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U.N. says global hunger is down but progress is slowing

The UN’s food agency revised down the number of the world’s hungry on Tuesday to just under 870 million but slammed the figure as “unacceptable” and warned that the fight against hunger was slowing down. “With almost 870 million people chronically undernourished in 2010-2012, the number of hungry people in…

Modern life comes to Nepal Himalayas

In the Nepalese hamlet of Simen, five days’ walk from the nearest town, children pay for schooling with wood or animal dung, and life appears untouched by modernity — but change is coming. Just two valleys away in Dho Tarap village, business is booming and satellite dishes that beam in…

Indian TV claims to expose umpires in fixing scam

An Indian TV station said it has exposed six leading cricket umpires willing to fix matches and provide inside information on the teams in exchange for cash payments. Hindi-language India TV on Monday broadcast video clips in which the umpires, including a serving international umpire, faced questions from undercover reporters,…

Australian study will use Botox to treat hay fever

The best-selling wrinkle erasing drug Botox will be used in an Australian study to treat hay fever, researchers said Tuesday after it showed promise in providing relief in early trials. Philip Bardin, a professor at the Monash Medical Centre which is linked to Melbourne’s Monash University, said Botox was already…

Mexico says it may have killed Zetas cartel leader

The Mexican navy said the leader of the Zetas, a powerful drug cartel implicated in a grisly string of mass killings, was apparently killed in a shootout near the US border. The navy said in a statement that it was still awaiting final forensic results, but that the body appeared…

Taiwan showgirls strip for the dead

Dressed in mini skirts barely covering their hips, the two girls took to the neon-lit stage and moved vigorously to the loud pumping pop music. Their job: to appease the wandering spirits. As the temple facade in the background changed colour from the fireworks lighting up the Taiwanese night sky,…

World leaders meet on disaster management in Japan

SENDAI, Japan — Politicians and aid officials will gather in Japan’s quake- and tsunami-hit northeast Tuesday to discuss what lessons can be learned from disasters. Pre-emptive measures to reduce damage — and save lives — when nature strikes will be top of the agenda at this two-day conference, part of…

Chavez won’t slow down despite opposition surge

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez is unlikely to tone down his polarizing style or abandon his socialist revolution despite an electoral fright due to the stronger, more united Venezuelan opposition. The charismatic leftist leader extended a hand to the opposition after defeating Henrique Capriles in Sunday’s election, but pledged moments…

IMF warns U.S. ‘fiscal cliff’ would set back world economy

WASHINGTON — The International Monetary Fund warned US leaders that hitting the looming “fiscal cliff” would not only crush the American economy but spin havoc through the rest of the world. The US needs to shrink its huge fiscal deficit over the medium term but steep spending cuts and tax…

Man arrested for defacing Rothko mural

LONDON — British police on Monday arrested a 26-year-old man suspected of defacing a mural by US artist Mark Rothko at London’s Tate Modern gallery. The gallery shut for a short time on Sunday after the damage was found on the corner of one of Rothko’s Seagram murals. Sussex police…

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