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South Korea suspends rocket launch

South Korea suspended its third attempt to send a satellite into orbit by at least three days on Friday, after a helium leak was detected in the rocket just hours before scheduled launch time. With only a five-day launch window that ends October 30, any further delay could result in…

Fish near Fukushima still contaminated: study

WASHINGTON — Elevated levels of cesium found in fish off Japan’s east coast 18 months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster suggest a “continuing source” of radiation in the ocean, a new study has revealed. Marine chemist Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution reviewed official Japanese data on radiation…

Hurricane Sandy kills 21 in Caribbean, takes aim at U.S.

MIAMI — Hurricane Sandy pounded the Bahamas after claiming 21 lives in the Caribbean, including 11 people killed in eastern Cuba. The hurricane — now a category two storm — has wreaked havoc in Jamaica, Cuba, the Bahamas and Haiti, downing power lines, damaging hundreds of homes and ruining crops.…

Intelsat blocks Iranian channels in Europe

WASHINGTON — International satellite services provider Intelsat has blocked Iran’s official broadcast channels in Europe, a company spokesman said Thursday. But it would not confirm or deny an Iranian report that it did so at the order of the US government. “Intelsat confirms that we took IRIB (Islamic Republic of…

U.S. ‘coordinates weapon deliveries’ to Syria rebels: Russia

MOSCOW — Russia on Thursday accused Washington of “coordinating” deliveries of arms to Syrian rebels, despite assurances by the State Department that the United States provides no lethal assistance. “Washington is aware of the deliveries of various weapons to illegal armed groups active in Syria. Moreover, judging by the declarations…

Second Cameroon lawyer gets death threats for defending gays

YAOUNDE — A Cameroon lawyer, known for defending gays and lesbians in a country where homosexuality is outlawed, said Thursday he feared for the life of his family after receiving death threats, only days after similar threats were made to a colleague. “I fear for my family and my children,”…

UN rights expert’s boycott call angers U.S. and Israel

UNITED NATIONS — The United States and Israel on Thursday slammed a call by an outspoken UN rights expert for a boycott of companies helping Israel’s settlement expansion in the Palestinian territories. US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the boycott appeal by Richard Falk would “poison the…

Mexican village turns vigilante to fight drug cartel

URAPICHO, Mexico — At the entrance of this western Mexican village, farmers in ski masks carry rifles as they man a checkpoint to protect their people, fearful that a drug cartel may strike at any time. Urapicho, a hillside village surrounded by forests, corn fields and cow pastures, has become…

Pope’s butler jailed over leaked documents

The pope’s butler Paolo Gabriele will be locked up in a Vatican police cell Thursday after the prosecution decided not to appeal against his 18-month prison sentence for leaking papal documents, the Vatican said. Gabriele had been under house arrest since he was found guilty on October 6 of stealing…

Two Americans killed in insider attack in Afghanistan

Two American soldiers were killed by a man in an Afghan police uniform on Thursday, the US military said, the latest in a series of insider attacks. “Two US Forces-Afghanistan service members died after an individual wearing an Afghan National Police uniform turned his weapon against them in Khas Uruzgan,…

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