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First Lady Michelle Obama first up at DNC

Democrats kick off their 2012 convention Tuesday, with First Lady Michelle Obama firing the first shots of a three-day salvo aimed at breaking the electoral deadlock with rival Republicans. With just 63 days until Americans decide who will occupy the Oval Office for the next four years, the First Lady will make the…

UN urges action to stave off global food crisis

The United Nations warned Tuesday of a possible repeat of the 2007-2008 food crisis and called on world leaders to act quickly to prevent a catastrophe which would affect tens of millions of people. “The current situation in world food markets, characterized by sharp increases in maize, wheat and soybean prices, has raised fears of a…

Moon’s death threatens Unification Church stability

The death of Sun Myung Moon robs his Unification Church of the glue that sustained its global following as a cohesive religious and financial force even as membership dwindled from its 1980s peak, analysts say. A messianic movement built on the rubble of the Korean War and exported to countries such as the United States where it found…

Prince Harry jokes about nude photos at charity event

Prince Harry made light of his recent exploits in his first public appearance since naked photographs of him in a Las Vegas hotel room surfaced on the internet. Speaking at a London awards ceremony for seriously ill youngsters and their carers, Harry conceded it would be difficult to adequately describe their achievements. “But never one to be…

Wildfire near Los Angeles destroys 4,000 acres

Around 700 firefighters are battling a wildfire near Los Angeles that forced the evacuation of hundreds of tourists camping over the holiday weekend, officials said. The fire at the Angeles National Forest has consumed 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) and was just five percent contained, according to the interagency information management system InciWeb. The rest…

Quebec separatists look to sweep elections

Quebec’s separatists look to sweep back into power in elections Tuesday, buoyed by rising frustration with the current leadership and months of student protests over a planned tuition hike. Voters in the country’s only majority French-speaking province will choose 125 lawmakers — and pre-election polls point to theParti Quebecois coming out on top, though without…

Syria president backs work of ‘impartial’ Red Cross

President Bashar al-Assad told Red Cross chief Peter Maurer on Tuesday that he supports the work of the aid group in Syria so long as it remains “impartial and independent,” state televisionreported. “President Assad assured the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross that he welcomed the humanitarian operations carried out by the committee on the ground in Syria,…

Online dealers illegally trade in endangered wildlife

Bashful and skittish, the Kaiser’s spotted newt is intriguing and beautiful. With only around 1,000 adults left in the wild in just four mountain streams in Iran, it is also critically endangered. But the black, white and orange salamanders are openly on sale for as little as £65 on numerous…

Study: Freezing embryos may result in healthier babies

Women who become pregnant with previously frozen IVF embryos tend to have healthier babies and fewer complications than those who have fresh embryos implanted, research suggests. Fertility doctors found that mothers had a lower risk of bleeding in pregnancies with embryos that had been frozen and thawed, and went on…

China suspends official over drunken plane ‘assault’

A Chinese military official has been suspended and placed under investigation over accusations of a drunken assault on a flight attendant, state media said Tuesday. Fang Daguo was suspended from his job with the armed forces department of the southern city of Guangzhou, the state-run China Daily said, after an…

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