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Ford recalls 150,000 vehicles over risk of engine fires

U.S. auto giant Ford ordered a recall of nearly 150,000 of its popular Escape vehicle on Tuesday, citing a potential risk of engine fire. The vehicles in question are the 2013 model equipped with the 1.6 liter engine, manufactured between October 2011 and June 2013. Some 139,917 vehicles affected by…

Tunisia’s embattled leaders face rising social discontent

Tunisia’s sluggish economic recovery is spurring a growing number of strikes and protests, with the discontent compounding the ruling Islamist party’s woes amid a political crisis and growing insecurity. Public offices, businesses and entire regions have since the summer been staging walkouts and demanding pay rises, extra staff, hospitals and…

Avengers Assemble With Caution: ‘Captain America’ shield tops list of dangerous toys

Consumer activists Tuesday cited a Captain America shield that contains 29 times more lead than allowed by law as one of the most dangerous toys of 2013. Tougher laws mean toys sold in the United States today are safer than ever, said the US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG)…

New app allows Sikhs to report TSA for abuse

Sikh activists, fed up with being singled out at US airports, on Tuesday launched an updated smartphone application to make it easier for passengers to file complaints. The free, downloadable app called FlyRights lets travelers instantly send their concerns to the US Transportation Security Administration, which would then respond through…

Elderly couples’ suicides in France stir euthanasia debate

Two couples in their 80s have committed suicide in Paris, reigniting a debate in France on euthanasia which is still illegal in the country. The suicides came just four days apart. The second couple, aged 84 and 81, were found dead on Monday at their apartment in a building in…

Dragonflys’ ‘black silicon’ found to be potent germ-killer

Imagine a hospital room, door handle or kitchen countertop that is free from bacteria — and not one drop of disinfectant or boiling water or dose of microwaves has been needed to zap the germs. That is the idea behind a startling discovery made by scientists in Australia. In a…

South Africa insists it can cut rhino poaching by 20 percent a year

South African conservation authorities on Tuesday said they aim to reduce rhino poaching by 20 percent a year, insisting their strategy is working despite record levels of poaching. “The war against poaching is not yet won, but we can reduce the figures… it’s an ongoing process,” said Major General Johan…

Syrian opposition will take full possession of Arab League seat

The opposition Syrian National Coalition will take full possession of the country’s seat on the Arab League now that it has formed a provisional government, its chief said Tuesday in Cairo. Ahmad Jarba, speaking at a news conference with Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi, also said the Coalition would hold…

E.U. rejects Israeli proposal for West Bank settlement guidelines

The EU has rejected an Israeli proposal regarding guidelines that will prevent European states from dealing financially with Jewish settlements in the West Bank, an Israeli diplomat said Tuesday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency cabinet meeting Monday, just days ahead of an Israeli decision on whether to participate…

U.N. committee passes anti-spying resolution

A UN rights committee on Tuesday passed a “right to privacy” resolution pressed by Germany and Brazil which have led international outrage over reports of US spying on their leaders. The resolution, without naming any countries, says that surveillance and data interception by governments and companies “may violate or abuse…

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