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North Korea suffering severe drought: state media

North Korea is suffering a prolonged and widespread drought, state media says, raising fears it will worsen already dire food shortages in the impoverished communist country. If the unusually dry weather persists to the end of the month, it will be the driest May in 50 years in western coastal…

Analysts play down higher-grade uranium find in Iran

Analysts have played down the UN atomic agency’s discovery of higher-grade uranium traces in Iran, saying it was likely due to a technical glitch rather than a covert attempt to enrich to arms grade. The agency’s latest report, seen by AFP Friday, did however say that satellite imagery showed “extensive…

Pope’s butler arrested in Vatican leaks scandal

Vatican police arrested Friday a man — reportedly the pope’s butler — on allegations of having leaked confidential documents and letters from the pontiff’s private study to newspapers. The man was caught in possession of secret documents, the Vatican said, but it would not confirm the suspect’s identity, age, or…

Socrates acquitted in ancient trial re-run

Judges narrowly acquitted Socrates, the philosopher whose teachings earned him a death sentence in ancient Athens, in a retrial Friday billed as a lesson for modern times of revolution and crisis. Socrates spoke himself at his trial in the fourth century BC, but this time in his absence, a panel…

International climate change treaty talks end in discord and disappointment

The latest round of international climate change talks finished on Friday in discord and disappointment, with some participants concerned that important progress made last year was being unpicked. At the talks, countries were supposed to set out a workplan on negotiations that should result in a new global climate treaty,…

Guinea police seized 800 pieces of ivory in trafficking bust

Guinea police seized over 800 pieces of ivory, including sculptures and elephant tusks, in the capital Conakry during a raid that led to six arrests, police said Friday. The arrests were made on May 19 and 21, a police official said on condition of anonymity. Security forces “seized over 800…

Super-telescope project split between South Africa and Australia

A long-running joust to host a radio telescope that would give mankind its farthest peek into the Universe ended on Friday with a Solomon-like judgement to split the site between Australia and South Africa. “We have decided on a dual site approach,” said John Womersley, chairman of the board of…

UAE women start Twitter campaign because shorts and tank tops are ‘repulsive’

The UAE may be the Gulf’s most liberal Arab state but two local women have caused a stir with an online campaign against the “repulsive” habit of Western women to reveal too much flesh in public. Hanan al-Rayyes and Asma al-Muheiri say their “UAE Dress Code” campaign is designed to…

Study: 43 percent of women experienced street harassment in Britain

Sexual harassment is a persistent and dangerous problem on Britain’s streets, women’s charities have warned, as a poll reveals that more than four in 10 young women were sexually harassed in the capital over the last year. A YouGov survey of 1,047 Londoners commissioned by End Violence Against Women Coalition…

Tony Blair to face Leveson press ethics inquiry

Former British prime minister Tony Blair will testify next week at a press ethics inquiry set up following a phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, the inquiry said Friday. Blair, Britain’s Labour premier between 1997 and 2007, is likely to be asked by the Leveson Inquiry about…

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