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Ecuador seeks Britain meeting over Assange health

Ecuador has requested a meeting with Britain to discuss WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who it says is losing weight and suffering vision problems as he languishes in the Ecuadoran embassy in London. Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters in Quito on Wednesday that he had related his wish to…

Bali’s largest ancient Hindu temple discovered

Construction workers in Bali have discovered what is thought to be the biggest ancient Hindu temple ever found on the Indonesian island, archaeologists said. The workers were digging a drain in the island’s capital Denpasar at a Hindu study centre when they came across the remains of the stone temple.…

Thai hotel brews up coffee from elephant dung

For those who like their coffee with a strong nose Thailand could be the ideal destination, after a blend made from elephant dung was put on sale by an upmarket hotel chain. The Black Ivory blend, made from coffee beans digested and excreted by Thai elephants, is billed as producing…

Borneo orangutan was shot over 100 times with airgun

An endangered orangutan on Borneo island has survived after being shot more than 100 times with an air rifle, Indonesian officials said on Thursday. The female ape, whom conservationists have named Aan, has gone blind in one eye and sustained serious wounds across her body after being repeatedly hit with…

S. Africa gold miners to sign pay deal: union

Striking South African gold miners have agreed to a sign a pay deal that would end months of often violent labour unrest, the country’s main mining union said on Thursday. “Members have accepted a new pay structure,” the National Union of Mineworkers said. “The worst in the gold sector is…

Satisfaction! Rolling Stones rock Paris with surprise gig

Rock legends the Rolling Stones were due to play a surprise mini-gig in Paris Thursday and all 350 tickets priced at 15 euros ($20) each were snapped up in minutes. “The Rolling Stones are playing a short warm-up gig tonight … in Paris,” the group said on Twitter, adding that…

Obama mocks Trump with Kenya joke on The Tonight Show

BURBANK, California — US President Barack Obama lampooned Donald Trump, saying the real estate tycoon’s feud with him dated back to “when we were growing up together in Kenya.” Obama ribbed the flamboyant mogul during an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” after Trump revived the right-wing conspiracy…

Ozone hole over Antarctic 2nd smallest in two decades

WASHINGTON — The seasonal hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic this year was the second smallest in two decades, but still covered an area roughly the size of North America, US experts said. The average size of the Earth’s protective shield was 6.9 million square miles (17.9 million…

Russia claims Syria rebels have U.S.-made Stinger missiles

MOSCOW — Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have shoulder-launched missile systems, including US-made Stingers, Russia’s top general claimed Wednesday, prompting a strong denial from Washington. Russian chief of staff General Nikolai Makarov, whose country is the Damascus regime’s top arms supplier and has refused to back…

Former Goldman Sachs director gets 2 years for inside trades

NEW YORK — Former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta, the biggest target of a US government blitz on insider trading, was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday, far less than what prosecutors had demanded. US District Judge Jed Rakoff in New York cited Gupta’s “extraordinary” contribution to humanitarian…

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