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Nobel winner thought prize call was ‘student joke’

When a Swedish voice came down the line informing him he had a “very important call” Tuesday night, Australia’s newest Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt assumed it was an elaborate undergraduate joke. “My first thought was ‘Geez my students have done a pretty good job on this accent’,” the Australian-American astronomer said Wednesday. “She asked…

Rick Perry growing ‘more comfortable’ with ‘call’ to run for president

Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry is growing ever more comfortable with party members unhappy with the current field calling on him to run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. “I’m not ready to tell you that I’m ready to announce that I’m in,” Perry told The Des Moines Register. “But…

UK Prime Minister Cameron backs call for investigation of newspaper’s phone-hacking scandal

Prime Minister David Cameron backed calls for a public inquiry into phone-hacking by the News of the World on Wednesday, amid claims that it targeted relatives of murdered children and victims of the London bombings. But he said police should first complete their investigations into “absolutely disgusting” claims about the…

Sydney woman dead for ‘several years’ in home

SYDNEY — Australian police Wednesday said they had discovered the skeletal remains of a woman in a Sydney house who had been dead for up to eight years. She was found in a home long assumed by neighbours to be deserted, after a call from a sister-in-law — her only…

Schumer: Debt limit deal must include revenues

WASHINGTON – One day after the debt limit negotiations fell into disarray, Sen. Chuck Schumer made it clear that Democrats won’t accept any deal that doesn’t include revenue increases along with spending cuts. “Make no mistake: there needs to be revenues in any deal,” the New York Democrat told reporters…

Defense Sec nominee champions significant Afghan drawdown

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Defense Secretary nominee Leon Panetta said Thursday that he backed President Barack Obama’s call for withrawing significant numbers of American troops from Afghanistan starting in July. US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin asked Panetta, who has served Obama as CIA chief, whether he agreed…

Maid’s lawyer seeks out other Strauss-Kahn victims

PARIS — The new lawyer for the maid accusing Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape appealed Tuesday to “any woman” who was assaulted by the fallen IMF chief to contact him. “If there is any woman out there, whether in France or in Africa, who have been sexually assaulted or sexually…

Senate Democrats call for probe into suspected gas price fixing scam

Democratic leaders in the Senate have sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission requesting a probe into gas price fixing. “Recent reports have indicated that U.S. refiners are cutting back on U.S. gasoline stockpiles in order to artificially keep prices high and inflate their bottom line,” part of the…

Bush was ‘eating souffle’ when Obama called with bin Laden news

WASHINGTON — Former US president George W. Bush praised the mission to eliminate Osama bin Laden as a “good call” but was “not overjoyed” by the news, ABC News reported Friday. ABC said Bush told an audience this week that he received word that his successor President Barack Obama wanted…

Media rights group Reporters Without Borders targeted in check scam

WASHINGTON — Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has uncovered a check-cashing scam in which fake checks in the media rights group’s name were sent to individuals around the United States. Clothilde Le Coz, US director for RSF, was alerted to the scheme last month by a call from a woman in…

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