hope to “get off the grid” by using the waste from one crop to feed and power another. Schools of tilapia are already swimming in water cleaned by the roots of leafy greens…

Palestinians seek int’l probe into Arafat’s death

The Palestinians want an international probe into the death of former president Yasser Arafat after an investigation showed he may have been poisoned, an official told AFP Wednesday. “We call for the formation of an international investigation committee modelled on the international investigation committee set up to look into the…

Higgs-like particle found in ‘milestone’ for mankind

After a quest spanning nearly half a century, physicists on Wednesday said they had found a new sub-atomic particle consistent with the elusive Higgs boson which is believed to confer mass. Rousing cheers and a standing ovation erupted at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) after scientists presented astonishing…

Women move to centre stage in Olympic boxing debut

The duel between the best amateur male boxers from the United States and their counterparts from bitter enemies Cuba will take a backseat at the Olympics as women’s boxing enters the fray for the first time. Quite what the Marquis of Queensberry would make of it is probably unprintable but…

American pilot ruled insane after air meltdown

A US pilot who triggered a mid-air emergency when he suffered a breakdown in which he screamed about terrorists and 9/11 was ruled not guilty by reason of insanity, media reported. Clayton Osbon, 49, had to be restrained by a number of male passengers after the incident in March, in…

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