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H&M apologizes for too-tan swimsuit model

Swedish cheap-and-chic fashion giant H&M on Thursday apologised over a swimwear campaign featuring a deeply tanned model that sparked outrage among cancer groups. “We are sorry if we have upset anyone with our latest swimwear campaign. It was not our intention to show off a specific ideal or to encourage…

White House not ‘disappointed’ after Putin no-show at G8

The White House insisted Thursday it was not disappointed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will skip the G8 summit and talks with President Barack Obama next week. The Russian leader, returned as president after a four year break Monday, and was expected to have a first chance to meet on…

Red Cross suspends aid in Pakistan after worker’s murder

The Red Cross on Thursday suspended most of its aid projects in Pakistan and recalled foreign staff to the capital, following the brutal murder of a British worker. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had suspended activities run from the southern port city of Karachi and…

Czech president to keynote Heartland conference despite objections to billboard campaign

Václav Klaus, the Czech president and prominent climate sceptic, has condemned a controversial billboard campaign used by a rightwing US thinktank to advertise the forthcoming conference at which he is scheduled to give the keynote speech. However, his spokesman said Klaus will not join other speakers who have pulled out…

Obama and Shakira face off in Colombia’s donkey pageant

Backstage was chaotic. Barack Obama was fighting with his handler. Shakira had been happily eating off the floor but became surly when she was interrupted. It took three men to push her up the ramp onto the makeshift stage. Donkeys and beauty contests are both common sights in rural Colombia,…

Peru says 5,000 birds and nearly 900 dolphins dead, could be due to climate change

The Peruvian government said Wednesday that 5,000 birds, mostly pelicans, and nearly 900 dolphins have died off the country’s northern coast, possibly due to rising temperatures in Pacific waters. The country’s northern beaches were earlier this week declared off-limits as scientists scrambled to pin down what was causing such a…

Parents of U.S. soldier held in Afghanistan urge talks

The parents of Bowe Bergdahl, the first American soldier captured in Afghanistan since the US-led war began in 2001, are urging the US government to swap him for Afghan prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, US media reported. “Everybody is frustrated with how slowly the process has evolved,” Bob Bergdahl,…

Facebook store to roll out first paid apps

Cross-platform store will take user ratings into account when deciding whether to list apps Facebook is getting into the app store game, announcing an initiative called App Center which it claims will help developers get their social web and mobile applications discovered by more people. The App Center will spotlight…

Colourful birds quicker to evolve, says study

Birds with multiple versions of their colour patterns evolved into new species more quickly than those with uniform plumage, Australian researchers revealed in a significant genetic study published Thursday. The University of Melbourne research, published in “Nature”, found that birds with more than one version of its markings such as…

Iggy Pop album shuns ‘humiliating’ record labels

Punk pioneer Iggy Pop has taken his new solo album, a French-flavoured line-up of cover songs, straight to his fans online, shunning record majors convinced it would be a flop. “They would have preferred that I do a rock album with popular punks, sort of like ‘Hi Dad!’ I was…

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