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California city of Irwindale celebrates court ruling against ‘smelly’ Sriracha chili factory

A US city welcomed Wednesday a court ruling which could force the closure of a US factory that makes famed Sriracha chili sauces, after neighbors complained of spicy smells. The California city of Irwindale, outside Los Angeles, asked last month for Huy Fong Food’s facility to be closed and that…

Exxon sells controversial Iraq oil stake to PetroChina

American energy giant Exxon Mobil on Thursday sold part of its controversial stake in a massive Iraqi oilfield to PetroChina and Indonesia’s Pertamina amid a long-running row with Baghdad. The sale of the stake in the West Qurna-1 field in south Iraq, one of the country’s largest, marks a key…

Bribery, prostitution and a U.S. Naval officer’s fall from grace

He had an empathetic story that seemed to embody the American dream, and the US Navy was eager to tell it. Born in the rice fields of Cambodia outside Phnom Penh, Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz was sent away as a boy to the United States, given up for adoption to…

A brief history of Hollywood spies

The history of Tinseltown is littered with allegations of espionage, as the revelations about the successful producer has reminded us. Welcome to the world of ‘thespionage’ The history of Hollywood is littered with spies. So it should come as no surprise that the producer Arnon Milchan began his working life…

Poland will begin producing shale gas in 2014

Poland will begin commercial production of shale gas next year, the Deputy Environment Minister said Wednesday, becoming the first European country to use the controversial technique known as fracking. “After the results which I just saw, the first commercial exploitation will begin in Poland next year,” Piotr Wozniak was quoted…

Sweden’s H&M stops making angora products after rabbit torture video

Swedish fashion giant H&M said Wednesday it would stop making clothing containing angora hair after an animal rights group released video showing fur being plucked from live rabbits on Chinese farms. “We are halting production” of angora products, said H&M spokeswoman Camilla Emilsson Falk. “We need to check to be…

Justin Bieber accused of spraying graffiti inside Australian hotel

Teen heartthrob Justin Bieber was Thursday told to clean up his mess after the pop star was accused of spraying graffiti on the wall of an Australian hotel. Furious Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate said the Canadian had been disrespectful and “really, really silly”, and sent a graffiti removal kit…

HIV infections on the rise in Europe and Central Asia

HIV infections in Europe and Central Asia increased by eight percent in 2012 compared to a year earlier, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control announced Wednesday. The rise of 131,000 new cases was driven by a nine-percent increase in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region which accounted…

World Bank president: ‘We don’t do nuclear energy’

The World Bank and United Nations on Wednesday appealed for billions of dollars to provide electricity for the poorest nations but said there would be no investment in nuclear power. “We don’t do nuclear energy,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim as he and UN leader Ban Ki-moon outlined…

Scientists target newly-discovered enzyme in fight against malaria

Scientists on Wednesday said they had identified a new target in the parasite that causes malaria, a disease that causes more than a half a million deaths annually. Potential drugs can aim at a newly-discovered enzyme that the parasite uses to metabolise energy at every stage of its infection in…

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