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South Africa recalls 500,000 HIV test kits

South Africa is recalling 500,000 HIV test kits it ordered from a South Korean company despite a World Health Organisation (WHO) warning over inconclusive results, the health ministry said Tuesday. Authorities are investigating how the SD Bioline tests were ordered earlier this year after the WHO issued notices in November…

Taiwan finds H5N1 virus in birds smuggled from China

Dozens of pet birds smuggled from southern China into Taiwan tested positive for the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus and were destroyed, Taiwanese authorities said Tuesday. The smuggler bought the 38 birds in the Chinese city of Guangzhou and was caught at the Taoyuan international airport in northern Taiwan when…

Japanese high school girl speared in head by javelin

A Japanese schoolgirl was in intensive care Tuesday after being speared in the head by a javelin while taking part in track and field training, an official said. The 2.6 metre (8 ft 6 ins) javelin became lodged in the 15-year-old’s head after being thrown by a student on campus…

British regulator probing seven banks over Libor scandal

LONDON — Britain’s financial regulator is investigating seven financial institutions in the Libor manipulation scandal that claimed the boss of British bank Barclays, a senior official told lawmakers Monday. Tracey McDermott of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) also told a parliamentary committee it was unlikely there would be any criminal…

Syria rebels launch full-scale attack operation

BEIRUT — Syria’s rebels announced the launch of a full-scale attack operation, dubbed “the Damascus volcano and earthquakes of Syria,” as major clashes engulfed several districts of the capital. In a statement released on Monday night, the Free Syrian Army’s central-Homs Joint Command said its operation was launched at 8:00…

Hungary says probing Nazi war criminal ‘raises problems’

BUDAPEST — Pressure was mounting on Hungary Monday over an aged Nazi war criminal found living there, as prosecutors said investigating him was difficult as his crimes happened so long ago and in another country. Several dozen young demonstrators gathered outside Laszlo Csatary’s apartment in an upmarket district of Budapest…

Timbuktu man gets 40 lashes for drinking alcohol

BAMAKO — A Timbuktu man accused of drinking alcohol was given 40 lashes Monday by members of an Islamist group that has seized the north Malian city and imposed Islamic law there, witnesses said. “A young man has just been lashed 40 times for drinking alcohol. The whipping took place…

U.S. will judge North Korea ‘by its actions’

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE — The United States said Monday it would judge North Korea by its actions as it declined to speculate on the implications of the removal of the secretive communist nation’s army chief. White House spokesman Jay Carney, traveling with President Barack Obama to Ohio, was asked…

Oil prices rise as U.S. Navy fires on boat in Gulf

NEW YORK — Oil prices rose Monday boosted by a higher euro and reports that the US Navy fired on a small vessel in the Gulf off Dubai. Oil prices held onto their gains even after a United Arab Emirates official said the vessel carried Indian fishermen, one of whom…

Libor scandal undermines market confidence: IMF

The scandal of banks having manipulated the Libor global interest rate benchmark is taking a toll on confidence in the markets, the International Monetary Fund said Monday. “The most serious consequence of this scandal, which is under investigation, is that it undermines the certainty and the trust that markets have…

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