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Chinese newspaper falls for Onion’s ‘sexiest man’ story on North Korean leader

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been named 2012′s “Sexiest Man Alive”, China’s Communist Party newspaper proclaimed Tuesday after treating a spoof award by satirical US website The Onion as genuine. The People’s Daily website published two paragraphs lifted word-for-word from The Onion, along with a photo gallery of 55…

Deforestation of Amazon slowed to lowest recorded rate

Deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon has slowed for a fourth consecutive year to its lowest rate since authorities began monitoring the world’s largest rainforest, officials said Tuesday. The National Institute of Space Research found that the Amazon lost 4,656 square kilometers (1,797 square miles) of rain forest over a period running…

Sweden plans to put light therapy panels at bus stops

Bus stops in the northern Swedish town of Umeaa have been fitted with light therapy panels to help commuters fight off the winter blues, the energy company behind the move said Tuesday. In the depths of winter, daylight in Umeaa, around 500 kilometres (300 miles) north of Stockholm, lasts only…

Yasser Arafat body exhumed and reburied in six-hour night mission

Samples taken from corpse of late PLO leader will be used to investigate claims he was poisoned with a radioactive substance Yasser Arafat was buried eight years ago to a chorus of gunfire before a crowd of thousands amid the rubble of his Ramallah headquarters. On Tuesday, his corpse was…

Worldwide helium shortage grounds Mickey Mouse at Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland has stopped selling helium balloons shaped like Mickey Mouse and other characters because of a worldwide shortage of the lighter-than-air gas, the park’s operator said Tuesday. The popular balloons were withdrawn from sale last week, a spokesman said, because the company was having difficulty securing a stable supply.…

Bill Gates joins Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote to fight polio in Nigeria

The richest man in Africa and the wealthiest man from the United States joined forces Monday in the battle against polio, which has seen a resurgence in Nigeria despite efforts to eradicate it. Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ foundation and that of Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian businessman labeled Africa’s richest by…

Global first: British man visits all 201 sovereign states without flying

A British adventurer has become the first person to travel to all 201 sovereign states in the world without flying, ending his four-year odyssey early Monday when he arrived in South Sudan, the world’s newest nation. Graham Hughes has used buses, boats, taxis, trains, and his own two feet –…

Britain ready to back Palestinian bid for statehood at UN

Britain is prepared to back a key vote recognising Palestinian statehood at the United Nations if Mahmoud Abbas pledges not to pursue Israel for war crimes and to resume peace talks. Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, has called for Britain’s backing in part because of its historic responsibility for…

UN passes first resolution condeming female genital mutilation

UNITED NATIONS — The UN General Assembly on Monday passed its first resolution condemning female genital mutilation, which opponents say more than 140 million women worldwide have had to endure. Though outlawed in most nations, the measure represents the first time the traditional practice in African and Middle East nations…

Mexico police unearth 20 bodies in violence-torn north

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — The bones of nine people were found in desert graves in violence-plagued northern Mexico, raising the number of remains found there since the weekend to 20, authorities said Monday. The 20 male remains were discovered in 15 graves in the Juarez Valley, near the border city…

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