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Maritime Bureau: Pirate attacks on the rise

Attacks on the world’s seas are soaring as armed and dangerous pirates become increasingly emboldened, seizing more ships than before and taking even bigger risks, an international body said Thursday. In the first six months of 2011, there were 266 piracy attacks compared with 196 incidents over the same period…

NASA: Asteroid to barely miss earth Monday

Astronomers have just discovered an asteroid that is expected come close enough to Earth Monday that it will be visible with amateur telescopes. The Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research centre (LINEAR) spotted Asteroid 2011 MD on June 22. It has an orbit similar to Earth’s. The asteroid will be visible from…

More than 100,000 in Spain anti-crisis protests

MADRID (AFP) – More than 100,000 protesters took to the streets in Spain on Sunday blaming bankers and politicians for causing a financial crisis that forced the country to adopt painful spending cuts. Demonstrators of all ages linked to a movement called the “indignants” also protested against crippling unemployment and…

Afghanistan announces crucial security handover

KABUL (AFP) – Afghan forces will take over security from NATO this summer in the capital of violence-wracked Helmand province and several other areas, President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday. The move, 10 years after the US-led invasion that ousted the Taliban regime in the wake of the September 11…

Taiwan builds first undersea earthquake sensor

TAIPEI (AFP) – Taiwan began building its first undersea earthquake sensor on Sunday in a project aiming to give earlier warnings of the quakes and tsunamis that frequently hit the region. In the wake of the 9.0 magnitude quake and tsunami that have devastated northeastern Japan, the head of Taiwan’s…

Prince William stunned by damage in Christchurch after the quake

by Marty Melville CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AFP) – Prince William expressed his shock at the devastation in earthquake-hit Christchurch Thursday after traipsing in the rubble to inspect the stricken New Zealand city first-hand. “It’s just so sad,” the Prince said as he surveyed teetering buildings in the city centre, which…

Nearly 400 dead, missing in New Zealand quake

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – New Zealand declared a national state of emergency Wednesday after one of its worst earthquake disasters left nearly 400 people dead or missing. Rescuers worked frantically to reach survivors under collapsed buildings in the stricken city centre of Christchurch, after recovering 75 bodies. About 300 people…

Suicide blast at Iraq police centre kills 50

TIKRIT, Iraq (AFP) – A suicide bomber blew himself up among a crowd of police recruits in the Iraqi city of Tikrit on Tuesday, killing 50 people in the bloodiest attack in more than two months. The blast, which also wounded 150, was the first major strike in Iraq since…

Suicide blast kills 59 at Iraq army recruitment center

BAGHDAD (AFP) – A suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded army recruitment centre in Baghdad killing 59 people Tuesday, officials said, as violence coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan raged across Iraq. The attack, the deadliest this year, wounded at least another 100 people and came…

Burning Russia battles to defend nuclear sites

Russia fought a deadly battle Tuesday to prevent wildfires from engulfing key nuclear sites as alarm mounted over the impact on health of a toxic smoke cloud that has shrouded Moscow. Two soldiers were killed by blazing trees as they strove to put out a fire dangerously close to Russia’s…

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