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Last Ebola-free region of Liberia falls to virus

Every region of Liberia has now been hit by Ebola, officials said Friday, as the World Health Organization warned the fight against the worst-ever outbreak of the killer disease would take months. After seeing people fall to the deadly virus in area after area, Liberia said two people had succumbed…

Famed Galapagos tortoise ‘Pepe the Missionary’ dies at age 60

Quito (AFP) – “Pepe the Missionary,” a giant tortoise who rose to fame as one of the most photographed animals on Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, has died at age 60, officials said Friday. Pepe, who lived in a corral at the Galapagos National Park’s Interpretation Center, died of natural causes, said…

Greek village abuzz after discovery of tomb dating back to era of Alexander the Great

AMPHIPOLIS (Greece) (AFP) – To the villagers near the ancient Greek town of Amphipolis, archaeological treasure is nothing new — many in this area have lived off antiquity smuggling for decades. But a massive tomb unearthed near the town dating back to the era of Alexander the Great has locals…

Libyan authorities: 170 African immigrants missing after boat was lost at sea

Tripoli (AFP) – A Libyan coastguard official said on Friday a boat carrying 200 illegal migrants from sub-Saharan Africa was feared lost at sea off the capital Tripoli, with 170 people still missing. Libya, which is mired in unrest and political chaos, has been a launchpad for illegal migrants seeking…

Egyptian cleric: Men allowed to spy on women in the shower if they have ‘pure intentions’

Men can spy on women in the shower, an extremist cleric has argued in Egypt, prompting outrage from other Islamic scholars. According to Osama al-Qusi, a Salafist or ultraorthodox preacher, peeping toms can watch a woman wash as long as they are interested in marrying her. “If you were really…

Threat from Islamic State ‘beyond anything we have seen’: Pentagon chief

The Islamic State poses a greater danger than a conventional “terrorist group” and is pursuing a vision that could radically alter the face of the Middle East, US defense leaders said Thursday. The IS jihadists could be contained and eventually defeated by local forces backed by the United States, but…

Russia targets McDonald’s in expanding East-West trade war

Russian authorities launched nationwide inspections of McDonald’s restaurants Thursday after shutting three wildly-popular Moscow locations on apparent government orders aimed at striking back against biting Western sanctions. It was the latest and arguably most resonant salvo in an escalating and economically-bruising trade war over a bloody conflict in Ukraine that…

Paris relives the joy of liberation, 70 years on

“Paris! Paris outraged! Paris broken! Paris martyred! But Paris liberated! Liberated by itself. Liberated by its people…” The words of Charles De Gaulle to an ecstatic crowd cheering the capital’s liberation from Nazi occupation after four long, painful, bitter years. It was August 25, 1944, and after six days of…

Lucky koala ‘Sir Chompsalot’ caught by firefighters after falling out of tree

A lucky koala was recovering Friday after being caught by firefighters when it fell unconscious from a tree before being given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Emergency crews were called to the Melbourne suburb of Langwarrin on Thursday night after reports that an injured animal was lying on the road after being hit…

UN rights chief slams Syria ‘paralysis’ as death toll tops 191,000

More than 191,000 people have died in Syria, United Nations rights chief Navi Pillay said Friday, hitting out at “international paralysis” on the nearly three-and-a-half year conflict. Pillay said the death toll of 191,369, recorded between March 2011 when the war broke out and April this year, was nearly double…

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