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Joran Van der Sloot apologizes for murder in Peru trial

LIMA (Reuters) – Dutch citizen Joran Van der Sloot apologized in court on Wednesday for killing a young Peruvian woman in 2010 and accepted murder charges against him in a plea that could lighten his sentence. Van der Sloot, who was arrested but never charged in the 2005 disappearance of 18-year-old Alabama native Natalee…

Skyscrapers have ‘unhealthy’ link to financial crises

The construction of enormous skyscrapers has an “unhealthy” link with looming financial crises and investors should therefore keep a close eye on China and India, Barclays Capital said on Wednesday. China is currently the biggest builder of skyscrapers, while booming India is constructing the second largest tower in the world, the investment bank said in its latest…

China launches operation to free pandas into wild

China on Wednesday released six young captive pandas into semi-wild enclosures as part of a project aimed at helping the endangered bears adapt to the wild and eventually go free. Previous attempts by Chinese authorities to release pandas into the wild have proved unsuccessful. The last bear that was set free in…

U.S. diplomat to meet Egypt Muslim Brotherhood

The US State Department’s number two is to meet Wednesday with leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood’s party after it claimed a crushing victory in the first parliamentary polls since a popular uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak. William Burns ”will meet leaders of the Freedom and Justice Partyat their headquarters in Cairo,” FJP spokesman Ahmed Sobea told AFP. “It will…

Iran nuclear scientist killed in car bomb blast

An Iranian nuclear scientist was killed on Wednesday in a Tehran car bomb assassination blamed onIsrael that threatens to ignite a dangerously tense international standoff over Iran’s atomic programme. An Iranian official immediately blamed “the Zionist regime” for the explosion, saying the method — two men on a motorbike attaching a magnetic…

Five Muslim men go on trial in UK for anti-gay flyers

Five Muslim men have gone on trial in the United Kingdom for allegedly handing out leaflets calling for homosexuals to face the death penalty, according to the Guardian. Razwan Javed, 28, Kabir Ahmed, 28, Ihjaz Ali, 42, Umer Javed, 38, and Mehboob Hussain, 44, were arrested after members of the…

Three dead after fire on Korean trawler in Antarctica

WELLINGTON — Three crew from a Korean fishing boat are believed to have died and seven others have burns after a fire broke out on their trawler off Antarctica, New Zealand rescue officials said Wednesday. The 51-metre (155-foot) Jeong Woo 2 was in the remote Ross Sea, about 3,700 kilometres…

U.S. rescues six more Iranians despite tensions

WASHINGTON — A US ship on Tuesday rescued six Iranian mariners in the Gulf after their boat broke down, the Pentagon said, in the latest such gesture despite soaring tensions between Washington and Tehran. The United States, while pressing Iran over its nuclear program, has drawn attention to its assistance…

Haiti quake victims stuck in a time warp

PORT-AU-PRINCE — In the Port-au-Prince suburb of Petionville, some 2,500 people subsist in a crowded public park near open ditches flowing with human waste, a grim scene frozen in time two years after Haiti’s earthquake disaster. Valerie Loiseau, 28, recalled the fateful day — January 12, 2010 — when she…

Pope: Same sex marriage a threat to humanity’s future

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict said Monday that gay marriage was one of several threats to the traditional family that undermined “the future of humanity itself.” The pope made some of his strongest comments against gay marriage in a new year address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the…

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