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Food prices could skyrocket as U.S. harvest continues to wilt in blistering heat

Chicago corn price jumps by 3% to highest since last autumn as maize, soybean and wheat yields also suffer due to drought Fears that food prices will rocket at the end of the year after a poor US harvest were heightened after predictions that a drought across the Midwest will…

Pope appoints doctrinal watchdog with links to ‘Marxist’ Catholics

Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who has defended liberation theologists and written a book on the poor, will lead key department Pope Benedict on Monday appointed as the Roman Catholic church’s doctrinal watchdog a fellow German with links to liberation theology, the interpretation of Christianity that conservatives have deplored as Marxism with…

Expedition out to solve Earhart’s 1937 disappearance

HONOLULU — Seventy-five years after Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific, a research team plans to leave Tuesday on an expedition to solve the mystery over the pioneering aviatrix’s fate. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) is heading to Nikumaroro island in Kiribati to try to establish whether…

China reports bird flu outbreak

BEIJING — Authorities in China’s remote northwestern region of Xinjiang have culled more than 150,000 chickens following an outbreak of bird flu, officials said. The outbreak of the H5N1 strain of avian flu initially killed 1,600 chickens and sickened about 5,500, the agriculture ministry said late Monday. In an effort…

Mitt Romney to travel to Israel this summer: campaign

WASHINGTON — White House hopeful Mitt Romney will travel to Israel this summer, his campaign said Monday, an apparent appeal to Jewish voters and donors who overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama in 2008. The Republican challenging President Obama in November’s election will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his Holy…

Katie Holmes in New York after filing for divorce from Tom Cruise

NEW YORK — Katie Holmes was spotted in New York on Monday without her wedding ring after filing for divorce from fellow actor Tom Cruise. The 33-year-old Hollywood star left a shoot for a television series in Times Square, her hair pulled back conservatively in a sleek pony tail and…

Whaling nations defeat proposed Atlantic sanctuary

PANAMA CITY — Japan and its allies on Monday shot down a Latin American-led proposal to create a sanctuary for whales in the southern Atlantic Ocean, reigniting international tensions over Tokyo’s whaling. The International Whaling Commission, which has long been torn by disputes, fell into familiar divisions just hours after…

New study finds eight new genes for osteoarthritis

PARIS — The biggest probe yet into the inherited causes of osteoarthritis has turned up eight genes associated with this painful disease, bringing the tally of suspects to 11, The Lancet reported on Tuesday. Researchers led by John Loughlin at Newcastle University, northeast England, compared the DNA code of more…

Romney campaign disagrees with GOP over Obama’s healthcare ‘tax’

A rift has opened up between presidential challenger Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republican party over the question of whether a key aspect of Barack Obama’s healthcare legislation is classified as a tax. Chief justice John Roberts ruled the individual mandate to be constitutional under the federal government’s…

NATO calls for ‘political solution’ in Syria

BRUSSELS — NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Monday called on the international community to enforce a political solution in Syria while reiterating there would be no military intervention. “The right response to this crisis remains a political response. And a concerted response by the international community against a regime…

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