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Great Barrier Reef heading for danger: UNESCO

UNESCO on Saturday urged decisive action from Australia to protect the Great Barrier Reef from a gas and mining boom, warning it risked being put on its list of world heritage sites deemed “in danger”. Australia is riding an unprecedented wave of resources investment due to booming demand from Asia,…

American nuns’ group signals opposition to Vatican overhaul

The group that represents Catholic sisters in the United States signaled Friday it would challenge a Vatican attempt to pull its doctrine closer toward conservative church policy. In a statement, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said it would send a high-level delegation to Rome on June 12 to meet…

No tolerance for corruption: Walmart chairman

Walmart chairman Robson Walton vowed Friday that the world’s largest retailer would not tolerate corrupt acts, in the wake of a scandal about bribes the company allegedly paid in Mexico. Speaking to shareholders at their annual general meeting, Walton promised “a thorough and comprehensive inquiry” into the Mexico accusations and…

Facebook users vote on privacy policy changes

Facebook on Friday began letting its more than 900 million members vote whether they approve of privacy policy changes introduced last month before the social network’s stock market debut. The polls opened at a “Facebook Site Governance Vote” page at the social network and will close June 8 at 900…

Netflix tops Apple in booming online movie business

The US online movie business more than doubled in 2011 to rake in $992 million and will almost double again this year, a research report showed Friday. The biggest surge came from Netflix, which shifted its focus to subscription video on demand and snagged 44 percent of the market, overtaking…

Immune boosters show promise against cancer: study

A pair of experimental treatments that fight cancer by boosting the immune system have shown promise in early studies and deserve testing in larger patient groups, said US research released Saturday. The drugs, both made by Bristol-Myers Squibb, work by breaking down the shield that protects tumor cells. Rather than…

McCain slams Obama administration over Iran cyber attack leaks

US Senator John McCain on Saturday accused President Barack Obama’s administration of leaking details of a reported cyber attack on Iran and other secret operations to bolster the president’s image in an election year. “Again we see these leaks to the media about ongoing operations, which is incredibly disturbing. Doesn’t…

Navy to shift most of fleet to Pacific by 2020

The United States will shift the majority of its naval fleet to the Pacific by 2020 as part of a new strategic focus on Asia, Pentagon chief Leon Panetta told a summit in Singapore. The decision to deploy more ships to the Pacific Ocean, along with expanding a network of…

Big Ben to be renamed Elizabeth Tower

Britain’s famed parliament clock tower Big Ben is set to be renamed the Elizabeth Tower in honor of the queen’s diamond jubilee, a report said Friday. Prime Minister David Cameron is among 331 lawmakers who have signed up to a campaign to bestow the tribute to Queen Elizabeth to mark…

Court orders Clinton to decide about removing MEK from terrorism list

WASHINGTON — A US appeals court on Friday ordered Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to decide within four months whether to remove an Iranian dissident group from a terror blacklist. The People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, also known as the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), had asked the court to issue a ruling…

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