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106 year-old Japanese man travels round the world on public transport

A 106-year-old Japanese man has become the oldest person to have travelled around the world using public transport, a report said Friday. Saburo Shochi has been recognised by Guinness World Records for his feat, which saw him travel through North America, Europe and Africa, the Mainichi daily said. With dozens…

Union says 36 dead in clash at South Africa mine, in deadliest day of protest since Apartheid

Dozens of people were killed after South African police opened fire on hundreds of workers on a wildcat strike at a platinum mine, in the deadliest day of protest since apartheid. Police gave a toll of 30 and rising, while the powerful National Union of Mineworkers said 36 had died…

North Korea could produce dozens more nukes: study

WASHINGTON — North Korea could build an arsenal of up to 48 nuclear weapons, several times more than it has now, if the communist state were able to step up its program unchecked, a US think tank said Thursday. North Korea’s nuclear program is shrouded in secrecy, but the Institute…

U.S. holds ‘serious’ talks with Russia on Syria

WASHINGTON — The United States said Thursday it held “serious” talks with Russia about Syria and renewed its call for a political transition after months of disagreement over the bloodshed. Wendy Sherman, the under secretary of state for political affairs, “had very serious discussions” in Moscow with senior officials, the…

Assange asylum decision leaves Britain in uncharted waters

LONDON — Ecuador’s decision to grant asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange puts Britain in uncharted diplomatic and legal waters, as it insisted Thursday it would go ahead with extraditing him to Sweden. When Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced to applause in Quito that his government was giving the…

Shell shuts oil station in Nigeria, activists report spill

YENAGOA, Nigeria — Shell said Thursday it had shut down an oil processing facility in southern Nigeria over a pump failure, but denied reports that a significant amount of oil had spilled in the area. The flowstation in the Nembe Creek area of Bayelsa state was closed on Wednesday, the…

Australia winemakers celebrate best vintage in two decades

After years of heatwaves, bush fires and heavy rain, Australia’s wine industry is about to benefit from the best growing conditions for grapes in two decades, experts say. James Halliday, one of the country’s top wine writers, says the weather has been “nigh-on perfect” in South Australia, Victoria and Western…

Judge: U.S. must present evidence against Kim Dotcom before extradition

A New Zealand judge on Thursday upheld a lower court’s decision to give MegaUpload creator Kim Dotcom access to the U.S. government’s evidence against him, enabling the man accused of running the largest criminal copyright operation in history to mount a proper defense at an extradition hearing set for March.…

Hong Kong sex workers complain that police officers push for free services

In a Hong Kong tower block prostitutes in one-room brothels sell themselves for as little as US $40 a time and are often exploited by triad gangsters and abusive clients. But an increasing number of sex workers, particularly migrants from mainland China, are complaining about the behaviour of the police supposed to enforce…

Global demand for gold falls to lowest level in two years

Global demand for gold has fallen to its lowest level in two years owing to less buying in the main markets of India and China, despite rising demand from central banks, the World Gold Council said Thursday. Worldwide demand fell 7.0 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2012, down…

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