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EU approves testing plan to end horsemeat scandal

The European Union has agreed the immediate launch of tests for horse DNA in meat products, seeking to reassure nervous consumers that their food is safe and to end the horsemeat scandal spreading across Europe. The test programme will also look for the presence of phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory treatment for…

Environmental icon Marina Silva establishes new political party in Brazil

Environmental icon and former senator Marina Silva will set up a new party Saturday, one year before Brazil’s presidential elections, an aide said Friday. Silva, 55, won a surprising 20 million votes — 19 percent of the total — in a first round of voting when she ran for president…

Yoko Ono opens retrospective in Frankfurt

The largest-ever retrospective of works of Yoko Ono, once described by her late husband John Lennon as “the most famous unknown artist in the world”, opened Friday in Frankfurt’s Schirn Kunsthalle. Ono, who turns 80 next week, “is a unique, indeed perhaps even a mythical figure, not only in the…

Vote to name new pope may take time due to rifts in Church

What would appear at first glance to be a cakewalk for a staunch conservative, to follow in the footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI, will be anything but Vatican experts say. Of the 117 cardinal electors, 67 were named by the outgoing pontiff, and the other 50 by his beloved predecessor…

Venezuela releases first photos of Chavez in hospital

Venezuela on Friday released the first photos of President Hugo Chavez since he underwent his fourth round of cancer surgery in Havana back in December. The shots gave Venezuelans living in a state of limbo without their once media-happy and larger than life commandante a first glimpse of him as…

Pistorius arrives in court to face murder charge

South Africa’s superstar sprinter Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius arrived in court on Friday to face charges that he murdered his model girlfriend at his luxury home on Valentine’s Day. Two police vehicles arrived at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court, with the amputee athlete sitting in the back of one, his head…

Compensation sought for Brazil blaze victims

A private association has filed a lawsuit in the wake of a fatal Brazil nightclub fire, demanding three million reais ($1.5 million) for each family of the 239 victims, a lawyer said. The Anecol group filed the suit against the Kiss club’s owners, as well as members of the band…

Thai couple smooch to new world record of two and a half days

A kiss lasting nearly two-and-a-half days propelled one determined Thai couple to a new record for the world’s longest smooch on Valentine’s Day. Hospital security guard Ekkachai Tiranarat, 44, and 33-year-old housewife Laksana locked lips for 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds, smashing last year’s Guinness World Record by…

Mass rally in Pyongyang celebrates North Korea nuclear test

More than 100,000 troops and civilians staged a mass rally in Pyongyang to celebrate North Korea’s nuclear test and praise the “matchless” bravery of leader Kim Jong-Un, state media said. The rally in the capital’s sprawling Kim Il-Sung square on Thursday was attended by top party and military officials, as…

Satellite images show North Korea making progress on long-range missile

Already under fire for its latest nuclear test, North Korea has been making preparations at a launchpad that could pave the way for firing a long-range missile, a US think tank said Thursday. 38 North, a blog of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, analyzed satellite photos that it…

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