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Pakistani health worker knocked on bin Laden’s door days before raid

A sacked Pakistani health worker recalled Wednesday how she knocked on Osama bin Laden’s door just days before he was shot dead by American soldiers, an unwitting pawn in a controversial vaccination programme set up by the CIA to ensnare the Al-Qaeda leader. Amna Bibi spoke to AFP while revisiting…

1,550 Palestinians now on hunger strike

At least 1,550 Palestinians in Israeli jails are now taking part in a mass hunger strike, Israel’s Prison Service said on Wednesday, with two of them marking their 64th day without food. IPS spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told AFP that another 100 prisoners had begun refusing food in the last two…

Yemen asks for $10 billion to stabilize economy

Yemen will ask donors for about $10 billion in urgent aid at a “Friends of Yemen” meeting to be held in the Saudi capital later this month, the country’s planning minister said on Wednesday. “We are talking about $10 billion that we will need for economic recovery, to stabilise the…

2 million British homes face digital TV disruption due to cell phone interference

Nearly two million homes face disruption to their digital TV signal because of interference from new mobile services, with fears that a government help scheme to combat the problem will prove inadequate. About 1.9 million households – all with digital terrestrial TV service Freeview – will suffer interference from the…

Samsung and Apple have more than half the smartphone market

Samsung and Apple are eating up the smartphone market – which, in turn, is increasingly eating up the mobile phone market, according to new figures released by the research company IDC. In the first quarter of 2012, the two companies’ joint share of the smartphone market edged past 50% for…

Can cargo bikes replace diesel-guzzling delivery vehicles?

It is a familiar, unpleasant but seemingly inescapable part of modern city life: streets full of diesel-belching vans or lorries on delivery runs, either stuck in jams or else creating them as the driver double-parks to dash into a building. The solution? Roll forward the humble bicycle, or at least…

Study: Space rock caught some dinosaurs already in decline

Large, plant-eating dinosaurs were already in decline by the time a space rock smashed into Earth 65 million years ago and ended the reptiles’ long reign, a study published on Tuesday says. The findings by scientists in the United States and Germany do not dispute the mass extinction that so dramatically ended…

China demands apology as activist leaves U.S. embassy

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has left the US embassy to seek medical care and join his family, officials said Wednesday, as Beijingdemanded a US apology on the eve of key talks between the two powers. Chen, who riled Chinese authorities by exposing forced abortions and sterilisations under the “one-child” policy, fled house arrest…

Stray parakeet tells Japanese police where he lives

A pet parakeet was returned to its owner Wednesday after the lost bird told police its home address near Tokyo. The male bird had escaped early Sunday morning from its owner’s home in the city of Sagamihara, west of Tokyo, and remained at large before perching on the shoulder of a guest staying in…

World record for fastest motorized toilet

Stunt woman Jolene Van Vugt was flushed with pride Wednesday after setting a new land speed record for the fastest motorised toilet. Van Vugt, a former Canadian motocross champion, steered the contraption through some early wobbles to 75 kilometres per hour (46 mph) in Sydney, seven kilometres more than the previousGuinness world record. Police…

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