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U.S. to transfer controversial Bagram prison to Afghans

The United States is to hand formal control of a controversial prison to the Afghan government on Monday, despite apparent disagreements between the two sides on the fate of hundreds of inmates. In a move hailed by Kabul as a victory for sovereignty, analysts say it is largely symbolic as…

Activist rally in Spain to help end 559-year-old bull-butchering spectacle

About 500 animal rights activists protested in central Spain on Sunday against a centuries-old festival in which a bull is chased and then lanced to death. For the demonstration the protesters arrived in the fortified town of Tordesillas, which will stage the festival on Tuesday, from across Spain on 10…

Speculation mounts that new iPhone will have fingerprint scanning technology

Apple is due to secure its acquisition of a company specialising in fingerprint scanning next month, days after the latest iPhone goes on sale, suggesting the technology will be used to improve security in the world’s bestselling phone. The board of AuthenTec is expected to agree to a $365m (£228m)…

Pussy Riot’s release backed by Russian rockers in St. Petersburg concert

Russian rock group DDT, whose lead singer is known for his anti-Kremlin views, was among the bands that played a concert in Saint Petersburg Sunday backing the country’s political prisoners. Attending the show were two lawyers for the jailed members of female punk band Pussy Riot, sentenced last month for…

British scientist calls for ‘major nuclear program’ to head off climate change

A leading British academic has called for accelerated research into futuristic geo-engineering and a worldwide nuclear power station “binge” to avoid runaway global warming. Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at Cambridge University, said both potential solutions had inherent dangers but were now vital as time was running out. “It…

Scientists introduce ‘nano-velcro’ to detect mercury in water and fish

Scientists in Switzerland and the United States on Sunday said they had created a “nano-velcro” textile that offers a swift, sensitive and low-cost way of detecting mercury, a toxic and accumulative pollutant, in water and fish. The fibres are made out of gold nanoparticles that are coated with compounds called…

West to recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty 13 years after war ended

On the eve of a meeting of Western powers gathered in the International Steering Group which will officially grant Kosovo full sovereignty, Pristina on Sunday prepared to celebrate. A huge stage was set up in the main Mother Teresa Square for an open air concert of bands from Kosovo, Albania,…

New evidence suggests that there may never have been life on Mars after all

Instead of a warm, wet and possibly life-bearing planet as some scientists contend, early Mars may have been a hostile and volatile place with frequent volcanic outbursts, a study said Sunday. Earlier research had theorised that certain minerals detected on the surface of the Red Planet indicated the presence of…

Afghan cultural guide: If coalition soldier asks to see photo of your wife, don’t shoot him

KABUL — Don’t take offence if NATO soldiers exit the shower naked or ask to see a picture of your wife — it is normal and no reason to open fire, intone new cultural guidelines from the Afghan defence ministry. Five thousand copies of a hastily written 28-page brochure have…

Actor Keira Knightley: New Anna Karenina film a ‘punch to the stomach’

TORONTO — Leo Tolstoy’s masterpiece “Anna Karenina” has been adapted for the silver screen more than a dozen times, but British filmmaker Joe Wright’s latest movie version arguably tops them all. Starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law, the 130-minute film premiered internationally this week at the Toronto International Film Festival,…

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