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Worst drought in 50 years takes toll in northern Brazil

Severe drought gripping northeastern Brazil – the worst in a half-century — is taking its toll on more than 1,100 towns, even triggering fighting in rural areas, local media reported Sunday. An average of one person a day is being killed in “water wars” in rural areas, while scores of animals are wasting away before…

Facebook fervor fierce ahead of IPO

Facebook frenzy is spreading ahead of the company’s big-time stock market debut, with anything from Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodie to the billion-dollar buy of Instagram sparking controversy. Speculation about the promise or pitfalls of owning a piece of the world’s leading social network was so feverish by the weekend that one report contended there was too much demand…

‘Avengers’ still striking it rich at box office

Earth’s mightiest comic book heroes kept smashing North American box office records as “The Avengers” thrashed all comers to haul in $103.2 million over the weekend, industry estimates showed. Directed by cult favorite Joss Whedon, the Walt Disney high-thrills action adventure made in collaboration with Marvel Comics – which scored the highest grossing US debut of all…

Congress to hold hearing on Secret Service sex scandal

The US Senate will hold a hearing May 23 to question the head ofthe Secret Service about the recent sex scandal involving its agents and prostitutes in Colombia, Senator Joseph Lieberman announced. “We’re going to hold a public hearing … May 23rd, at which we’re going to have Director Mark Sullivan of the Secret Service and the acting…

Captain tossed from troubled Yahoo! ship

Yahoo! boss Scott Thompson stepped down in the face of controversy about his allegedly inflated resume, leaving the struggling Internet pioneer seeking its sixth CEO in five years. As part of a truce in a proxy war with mutinous shareholder Daniel Loeb, Ross Levinsohn became interim Yahoo! chief and Fred Amoroso took charge of the board of…

Botswana makes new pitch for circumcision in AIDS fight

“Should I, shouldn’t I?” That’s the question that 31-year-old Kabo Moeti ponders as he waits outside a clinic in a Botswana village, where he’s considering getting circumcised. “I am so afraid and confused. What if something goes wrong, what if my sexual life is negatively affected?” he said in his village of Molepolole, outside…

Paperwork delays limbless Frenchman’s historic world swim

A limbless Frenchman planning to make four challenging swims around the world was delayed from starting his epic journey inPapua New Guinea on Monday by a paperwork problem. Philippe Croizon, who lost both his arms and legs in an electrical accident in 1994, planned to leave the Pacific country’s remote west…

Mexican police find 49 headless bodies

Mexican police on Monday searched for perpetrators of a drug-war massacre in which 49 people were killed, decapitated, dismembered and left in plastic bags on the side of a highway. The mutilated corpses, whose hands had been cut off to prevent fingerprint identification, were discovered close to the northern city…

IMF warns that oil prices could double in ten years

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been warned by its internal research team that there could be a permanent doubling of oil prices in the coming decade with profound implications for global trade. “This is uncharted territory for the world economy, which has never experienced such prices for more than…

Egyptian presidential frontrunner calls Israel a ‘racist state’

A leading Islamist candidate in Egypt’s presidential election has branded Israel a “racist state” and said a shared 1979 peace treaty was “a national security threat” that should be revised. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh also denounced Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden’s assassination by US special forces as an act of…

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