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UN agency calls on Rick Perry to commute death sentence of Mexican man

GENEVA — The UN human rights office called Friday on the US state of Texas to spare the life of a Mexican death row inmate convicted of rape and murder, as there were questions about whether he had a fair trial. Humberto Leal Garcia, 38, is scheduled to die in…

Danish firm to prevent use of drug in U.S. executions

COPENHAGEN — Danish drugmaker Lundbeck said Friday it would restrict the distribution of its Nembutal drug to prevent its use in lethal injections in US prisons. “The company has moved to alter the distribution of its medicine Nembutal (the trade name for its pentobarbital sodium injection) in order to restrict…

India offers prizes to sterilization volunteers

JODHPUR, India — A district in northern India is offering prizes including television sets, food processors and even a Tata Nano car for people who agree to undergo sterilisation, a doctor told AFP on Friday. “We want to promote sterilisation,” Pratap Singh Dutter, the deputy chief medical officer of Jhunjhunu…

Death toll spikes for Iraqis and U.S. troops

BAGHDAD — Violence killed more Iraqis last month than at any time since September, figures showed Friday after the US reported deaths that also made June the deadliest month for its troops in Iraq for three years. The Baghdad government blames Al-Qaeda for most of the 271 deaths of its…

Cyber attacks outpace global response, U.S. warns

VIENNA (Reuters) – The technical sophistication of cybercriminals is swamping the world’s ability to cope, a top U.S. official warned on Friday, demanding an accelerated cross-border campaign to combat the security threat. “Most countries don’t even have a legal framework that really governs cyber. It is such a new phenomenon in…

Japanese scientists develop robotic exoskeleton

A disabled Japanese man on Friday embarked on an ambitious trip that will take him to a mediaeval French World Heritage site with the help of a cutting-edge robotic suit. Seiji Uchida, 49, who lost the ability to walk in a car accident 28 years ago, said his trip to…

Hugo Chavez admits to having cancer surgery in Cuba

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez admitted to having undergone an operation that removed a cancerous tumor, in his first televised address since he was rushed to hospital in Cuba on June 10. “Studies confirmed the existence of a tumor with cancerous cells,” Chavez admitted in an emotional late night address broadcast…

Jellyfish shut down British nuclear reactor

LONDON — A nuclear power station in eastern Scotland had to shut down its reactors after “high volumes” of jellyfish were found on its seawater filter screens, the operating company said Thursday. “Both units at Torness power station were manually shut down on 28 June, due to the high volumes…

Argentina considers OPEC-like deal for lithium

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina is promoting the idea of an OPEC-like cartel for itself, Bolivia and Chile, which together control 85 percent of the world’s reserves of lithium, a key component in electric car batteries. “In the near future and with our production at such a high level, Bolivia, Argentina…

Population grows at fastest rate in 50 years: data

LONDON — The population grew at the fastest pace for nearly half a century last year, adding almost half a million people due in large part to a high birth rate, official data showed on Thursday. The population stood at 62,262,000 in mid-2010 which is an increase of 470,000 compared…

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