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Dog, shorts and soccer ball found in Aussie croc

Rangers who shot a saltwater crocodile that was terrorising pets innorthern Australia found a dog, a pair of shorts, a football and a nappy in its stomach, according to a local report. Police had recently notified authorities that a crocodile had eaten at least one dog and was lunging at others on a beach…

Taiwan president fined for Facebook campaigning

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou has been fined Tw$500,000 ($17,000) by electoral authorities for urging his Facebook followers on polling day to vote for him, the Central Election Commission has said., the Central Election Commission has said. Taiwanese election law forbids any form of campaigning on voting day. Elected in 2008, Ma won a comfortable re-election victory on January 14. He is due…

Moody’s to downgrade 21 Spanish banks

Moody’s is set to ‘significantly’ downgrade 21 Spanish banks within a week, following a cut of credit ratings on Italian banks, the Spanish economic daily Expansion said on Wednesday. “Sources in the Spanish financial sector are convinced that the agency will lower in a significant manner the ratings of numerous institutions,” said the daily. “The announcement can…

Indonesian organizers fight for Lady Gaga gig

Lady Gaga’s Indonesian promoters have vowed to fight to save her show, despite police denying it a permit and Islamic hardliners threatening “chaos” if she comes to the mostly Muslim nation. Production company Big Daddy reached out on Twitter to Lady Gaga fans, known as “little monsters”, saying it still…

Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes dead at 83

Carlos Fuentes, who died Tuesday aged 83, was one of the Spanish-speaking world’s best known writers, famous for his prolific output and his use of experimental language. President Felipe Calderon announced the writer’s death in a message on his Twitter account. The National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature confirmed he…

Long-running Frankfurt ‘Occupy’ camp cleared

German authorities on Wednesday cleared out a group of protesters who have camped for months in front of the European Central Bank, ahead of huge anti-capitalism protests expected at the weekend. Some of the demonstrators hurled paint at police who were moving them on, after they ignored a request to leave voluntarily,…

Tips for fighting zombie attacks: Canada says be prepared

MONTREAL — If you’re in Canada this summer, and you don’t want to die, then listen up. If you’re ready for a zombie attack, then you’re ready for just about anything. That’s the message British Columbia is sending its citizens and tourists in a website it launched this week, which…

China dissident Chen Guangcheng tells U.S. of abuse of family

WASHINGTON — A dissident at the center of a standoff between Beijing and Washington on Tuesday accused Chinese authorities of a pattern of abuse against his family as he again took his case to US lawmakers. Chen Guangcheng, a blind self-taught lawyer who last month dramatically escaped house arrest for…

U.S. visas ready for blind Chinese activist and family

The United States said Tuesday that visas are ready for activist Chen Guangcheng and his family once the Chinese authorities allow him to leave the country for the United States. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that “all of the processing on the US side has been completed” to…

British scientists protest budget cuts with mock funeral

When Vince Cable made his first major speech on science in September 2010, it was too much for Jenny Rohn, a cell biologist at University College London. Stung by the business secretary’s implication that “mediocre” British science deserved significant cuts in the forthcoming comprehensive spending review, she blogged: “Sod it.…

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