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Norovirus winter vomiting bug hits nearly 2,000

Almost 2,000 Britons have been struck down by an outbreak of the norovirus winter vomiting bug, with official data showing a 52 percent rise on last year. There have been 53 outbreaks of the highly contagious virus at NHS trusts across the country, with 45 hospitals forced to close off…

Malaysia bans sexist remarks in parliament

Malaysian lawmakers on Tuesday approved a ban on sexist remarks in parliament after a number of cases in which male MPs in the mostly Muslim country have drawn anger with their comments on the floor. The amendment to the rules of conduct in the Dewan Rakyat, or lower house of…

Worldwide helium shortage grounds Mickey Mouse at Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland has stopped selling helium balloons shaped like Mickey Mouse and other characters because of a worldwide shortage of the lighter-than-air gas, the park’s operator said Tuesday. The popular balloons were withdrawn from sale last week, a spokesman said, because the company was having difficulty securing a stable supply.…

Bill Gates joins Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote to fight polio in Nigeria

The richest man in Africa and the wealthiest man from the United States joined forces Monday in the battle against polio, which has seen a resurgence in Nigeria despite efforts to eradicate it. Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ foundation and that of Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian businessman labeled Africa’s richest by…

‘The Hobbit’ was almost filmed in UK, director Peter Jackson reveals

“The Hobbit” director Peter Jackson on Tuesday said the low point making his Tolkien epic was when the production almost moved from his native New Zealand to Britain because of a union dispute. Jackson, who will host the world premiere of the first instalment of his trilogy in Wellington on…

Simon Cowell latest Hollywood victim of ‘swatting’ hoax

TV talent show guru Simon Cowell is the latest victim of a string of so-called “swatting” hoaxes in Los Angeles, in which police are called to celebrities’ homes by false reports of crimes. Officers rushed to his home Sunday following a telephone report of “unknown trouble,” said Lincoln Hoshino of…

Walmart admits goods were made at Bangladesh fire factory

US retail giant Walmart has admitted some of its products were made at the Bangladesh garment factory that burnt down at the weekend killing 110 workers, as anger grows over lax safety standards. Bangladesh has become a global centre for clothes manufacturing due to cheap labour. But the blaze late…

Nobel Prize-winning organ transplant pioneer Joseph Murray dies at 93

Dr. Joseph Murray, who won the Nobel Prize for performing the first successful organ transplant, has died at the age of 93, according to the Boston Globe. After suffering a stroke Thursday, Murray passed away at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he had performed the landmark kidney transplant on…

Arafat exhumation to probe for traces of poison

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — One of the biggest Middle East enigmas could come closer to a resolution on Tuesday, as remains of iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat are exhumed to enable investigators to seek traces of poison. The process will cap eight years of speculation about whether the former president…

U.S. plans to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014

The long-term US military presence in Afghanistan is likely to be a “light footprint” of about 10,000 American troops, boosted by a few thousand more soldiers from Nato allies, according to US media reports. Most foreign combat troops are expected to be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014,…

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