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Michele Bachmann granted dual Swiss-American citizenship

Fond of saying she’s proud to be American, former presidential contender Michele Bachmann also frequently has spoken of her family’s Norwegian ancestry. Now the Republican lawmaker is touting new-found ties to Switzerland, after being granted dual citizenship, US media reported Wednesday. “Congresswoman Bachmann’s husband is of Swiss descent so she…

50-person Russian jet goes missing in Indonesian air

A Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 with about 50 people on board went missing in a mountainous area south of the Indonesian capital Jakarta during a demonstration flight Wednesday, officials said. The plane disappeared from radar screens 50 minutes into what was meant to be a brief flight and rescue teams…

Canadian police bust international credit card fraud ring

Canadian police said Wednesday they have broken up an international fraud ring that drained some $100 million from the accounts of unsuspecting bank card holders. Authorities arrested 45 people in a series of raids by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, mostly in the Montreal region but also in…

South Korean court sentences U.S. soldier to six years for raping teen

A South Korean court on Wednesday sentenced a US soldier to six years in prison for raping a South Korean teenager last year. The Seoul Central District Court found Private Kevin Robinson, 21, guilty of raping the girl, then aged 17, at her home in the city in September, a…

German man offers to bite the head off a lizard at customs to prove exotic animals were for eating

A German man stopped at customs with 49 live exotic lizards in his bag claimed they were destined for the cooking pot and even offered to bite one’s head off to prove it, officials said Wednesday. Customs officials halted the 28-year-old at Munich airport on his way back from Oman…

Bangladesh fights for survival against climate change

Rebecca Sultan’s life has been shattered twice in a few years. First, the 140mph winds of Cyclone Sidr ripped through her village, Gazipara, flattening houses, killing 6,000 people and devastating the lives of millions as it slammed into southern Bangladesh in 2007. Then, 18 months later, as Sultan was recovering,…

Japan bails out plant that caused worst-ever nuclear accident

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the company at the centre of Japan’s worst-ever nuclear accident, has been saved from collapse after the government in effect nationalised the firm by agreeing to inject 1 trillion yen ($12.5bn) in fresh capital. Japan’s biggest utility has received at least 3.5tn yen in state support…

Oil prices drop further amid eurozone tensions

Oil prices fell further on Wednesday in line with shares amid tensions over the eurozone’s political and economic problems, although bargain-hunting provided support, analysts said. Crude futures also faced downside pressure following indications by the world’s key oil producers that they may boost output to bring prices down to sustainable levels. New York’s…

Greece sinks in deeper crisis amid rescue deal doubts

Greece could be forced to leave the eurozone if it fails to abide by EU and IMF loan commitments, a government economic advisor warned Wednesday as Athens raised prospects of renegotiating a bailout deal. “If we say no to everything, we leave the eurozone,” said Gikas Hardouvelis, economic advisor to outgoing Prime Minister Lucas…

South African rhinos at mercy of global smuggling network

Petty hunters, corrupt wildlife officials and Asian traffickers have all been snared in South Africa’s crackdown on rhino poaching as special prosecutors battle syndicates feeding the trade in horns. More than 160 people are currently before the courts, exposing the complex supply chain stretching from South African parks to Southeast Asian…

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