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Bin Laden family deported from Pakistan

Osama bin Laden’s family were deported from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia Friday, officials said, nearly a year after the Al-Qaeda leader was killed in a US raid. The 9/11 mastermind’s three widows and their children were detained by Pakistan after the Saudi was killed on May 2 last year in a secret US Navy…

Escaped Chinese blind activist’s YouTube plea

Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese lawyer, confirmed his dramatic escape from house arrest and appealed to Premier Wen Jiabao to keep his family safe, in a video posted online on Friday. In the video, Chen — speaking with obvious emotion in a dark room in an undisclosed location — also revealed the names of severalgovernment…

DOD to move 9,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam

The United States is to shift 9,000 Marines out of Japan in a move Washington hopes will ease sometimes fractious relations with its ally over a huge American military presence. The redeployment, which will see troops moved to Guam, Hawaii and Australia, will go ahead regardless of any progress on…

Climate change has accelerated the rainfall cycle: study

An Australian study of ocean salinity over the past 50 years has revealed a “fingerprint” showing that climate change has accelerated the rainfall cycle, according to a researcher. The study published in the journal Science and conducted by Australian and US scientists looked at ocean data from 1950 to 2000…

Brazil to boost military presence to protect Amazon

Brazil will boost its military presence in the Amazon region to protect its huge natural resources from any external threat, Defense Minister Celso Amorim told the Senate. “The commitment to the defense of the Amazon is fundamental. Navy, Air Force, all services will boost their presence in the Amazon in…

Blind Chinese activist ‘escapes’ from house arrest

Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese lawyer who won global acclaim for uncovering rights abuses under China’s “one child” policy, has escaped from house arrest, according to his supporters. Chen had been unable to leave his home in east China since he was released from a four-year jail sentence in September…

U.S. environmental official apologizes for ‘crucify’ gaffe

An official from the environmental protection agency has apologised for advising staff to pursue harsh punishment or “crucify” companies that break environmental laws. The embarrassing episode – which came to light through the efforts of the Republican senator Jim Inhofe – has been a godsend for the GOP’s efforts to…

Olympians sue Samsung over Facebook app

LOS ANGELES — Eighteen US Olympians including swimming greats Mark Spitz and Janet Evans are suing Samsung Corporation, saying its US Olympic Genome Project Facebook app misuses their names and images. Spitz and Evans are joined as plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court by diver…

Panetta hopes Israeli general ‘correct’ on Iran

SANTIAGO — US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Thursday he hopes that statements from Israel’s military chief describing Iran’s leadership as rational were “correct.” Israeli Lieutenant General Benny Gantz told the Haaretz newspaper on Wednesday that the Iranian leadership “is composed of very rational people,” and that while Tehran…

Bob Dylan, Toni Morrison among 13 tapped for Presidential Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON — Music legend Bob Dylan and Nobel-winning writer Toni Morrison lead a list of 13 people who will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian honor, the White House said Thursday. “These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of…

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