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U.N. warns radioactive waste in unsecured sites in Tajikistan

The United Nations warned Friday that nearly 55 million tonnes of radioactive waste from old Soviet-era uranian mines remain in unsecured sites in northern Tajikistan. The former Soviet republic, where Stalin’s empire once mined uranium to create its first nuclear bomb, is still stuck with about 54.8 million tonnes of…

U.S. tightens restrictions on soot emissions by 20 percent

The United States on Friday tightened standards on emissions of soot from industry and vehicles by 20 percent, predicting that the regulations would avert thousands of deaths. The Environmental Protection Agency, in its first major announcement since President Barack Obama’s re-election, ordered stricter rules on so-called fine particle pollution that…

Virginia lawmakers hope long lines will push early voting bill

By Reilly Moore A Virginia early voting bill failed during the past six General Assembly sessions, but some lawmakers hope that frustration over long lines during the 2012 election will lead to a more productive discussion on how to make voting more convenient. Voters complained about lengthy waits from Norfolk…

German director Wim Wenders establishes foundation for young filmmakers

Film director Wim Wenders announced Friday the creation of a foundation in his native German city to ensure his work is publicly accessible and to support young film-makers. The maker of films such as “Pina” and “Don’t Come Knocking” said the foundation would firstly buy the rights to all his…

Dutch animal rescuers abandon hope of saving stranded whale

Dutch animal rescuers have given up hope of saving a stranded 12-metre (32-foot) humpback whale on a northern Frisian island after a final attempt to pull it to sea failed, a rescue spokeswoman said Friday. “We decided late last night after consultations that we will not try to save the…

8-child family defies China’s one-child policy

China’s one-child rule has numerous critics, but perhaps none have so emphatically defied the policy as a couple who have accumulated four boys and four girls — some born to two surrogate mothers. Authorities are calculating how high a fine to impose on the family, described as “rich merchants” in…

French climber Maurice Herzog dies at 93

Maurice Herzog, the French climber who conquered Annapurna in the first recorded ascent of a peak above 8,000 metres, has died at the age of 93, the French Climbing Federation said Friday. Herzog led the ascent of Annapurna in 1950, reaching the Himalayan peak’s summit without oxygen along with compatriot…

‘Angry Birds’ film could create giant to rival Disney

Finnish mobile gaming company Rovio said on Friday that a movie based on its hit game “Angry Birds” could result in the group establishing an animation studio rivalling global giant Walt Disney. Rovio chief executive Mikael Hed told AFP that the animated 3D film, which will not reach cinemas until…

Hilary Clinton holds the keys to a 2016 presidential run

Will she, won’t she, will she, won’t she, will she join the dance? To borrow from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” that’s the question on everyone’s lips about Hillary Clinton and the 2016 White House race. And just like Alice, who followed the White Rabbit down the hole into a strange…

Scientists urge pardon of gay code-cracker Alan Turing

Leading scientists including Stephen Hawking urged Britain on Friday to pardon World War II code-breaker Alan Turing, who committed suicide after he was convicted of the then crime of homosexuality. Often hailed as a father of modern computing whose code-cracking is credited with shortening World War II, Turing took his…

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