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Popularity problem: Flood of electric cars clog bus lanes in Norway

Ministers in Norway — a major and rich oil-producing country — are under increasing public pressure to reduce perks and tax breaks for booming electric car sales. “It’s become a problem,” said Erik Haugstad, a bus driver in the Oslo region who complains about the numerous electric cars clogging bus…

Japanese researchers develop 30-minute Ebola test

Japanese researchers said Tuesday they had developed a new method to detect the presence of the Ebola virus in 30 minutes, with technology that could allow doctors to quickly diagnose infection. Professor Jiro Yasuda and his team at Nagasaki University say their process is also cheaper than the system currently…

Fidel Castro compares NATO to Nazis, lashes out at ‘imperialist’ US

Cuban ex-president Fidel Castro lashed out at the United States and Europe on Monday, accusing them of war-mongering and comparing the NATO military alliance’s representatives to the Nazi SS. In a tortuous column published in Cuban state media, the father of the island’s communist revolution also attacked US Senator John…

Russia has ‘severed’ partnership with Europe, says Germany

Russia has “effectively severed its partnership” with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said Monday. “We want partnership and good neighbourly relations (with Russia)” but on the condition that Moscow changes its policies and that there is a “return to respect for the rights…

Sea-level surge at Antarctica linked to icesheet loss

Sea levels around Antarctica have been rising a third faster than the global average, a clear sign of high meltwater runoff from the continent’s icesheet, scientists said on Sunday. Satellite data from 1992 to 2011 found the sea surface around Antarctica’s coast rose by around eight centimetres (3.2 inches) in…

Australia father charged with abusing surrogate twins, report says

An Australian has been charged with sexually abusing twins he fathered with a Thai surrogate, reports said Tuesday, the second case in as many months to ignite debate about commercial surrogacy. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said the Thai mother of the children, Siriwan Nitichad, had agreed to carry a child…

US targets Shebab leader with air strike in Somalia

US forces have carried out air strikes against the leader of Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels, with casualties reported but uncertainty hanging over the fate of the main target, officials said Tuesday. The Pentagon confirmed an “operation” was carried out on Monday against the hardline militia, and that it was “assessing…

California high school drops hook-nosed ‘Arab’ mascot and accompanying belly dancers

A California high school has retired its Middle Eastern-themed mascot and accompanying belly dancers and redrawn its logo after criticism from Arab-Americans that they played on harmful stereotypes, a group advocating for the change said on Monday. Coachella Valley High School agreed to use a new image of a stoic-looking…

Connoisseurs? Most French say they ‘know little about wine’

It’s enough to make you choke on your Chablis. In France, the land of good food and world-famous wine, seven of out 10 people admit they are far from connoisseurs when it comes to the grape. Responding to the question: “Do you have the feeling you have a good knowledge…

Fast-food workers to walk off job in fight to gain $15 hourly wage

McDonald’s line cooks, Burger King cashiers, and other fast-food restaurant workers across the U.S. plan to walk off the job on Thursday in an ongoing battle with their employers to gain a $15 hourly wage, organizers said on Monday. The protests, announced on Twitter by organizer Fight For 15, come…

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