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Prince Andrew abseils down Europe’s tallest building

Britain’s Prince Andrew abseiled down Europe’s tallest skyscraper on Monday, confessing afterwards that he would “never do it again.” Andrew, third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, took half an hour to descend from the 87th to the 20th floor of the brand new Shard skyscraper in London…

Ex-Murdoch editor appears in court in hacking case

Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks appeared in a London court on Monday to face charges related to alleged phone hacking. Brooks, 44, appeared in the dock accused of conspiring with others to illegally access voicemails, and spoke only to confirm her name, date of birth and address…

New Afghan spy chief accused of corruption and torture

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has nominated a cabinet minister to head the country’s spy agency who has been accused of involvement in torture, drug-trafficking and corruption. Asadullah Khalid, the minister for borders and a one-time governor of the Taliban-troubled province of Kandahar, must be approved by a parliamentary vote before…

South Africa to start releasing arrested miners

A South African court was due to start releasing 270 miners Monday who were arrested after police gunned down 34 of their colleagues, following a decision by prosecutors to withdraw murder charges against them. Prosecutors provisionally dropped the charges Sunday amid a public furor after officers opened fire on strikers…

U.S. consulate in Pakistan targeted in suicide attack

A suicide car bomber targeted a U.S. consulate vehicle in Pakistan Monday, in an attack officials said killed four, but there were conflicting accounts of whether Americans were among the dead. The bomber struck during the morning rush hour, close to residential quarters used by the US consulate in the…

Nine dead in Madagascar in clashes with armed zebu rustlers

ANTANANARIVO — Nine people were killed as police and gendarmes intervened after a gang of armed cattle thieves seized a thousand cattle in southern Madagascar, the gendarmerie said Sunday. Six rustlers, two gendarmes and a police officer died in the fighting, after around 130 armed men seized the zebu, a…

Rescuers save penguins caught in oil from leaking Turkish tanker

JOHANNESBURG — Fuel leaking from a Turkish freighter wreck that has been smashed up by a storm has contaminated at least five penguins on South Africa’s Robben Island, emergency services said Sunday. One penguin from the island had been rescued for treatment and cleaning and a team would also capture…

Obama not offended by Clint Eastwood’s convention antics

It probably didn’t make his day, but Barack Obama appears to harbour no grudge against Clint Eastwood for the actor’s bizarre attack on him during the Republican National Convention. In an interview with USA Today, the president diplomatically referred to the ageing Hollywood legend as a “great actor, and an…

Extinct species Eritherium azzouzorum discovered in Morocco

The three living species of the order Proboscidea, the savanna and forest African and Asian elephants, surely rank among the most bizarre and extraordinarily derived placental mammals. They are, however, relics of a long and once species-rich lineage. Thanks to a recently discovered fossil, we now know that this evolutionary march…

Iran plans major air defense exercise

TEHRAN — Iran plans to start a major military exercise later this month to test its air defence systems, a top Revolutionary Guards commander said in comments published on Sunday. The exercise was announced by Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, who heads the elite force’s air defence command, amid rising speculation…

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