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Noam Chomsky makes first visit to Gaza

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Jewish-American scholar and activist Noam Chomsky reportedly called for an end to Israel’s siege of Gaza, on his first ever visit to the Hamas-ruled enclave on Thursday. Chomsky, who was in the Gaza Strip for a conference at the Islamic University, called “to end the…

Slain ambassador’s mother: Blame game is not productive

WASHINGTON — The mother of US ambassador Chris Stevens, killed in last month’s attack on a US mission in Libya, hit out Wednesday at the row over his death playing out in Washington, saying it was unproductive. But Mary Commanday said she still did not know much about the circumstances…

Google threatens to drop links to French media

PARIS — Internet giant Google has warned it would exclude French media sites from its search results if France adopts a law forcing search engines to pay for content, in the latest confrontation with European governments. A letter sent by Google to several French ministerial offices this month said it…

‘Perversion files’ released on Boy Scouts sex abuse

LOS ANGELES — US scout leaders covered up generations of sexual abuse inflicted on its young members, victims’ lawyers said Thursday, as thousands of pages of so-called “perversion files” were published online. Unveiling details from the 14,500 pages of documents, including handwritten notes, the lawyers said Boy Scouts of America…

Canadian city declares three-pound chihuahua a ‘dangerous dog’

A Canadian city has declared Molly, a three-pound (1,361-gram) teacup chihuahua a “dangerous dog” and ordered her muzzled after the dog bit a postal worker, local media said Thursday. “I don’t even know if they have muzzles that size. I just think it’s kind of silly, to the extreme,” Molly’s…

European lawmakers look to foie gras ban

A group of European lawmakers has joined animal rights campaigners in a bid to ban the production and sale of foie gras across the 27-nation European Union to halt the “torture” of ducks and geese. Animal Equity, part of an international campaign to “raise awareness on the torture of thousands…

30 environmental groups press for Antarctica marine haven

Thirty environmental groups on Thursday issued a joint appeal for upcoming talks on establishing protected zones in the seas off East Antarctica to widen the scope of the marine haven. The Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA), gathering WWF, Greenpeace, Oceans 5 and other groups, said the plan had to be expanded…

Russia hints plans to quit environmental Kyoto Protocol

Russia on Thursday hinted that it may refuse to sign up to a new round of targeted carbon cuts that could see the Kyoto environmental protection treaty extended beyond its end of 2012 expiry date. “One has to admit that we never got any real commercial gain from the Kyoto…

Brain wave-controlled robots hold hope for nuclear work

Brain wave-controlled robot suits that allow wearers to don heavy radiation protection without feeling the weight were unveiled in Japan on Thursday. Researchers showed off the latest incarnation of HAL, the Hybrid Assistive Limb, a full body suit that could eventually be used by workers dismantling the crippled Fukushima nuclear…

Africa faces spike in older people living with HIV

Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to see a more than 200 percent increase in the number of older people living with HIV in the next 30 years, thanks to improvements in lifesaving treatment, experts said Thursday. “The proportion of people living with HIV aged 50 and over is going to increase…

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