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Venezuela’s Chavez: ‘I’d vote for Obama’

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says that if he were a US citizen, he would vote for President Barack Obama in the November 6 presidential election — and if Obama were Venezuelan, he’d vote for Chavez. The firebrand leftist president is in a tight re-election race of his own against opposition…

Thousands in Haiti protest high cost of living

Several thousand people took the streets of Haiti’s capital to protest the government of President Michel Martelly, complaining he was not raising their dismal living standards. The protesters, supporters of two-time president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, expressed anger at the high cost of living and rising food prices under Martelly. “Martelly must…

World must figure out how to deal with ageing populations: UN

Governments around the world must work out how to cope with ageing, a UN report said on Monday, warning that developing nations with lots of young workers may one day find their elderly populations a burden. The study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and HelpAge International also urged…

Facebook refuses to remove murder page: police

Australian police said on Monday that social media site Facebook had refused to take down a page containing offensive material about the man accused of murdering Irish woman Jill Meagher. The search for Meagher, 29, who vanished while walking home from a Melbourne bar earlier this month, sparked a huge…

Palestinians, French remain in negotiations over new Arafat autopsy, poisoning tests

Within the guarded walls of the Palestinian presidential compound, known as the Muqata, the body of Yasser Arafat lies inside a gleaming limestone and glass mausoleum. It is here that political figures, dignitaries, devotees and tourists come to pay their respects to a man who was revered and reviled across…

New drug-resistant Salmonella variant behind an epidemic across sub-Saharan Africa

A deadly version of an intestinal germ has spread through sub-Saharan Africa, helped by genetic mutation and diseases such as HIV that weaken the immune system and expose the body to infection, researchers said Sunday. The finding comes in a genetic comparison of variants of Salmonella Typhimurium, one of the…

New York City’s oldest operating whiskey distillery makes only 6 gallons a day

A strong smell of alcohol permeates this aging building in Brooklyn, a New York City borough famous more for hot dogs and handcrafted bagels than for Kentucky-style whiskey. It is in this up-and-coming section of New York, across the East River from Manhattan, where Kings County Distillery produces the amber-colored…

Faint hopes as Moscow court hears Pussy Riot appeal

The Moscow city court on Monday hears the appeal of jailed punk rockers Pussy Riot against their two-year prison camp sentence for performing an anti-Kremlin song in a cathedral, with supporters hoping at best for a slight softening of the sentence. The cause of the three women, convicted in August…

Iran jury finds Reuters news agency guilty of ‘propaganda against the regime’ over ninja report

A Tehran jury on Sunday found the international news agency Reuters guilty of the crime of “propaganda against the regime” for a report mischaracterising female ninja students as assassins, Iranian media said. Reuters was also found guilty of “publishing false information in an effort to disturb public opinion” over the…

Hackathon: where art and technology run wild

When a group of creatives and programmers gathered for a 48-hour ‘hackathon’, the idea was to take data and turn it into something magical Hacking comes in three varieties. The first two that came to our collective attention are bad. One is an invasion of privacy practised mainly by middle-aged men on…

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