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Obama to Palestinian leader: U.S. opposes U.N. membership

US President Barack Obama told Mahmud Abbas on Sunday that his administration opposes a Palestinian bid for non-state membership of the UN, the Palestinian leader’s spokesman said. “There was a long telephone conversation between president Mahmud Abbas and Barack Obama,” Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP. “Obama expressed the opposition of…

Japan nuclear plant on fault line may be next Fukushima, says geologist

Japan’s only working nuclear power plant sits on what may be a seismic fault in the earth’s crust, a geologist has warned, saying it is “very silly” to allow it to continue operating. Mitsuhisa Watanabe says the earth’s plates could move under the Oi nuclear plant in western Japan, causing…

China’s endangered pandas face bamboo shortage threat

PARIS — Their numbers already threatened by a slow breeding rate and rapid habitat loss, China’s endangered giant pandas now also risk losing their staple food, bamboo, to climate change, a report said Sunday. A study in China’s northwestern Qinling Mountains, home to around 270 pandas — about a fifth…

Egypt police bust baby trafficking ring

CAIRO — Egyptian police said on Sunday they had broken up a child trafficking ring that sold almost 300 babies for 570 dollars each or less. A police official said they arrested five suspects, including two nurses and a doctor working at the Cairo hospital where the babies were sold…

Iran warns U.S. it will act firmly if airspace violated

TEHRAN — Iran warned on Sunday it will react strongly against any US intrusion into its airspace after two of its warplanes fired at an American drone 10 days ago, the ISNA news agency reported. “Yes, we opened fire, and it was with warning shots. If they do it again…

India minister blames motorbike deaths on men trying to impress women

NEW DELHI — A Indian state leader has said a deadly trio of riding flashy motorbikes, speaking on the telephone while driving and trying to impress women has caused a jump in fatal road accidents among young people. “If there is a good motorcycle, a good mobile and a good…

‘Virgin Mary’ in hospital window draws hundreds of Catholics

KUALA LUMPUR — Hundreds of Catholics have gathered in prayer and worship outside a Malaysian hospital after seeing an image said to resemble the Virgin Mary on one of the windows. Pictures of the image have gone viral among local Christians on Facebook and large crowds have gathered at the…

Israel ‘prepared to escalate’ over Gaza violence

JERUSALEM — Israel is “prepared to escalate” its response to Palestinian rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday, after one of the worst flare-ups along its border with Gaza in recent years. “The army is acting and will act forcefully against the terror organisations in the Gaza Strip.…

Ecuador’s President Correa to run for third term

Ecuador President Rafael Correa officially announced Saturday that he would run for a third term in February elections — a contest in which he is expected to be the runaway favorite. “We are in the process of making history, and we will once again carry the citizens’ revolution to victory,”…

Director General of BBC resigns over erroneous news report

Society,Technology,UK News,Media: BBC in crisis as George Entwistle quits over Newsnight fiasco (1081) GUARDIAN NEWS SERVICE A399181363 Lisa O’Carroll, The Observer www.guardiannews.com The BBC has been plunged into the deepest crisis in its history with the dramatic resignation of its director general, George Entwistle, after just 54 days in the…

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