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Bookmaker bets Greece will exit euro by end of 2012

Bookmaker William Hill offered odds of 4/6 Thursday that Greece will cease to use the euro by the end of 2012, the first time it has bet odds-on that Athens will exit the currency. It came after Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s shock decision earlier this week to offer a…

Israel PM orders UNESCO funding halt

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday ordered a halt to Israel’s financial contributions to UNESCO after the UN cultural organisation granted the Palestinians full membership. Netanyahu “ordered that Israel’s $2 million-per-annum participation in the budget of UNESCO be frozen, following the organisation’s decision to accept the Palestinian Authority into…

No provision to quit euro without leaving EU: Commission

The European Commission on Thursday said that there was no provision under EU treaties to exit the euro without also leaving the European Union. Commission spokeswoman Karolina Kottova refused all comment on the prospects of Greece quitting the euro. But when asked if under the bloc’s rule-book it was impossible…

Tibetan nun dies in self-immolation in China

A Tibetan nun died after setting herself on fire in southwest China on Thursday, the official Xinhua news agency said, in the 11th such incident involving Buddhist monks and nuns in the restive region. The International Campaign for Tibet confirmed the death of the nun, named Qiu Xiang and aged…

Taiwan to curb ‘big-stomach’ eating contests

Taiwan moved Thursday to curb eating contests, a fad that has caused at least one death, and suggested the national health insurance stop paying for participants seeking medical treatment afterwards. Competitions involving eating everything from oversized steaks to meatballs by the dozen are endangering public health and wasting medical resources,…

One-fifth of Bangkok flooded

One fifth of Bangkok is now under water as Thailand’s worst floods in half a century spread through the capital, prompting warnings for affected residents to evacuate, an official said Thursday. Many people, however, have ignored the advice, choosing to stay in their inundated homes despite risks including electrocution and…

U.S.: No comment on ‘buzz’ of Israeli strike on Iran

WASHINGTON — The United States declined Wednesday to respond to “buzz” or “rumors” in Israel about reports Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was seeking cabinet support for a strike on Iran. The White House said it was focused squarely on a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear drive, and said that Iranian…

‘Occupy London’ protesters allowed to stay until 2012: lawyer

LONDON — Anti-capitalist protesters camped outside London’s St Paul’s Cathedral will be allowed to remain until at least the New Year, a lawyer for the group said after a meeting city authorities Wednesday. Lawyer John Cooper, who has advised the Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSX) group since the first day…

Energy firm says ‘fracking’ triggered British earth tremors

LONDON — A controversial method of extracting gas from the ground known as fracking was the “highly probable” trigger of earth tremors along England’s coastline this year, according to findings published Wednesday. British energy firm Cuadrilla Resources said a study of its drilling along Lancashire’s Fylde coast, northwest England, concluded…

Hague warns over state-sponsored cyber attacks

Foreign Secretary William Hague issued a warning on Wednesday to countries which sponsor cyber attacks, at the close of a global cyberspace conference in London. He would not name and shame those responsible, saying the two-day talks were intended to be “constructive”, but government advisor Pauline Neville-Jones said on Monday…

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