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‘World’s greatest living explorer’ sets off for world’s first Antarctic winter crossing

Adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes said his bid for the world’s first Antarctic winter crossing, with no option of rescue, would be a trip into the unknown despite his multiple record expeditions. Known as the world’s greatest living explorer, Fiennes will depart Monday for the coldest place on Earth. The intrepid…

Kuwait jails second tweeter for insulting emir

Kuwait’s lower court on Monday handed a two-year jail term to an opposition tweeter for allegedly insulting the emir in the second such sentence in as many days, a human rights activist said. “Ayyad al-Harbi was sentenced to two years in jail,” director of the Kuwait Society for Human Rights…

Japanese police taunted by anonymous hacker find clue on cat’s collar

Police in Japan who have for months been taunted by an anonymous hacker have found a digital memory card attached to an animal’s collar after solving a set of emailed riddles, reports said Monday. The discovery was made after messages were sent to newspapers and broadcasters, with the sender claiming…

Syrian opposition dismisses Assad call for talks amid attack on ‘western puppets’

Rebels say Syrian president offered no meaningful concessions in his first public speech in seven months Syria’s opposition and its international backers have rejected Bashar al-Assad’s latest initiative to end the 21 months of violence, insisting that he offered no meaningful concessions and should surrender power at once. Hopes of…

Northern Ireland violence continues despite peace talks

Violence flared for the fourth night running in Northern Ireland on Sunday, hours after politicians and Church leaders held talks in a bid to quell a row over the flying of the British flag. After three nights of rioting and attacks on police, Northern Ireland’s chief police officer Matt Baggott…

Weight-loss drug linked to deaths in France shaken by fresh scandal

Drug company boss faces manslaughter investigation as victims complain of delays in compensation A weight-loss drug believed to have killed hundreds in France’s biggest ever pharmaceutical scandal has sparked fresh controversy as victims complain of delays in state compensation and a major drug-company boss has been placed under formal investigation…

Tourist with lost memory puzzles Austrian police

Austrian police have made an appeal to the public for help over a tourist thought to be German languishing in the country for the past seven weeks who has lost his memory and has no identification papers. All police know is that the man arrived in the German town of…

Risking life and limb to make Philippine ‘vodka’

With their huge copper vats and open fires, little-known backyard liquor makers have toiled for generations on Philippine coconut farms to distil their equivalent of Russian vodka. Once considered a lowly peasant’s drink whose potency is said to put other liquors and spirits worldwide in the shade, the “lambanog” is…

Pakistani and Indian troops exchange fire on border

Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged fire Sunday along their hotly disputed border in divided Kashmir, with each side accusing the other of starting the clash. Pakistan said one of its soldiers was killed and another wounded when Indian troops crossed the de facto border and stormed a military post, an…

Nearly 9,000 Syrians flee to Jordan in six days

Nearly 9,000 Syrians, mostly women and children, fled to Jordan over the past six days to escape the bloodshed in their homeland, a government spokesman told AFP on Sunday. “Some 8,835 Syrians fled to the kingdom since January 1 this year,” said Anmar Hmud, a government spokesman for Syrian refugee…

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