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South African government backs striking farmworkers

South Africa’s ANC government stepped in to cool down a hot-tempered agricultural strike on Wednesday, backing demands by striking farmworkers for higher pay. Describing current pay for farmworkers as “not enough” the agriculture ministry moved to freeze the crisis, which some warn could have “severe” consequences for the country’s vital…

South Korea postpones rocket launch

South Korea has postponed a key satellite launch until the last week of November because of delays in the arrival of rocket parts from Russia, a senior official said Wednesday. “We plan to inform international agencies of a new launch period of between November 23 and 30,” the science ministry’s…

In deadly Sandy’s wake, rain in Haiti adds insult to injury

CAP HAITIEN, Haiti — Two weeks after deadly Hurricane Sandy socked Haiti, Yves Bien-Aime, a tailor, is still trying to salvage something from his shop. But it is now buried deeper under thick layers of mud let loose by a new barrage of rainstorms that hit a city already mired…

Nigerian lawmakers move ahead on anti-gay bill

ABUJA — Nigerian lawmakers moved a step closer Tuesday to approving a bill that would harshly crack down on gay rights, including banning same-sex marriage and public displays of affection between homosexual couples. The bill which has already been approved by the Senate passed a second reading in the House…

Officials vaccinate 2 million in Darfur as yellow fever outbreak kills 107

More than two million people in Sudan’s Darfur region will be vaccinated against a rare yellow fever outbreak suspected of killing 107 people since late September, health officials said on Tuesday. The campaign should begin in about 20 days after the vaccines arrive in Sudan, the World Health Organisation’s country…

Toxic nickel found in Finnish lake

Toxic levels of nickel have been found in a Finnish lake after waste water began to leak from a nearby mine, the government’s environmetal agency said on Tuesday. “Measurements show that in the lake Kivijaervi, the concentrations of nickel are now exceeding the level regarded as harmful to organisms,” the…

Chinese demand for robots increases as labor costs rise

By Jonathan Kaiman, The Guardian As young Chinese seek skilled, high-paying work to support their parents, robots may fill the jobs they have left behind In China, there’s no better time to be a robot. Pictures from last week’s International Industry Fair in Shanghai show them duelling with light sabers,…

Skin-lightening creams faces backlash in west Africa

New advert for ‘all white’ product promising extreme skin-whitening provokes public outrage and calls for ban It is a familiar formula for persuading women to buy a new beauty product: plaster billboards of a beautiful model in the capital city, accompanied by a catchy slogan written in the language of…

Eclipse hunters chase sun to tropical Australia

It lasts for barely two minutes, but the chance to witness the eerie spectacle of day turning briefly to night in a solar eclipse has brought thousands of shadow chasers to Australia. Eclipse-hunters have flocked to Queensland’s tropical northeast to watch the region’s first total solar eclipse in 1,300 years…

Britain outraged as terror suspect goes free on bail

British officials and media reacted with outrage after judges allowed terror suspect Abu Qatada, dubbed Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe, to go free on bail Tuesday. Monday’s decision to uphold Abu Qatada’s appeal against extradition to Jordan is a major blow for the British government, which has fought…

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