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Largest virtual telescope operational in Chile

SANTIAGO — Astronomers in Chile said this week they had created the world’s largest virtual optical telescope by using a special technique to combine images from the four most powerful devices as if they were a single device. “This weekend we managed to finish the process (of merging the images)…

Uganda government denies backing anti-gay bill

Uganda’s government has distanced itself from a controversial anti-gay bill calling for severe penalties on homosexuality after it was reintroduced in parliament this week. But in a statement released late Wednesday, the government said parliament had the right to debate the legislation, which was shelved last year after widespread condemnation.…

Ending child marriage can boost India’s rise: Desmond Tutu

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s development is being slowed by discriminatory practices against women such as child marriage, which stifle their potential to contribute to growth, South African peace campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu said. “India is doing fantastically. I mean they are complaining about seven percent GDP growth. Imagine if…

Maldives’ ex-president awaits arrest

The ex-president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, who claims he was forced from office in a coup, said he expected to be arrested on Thursday as protests and violence escalated in the holiday paradise. Nasheed, the Indian Ocean country’s first democratically elected president, told AFP at his family home in…

Chinese, Russian arms fuel Darfur abuse: Amnesty

KHARTOUM — Chinese-made bullets and aircraft bought from Russia are used to commit rights violations in Sudan’s Darfur under an ineffective UN arms embargo, Amnesty International said on Thursday. The London-based rights watchdog aired similar concerns five years ago but its latest report comes after “a new wave of fighting”…

Spy chief unveils new Romanian government

BUCHAREST — Romania’s incoming prime minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu rang the changes at the economy and finance ministries Wednesday when he unveiled his new government. Ungureanu told reporters he would call a confidence vote on the new cabinet and its economic programme on Thursday. The 43-year-old was tapped by President…

Canada’s use of torture data sparks outcry

OTTAWA — Human rights groups and opposition leaders in Canada were in uproar after the nation’s public safety minister this week defended the use of information extracted through torture “if Canadian lives are at stake.” According a directive obtained by Canadian media through an access to information request, Ottawa ordered…

Cuban ‘Wikipedia’ includes entry for dissident blogger

HAVANA — Cuba’s EcuRed digital encyclopedia, inspired by Wikipedia and operated by the island’s Communist Youth, has added an entry for award-winning dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez. The unusual turn of events in the Communist country, where information is tightly controlled and dissent is barely tolerated, comes with a price: Sanchez,…

‘Anonymous’ hacks Syrian president’s email with ’12345′ password

Unknown members of the hacker collective “Anonymous” reportedly broke into the private email account of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad this week and learned that the embattled dictator is not one much for electronic security. That’s because he picked the second-weakest password around: “12345,” according to documents published by Israeli news…

Greece faces hour of decision on austerity, rescue

Greece reached the hour of decision on Wednesday over more budget cuts demanded by the EU and IMF and a debt deal to obtain a second rescue and close a key chapter in the eurozone crisis. A finalised plan on new Greek aid that was hammered out with theEuropean Union and International Monetary…

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