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Suicide bomber kills Afghan peace envoy and his son

A suicide bomber assassinated an Afghan peace envoy and former mujahedeen commander on Friday, in the latest blow to stuttering reconciliation efforts in the violence-wracked country. Maulavi Mohammad Hashem Munib, the head of the government’s High Peace Council in Kunar province, was killed along with his son and a bodyguard,…

Twitter sues creators of spam-generating software programs

Twitter on Thursday turned to a US federal court in its latest effort to stop spammers targeting the worldwide one-to-many text messaging service. Twitter sued a small cadre of what it described as “the most aggressive” culprits behind blitzes of messages ranging from junk promotions to frauds and even links…

Board rules that Marine who called Obama the ‘enemy’ should be discharged

A US Marine faces possible dismissal after posting critical remarks on Facebook about US President Barack Obama, with a review board recommending a less than honorable discharge. Sergeant Gary Stein, 26, a nine-year veteran, posted comments on Facebook and other websites calling Obama a coward and “the economic and religious…

Pirates hijack Chinese cargo ship near Iranian port

A Chinese cargo ship was hijacked by pirates on Friday in the Gulf of Oman, not far off the south of Iran, state media said, citing China’s embassy in Tehran. The vessel was attacked on Friday morning near the Iranian port of Chabahar, according to the Xinhua news agency. The…

Canadian scientists discover alternative to whale vomit for perfumers

A product from fir trees and yeast may soon replace ambergris, a kind of whale barf, to make expensive perfume, scientists said Thursday. For centuries, perfume makers have prized ambergris for its ability to prevent scent from dissipating. The wax-like substance is secreted by sperm whales to protect their digestive…

Obama applauds lower unemployment rate

US President Barack Obama Friday welcomed a downtick in the unemployment rate to 8.2 percent, despite a slowdown in overall job creation, but said there was more work to do to revive the economy. “We welcome today’s news that our businesses created another 121,000 jobs last month and the unemployment…

Women’s rights activist poised to become Malawi’s new president

Joyce Banda, who rose to prominence in Malawi as a relentless advocate for women’s rights, now appears set to become only the second female African head of state in modern times. She become Malawi’s first woman vice president in 2009 as the running mate of President Bingu wa Mutharika, who…

Scientists warn icebergs are still a risk a century after the Titanic

We’ve painted them, tagged them, bombed them, monitored them with radar and watched them from space — but icebergs like the one that sank the Titanic are still a threat to ships today. Scientists say that despite a century of technological gains, ships rely heavily on a detection method as…

Unexpected drop in U.S. unemployment

US unemployment dropped unexpectedly to 8.2 percent in March, the lowest rate in more than three years, despite a mixed picture on hiring and apparent weakness in the retail sector. Despite the positive headline number, the Labor Department reported that the number of unemployed workers hovered close to 13 million…

NASA scientist: climate change is a moral issue on a par with slavery

Prof Jim Hansen to use lecture at Edinburgh International Science Festival to call for worldwide tax on all carbon emissions.  Averting the worst consequences of human-induced climate change is a “great moral issue” on a par with slavery, according to the leading Nasa climate scientist Prof Jim Hansen. He argues…

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