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Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates to reinvent toilets

WASHINGTON — The man who reinvented computers and made PCs a household item in most wealthy nations, Microsoft tycoon turned philanthropist Bill Gates, is now focusing his attention on recasting the toilet. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is pledging millions of dollars in grants to reinvent the toilet, its…

Deadly horse virus spreads in Australia

An Australian veterinary surgery was placed under lockdown on Saturday following two fresh outbreaks of the Hendra virus that can be fatal if contracted by humans. Two horses were put down after showing signs of the bat-borne virus in separate cases in Brisbane and in Hervey Bay, 300 kilometres (186…

Legionnaires’ outbreak reported at Las Vegas resort

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – A luxury resort on the Las Vegas strip has been linked to cases of the sometimes deadly Legionnaires’ disease that has sickened a handful of guests since 2009, health officials and the hotel said on Friday. Elevated levels of the bacteria that causes the disease were…

Texas first state to enact hydrofracking rules

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday signed energy legislation to encourage more natural gas production and require energy companies to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, a drilling method that has raised environmental concerns. With the signing, Texas becomes the first state to require energy companies to…

Nike, Adidas suppliers ‘polluting China rivers’

Environmental campaigners on Wednesday accused suppliers to major clothing brands including Adidas and Nike of poisoning China’s major rivers with hazardous chemicals linked to hormonal problems. Greenpeace said eight samples of wastewater discharge from two factories in the Yangtze and Pearl River deltas, identified as suppliers for the brands, contained…

Taiwan to tighten laws banning shark fin hunting

Taiwan, one of the world’s major shark catchers, announced plans on Sunday to tighten measures against hunting the ocean predator for its fin, the island’s top fisheries official said Sunday. Taiwan fishermen are already barred from tossing sharks back into the water to die after slicing off the fin —…

‘Wife-carrying’ champion wins again

A Finnish pair have won the country’s annual wife-carrying competition for the third year in a row, organisers said on Saturday. Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen defended their title in front of 6,500 spectators who turned out to watch the celebrated event in Sonkajarvi. The 46-year-old lawyer, his partner’s legs…

Dead body went unnoticed in public swimming pool for days

NEW YORK — Massachusetts officials have closed a busy public swimming pool after a woman’s dead body went unnoticed in the water for two days as people continued to swim, the Boston Globe reported Friday. The permit for the state-run swimming pool expired six months ago, and a city inspector…

Jellyfish shut down British nuclear reactor

LONDON — A nuclear power station in eastern Scotland had to shut down its reactors after “high volumes” of jellyfish were found on its seawater filter screens, the operating company said Thursday. “Both units at Torness power station were manually shut down on 28 June, due to the high volumes…

Fukushima reactors being cooled with recycled water

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s TEPCO said it started on Monday pumping in decontaminated runoff water to cool reactors at its crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, a key step towards stabilising the tsunami-hit nuclear site. The effort to recycle water back into reactors at the power plant had been delayed due to…

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