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Zoo probes mystery rhino deaths

An Australian outback zoo was Wednesday investigating the sudden and mystifying deaths of four white rhinos who showed “neurologic abnormalities” like stumbling. The Taronga Western Plains Zoo, a safari-style animal park about 400 kilometres (248 miles) west of Sydney, said toxins, bacterial infection, snake venom and organ failure had so far been ruled out…

Greece receives first 7.5 bn euros in new bailout

ATHENS — Greece received on Tuesday a first payout of 7.5 billion euros ($9.9 billion) under its second international bailout, a finance ministry official said. Greece received 5.9 billion euros from the eurozone and 1.6 billion euros from the International Monetary Fund, said the official. Following a debt swap with…

India govt. accused of concealing poverty by lowering poverty line to 44 cents per day

India’s opposition politicians accused the government on Tuesday of seeking to conceal widespread poverty after it declared that any Indian who spent 44 cents a day was not poor. Figures released by the Planning Commission on Monday showed a substantial drop in the country’s poverty figures under the Congress-led government,…

Massive earthquake rocks Mexico

A massive earthquake, measuring as high as a 7.6 magnitude, hit Oaxaca, Mexico Tuesday afternoon, according to USGS. The earthquake is within a few hours of where 13-year-old Malia Obama, President Barack Obama’s oldest daughter, is reportedly on spring break. The earthquake’s magnitude was originally measured at 7.9 before being…

Dutch Catholic church castrated at least 10 boys and young men in 1950s

Henk Heithuis was 20 years old in 1956 when he was castrated in a Dutch Catholic hospital. Two years later he was dead. According to a report in the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph, Heithuis and at least nine others were surgically castrated on order of the Catholic church “as a…

Vatican: Irish Catholic trainee priests should attend child protection classes

Report into church’s handling of child abuse scandals recommends new vetting procedures for clergy Every trainee Catholic priest in Ireland must attend child protection classes, the Vatican has recommended in a major report on how the church handled the republic’s clerical abuse scandals. Vatican Radio released the findings of the…

IMF chief says world back from financial ‘abyss’

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Tuesday the global economy has moved back from the “abyss” but that there are still serious weakness in the world financial system. Lagarde, visiting New Delhi for a two-day trip to attend a conference and meet leaders, said the world financial situation is not as grave as at…

Pakistan panel demands U.S. apology on air attack

A Pakistan parliamentary committee on Tuesday demanded an unconditional apology from the United States for a November air attack on its border post that killed 24 soldiers. Parliament opened a debate on recommendations by the parliamentary committee on national security, which called the attack a “blatant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial…

China says time is ripe to liberalize interest rates

China’s central bank chief says conditions are ripe for Beijing to liberalise interest rates, a move analysts say would boost domestic demand as the nation’s exports are hit by overseas turmoil. Beijing has cut the nation’s growth target for 2012 as its export-driven economy slows, and a key policy focus this year will…

Myanmar army accused of rape, torture: report

Myanmar troops have committed serious rights abuses against civilians in an offensive against ethnic rebels that has forced tens of thousands to flee their homes, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. Fighting erupted in June 2011 between the military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in an area of Kachin state surrounding controversial Chinese-backed hydropower projects, shattering a…

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