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U.S. condemns car bombing in Somalia

WASHINGTON — The United States forcefully condemned Tuesday the Islamist militant group Shebab’s attack in Somalia, where more than 70 people were killed in a car bombing. Those killed in the “despicable and cowardly act” included students taking taking an exam in hopes of getting a scholarships to study abroad,…

Tearful Amanda Knox pleads for freedom

PERUGIA, Italy (Reuters) – American student Amanda Knox made a tearful plea on Monday to be acquitted of murdering her British roommate during a brutal erotic game, saying she was paying with her life for a crime she did not commit. “I am the same person I was four years ago,” said Knox,…

UN agency calls on Rick Perry to commute death sentence of Mexican man

GENEVA — The UN human rights office called Friday on the US state of Texas to spare the life of a Mexican death row inmate convicted of rape and murder, as there were questions about whether he had a fair trial. Humberto Leal Garcia, 38, is scheduled to die in…

Russian scientists expect to meet aliens by 2031

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian scientists expect humanity to encounter alien civilizations within the next two decades, a top Russian astronomer predicted on Monday. “The genesis of life is as inevitable as the formation of atoms… Life exists on other planets and we will find it within 20 years,” Andrei Finkelstein,…

Bahrain court jails opposition activists ‘for life’

DUBAI (AFP) – A special Bahrain court on Wednesday sentenced eight Shiite opposition activists to life in prison for “plotting to overthrow” the kingdom’s Sunni regime, state news agency BNA reported. The National Safety Court of first instance also jailed 13 others for terms ranging from two to 15 years…

Oceans in distress foreshadow mass extinction

PARIS (AFP) – Pollution and global warming are pushing the world’s oceans to the brink of a mass extinction of marine life unseen for tens of millions of years, a consortium of scientists warned Monday. Dying coral reefs, biodiversity ravaged by invasive species, expanding open-water “dead zones,” toxic algae blooms,…

Soviet dissident Yelena Bonner dies in U.S.

MOSCOW (AFP) – Soviet dissident Yelena Bonner, the widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov and tireless critic of Vladimir Putin, has died aged 88 in her adopted home in the United States. A pediatrician by training but a historic figure in life, Bonner died on Saturday in Boston…

Japan finds radiation traces in whales

TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese whale hunters have found traces of radioactive caesium in two of the ocean giants recently harpooned off its shores in the Pacific Ocean, a fisheries agency official said Wednesday. Two minke whales culled off the northern island of Hokkaido showed readings of 31 becquerels and 24.3…

First therapeutic study of LSD in 35 years finishes treatment of last subject

Psychiatrists in Switzerland have nearly completed their study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of anxiety associated with life threatening illnesses. The study is the first of its kind to be undertaken in 35 years. Although most people associate the psychedelic drug LSD with the hippie counterculture of the 1960′s,…

Canada plans to open military bases abroad

OTTAWA — Canada is looking to expand its military reach by setting up small bases in Germany, Jamaica and elsewhere to support humanitarian and combat missions abroad, officials and media said Friday. Jay Paxton, spokesman for Defense Minister Peter MacKay, told AFP: “Military planners are pursuing logistical agreements to ensure…

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