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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…

Israel will privatize makers of Uzi sub-machine gun

Israel plans to privatise loss-making Israel Military Industries Ltd (IMI), manufacturer of the legendary Uzi sub machinegun, Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Wednesday. “I am pleased at the green light for the privatisation of IMI,” Yaalon said in a statement, explaining that, despite its “excellent products,” the company had…

Bitcoin unit prices rise above $1,000

The virtual currency bitcoin Wednesday broke above $1,000 per unit, quintupling in a month, according to Mt. Gox, which manages trading in bitcoin. Launched in 2009 as the invention of a mysterious computer guru who goes by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoins can be exchanged online for real money or…

Germans hopeful after nation raises minimum wage

Security guard Holger Schleiffer hopes the introduction of a fixed minimum wage under Germany’s new coalition government will make his life that tiny bit easier. The tall 51-year-old with closely cropped hair once ran his own security firm with 36 employees. But for the past seven years, he has been…

The Holy Comedy Grail: ‘Monty Python’ troupe announces five more reunion shows

Britain’s Monty Python comedy troupe on Wednesday announced five further dates for their reunion tour, after tickets for their first joint performance in three decades sold out in under a minute. John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin will play the new dates at London’s O2…

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