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Steve Jobs’ salary stays at $1

By DPA, San Francisco : Apple's Steve Jobs took a salary of just $1 for steering the world's most valuable technology company through 2010, according to a regulatory filing released Friday.

Boao conference begins with focus on financial crisis

By Xinhua, Boao (China): The annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) opened in this scenic town of China's southern Hainan Province Saturday, focusing on the cooperation of Asian countries amid the global financial crisis. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is to deliver a keynote speech at the opening plenary meeting. More than 1,600 political leaders, business people and academic scholars gathered in the island resort for the conference, which will conclude Sunday.

At least 40 people feared killed in Mexico landslide


Mexico City : Nearly 40 bus passengers buried in a landslide in central Mexico are now presumed dead, officials said.

Modi gives Rs.1 crore to Edhi for caring for Geeta

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday offered Rs.1 crore to Pakistan's Edhi Foundation for taking care of Geeta, a deaf and mute...

US occupation of Iraq creating “unstable” political structure

By IRNA, London : The illegal US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 turned the country into a “highly unstable political structure” with a “horrific cost” for the people of America, a British political scientist said on Wednesday. Toby Dodge, professor of international politics at Queen Mary University of London, also said that the huge military presence of the United States in Iraq has jeopardised the “sovereignty” of the country while leading to heightened “sectarian tensions” among the Shiites and Sunnis.

Mosques in Britain opt for ‘open days’ to explain faith

London: Over 90 mosques across Britain are opening their doors to visitors to allow Muslims to "explain their faith beyond the hostile headlines". The...

Japan continues to boost its missile defenses

By RIA Novosti Tokyo : Japan's Cabinet endorsed Monday a review of emergency missile defense rules giving Self-Defense Forces (SDF) the discretion to fire missile interceptors without the premier's go ahead, the Kyodo agency said. The government also authorized the use of U.S. SM-3 interceptor missiles as part of Japan's two-layer missile shield, following a successful test of the missile earlier in December.

Spain to pay tribute to designer Ritu Kumar

By IANS, New Delhi: Renowned fashion designer Ritu Kumar is set to be honoured in Spain for her contribution to the fashion industry. Casa de la India, the Indian cultural centre in Spain will pay tribute to Kumar along with Spanish fashion designer Elyo Berhanyer in Valladolid de Moda Fashion Week to be held in Madrid and Valladolid next month. She will be showcasing 10 Indian garments with intricate designs along with a range of metallic embellishments, which are a part of Ritu Kumar Couture Collection.

Sri Lanka warns diplomats, media, NGOs to act ‘responsibly’

By DPA, Colombo : Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa warned ambassadors, news agencies and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to act "with responsibility" as security forces were set to defeat the Tamil rebels. In an interview with the Sunday Island newspaper, Rajapaksa warned that those acting irresponsibly will face "dire consequences" if they "attempt to give the LTTE terrorists a second breath of life".

Australia apologises for ‘great evil done’ to kids, Britain to follow suit

By IANS, London : British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to follow the example set by his Australian counterpart who has formally apologised for his countrymen's physical and mental abuse of half a million children, including thousands of foreigners, for over four decades. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Sunday apologised to the so-called Forgotten Australians - some 500,000 children who were subjected to emotional and physical abuse in Australian orphanages and care homes, including more than 150,000 children from Britain.

Disarray in South Africa polls, extra ballots printed

By DPA, Johannesburg : South Africa's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said Wednesday evening that an extra one million ballot papers were being printed after they ran out in some places, spawning long delays, during the country's fourth democratic national and provincial elections. With less than 15 minutes to go before voting stations were due to close, an IEC official admitted they had just ordered more ballots, but said they were being printed as a "contingency measure" and had not yet been distributed.

Huge cache of rebels’ explosives seized in Colombia

By IANS, Bogota : The Colombian Army has seized a huge cache of explosives belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in southwestern part of the country, EFE reported. Soldiers have found 432 grenades of different types in a FARC hideout in Paez Belalcazar City in Cauca province, the army said in a statement Sunday. “These (grenades) were dangerous war material and could have been used against the civilian population and troops in the area," it said.

Bulgaria witnesses anti-government protest

By IANS/RIA Novosti, Belgrade (Serbia) : More than 16,000 people participated in anti-government protest in the Bulgarian capital Sofia Saturday, Bulgaria's Sofia News Agency said.

Indian origin woman found murdered in Birmingham

By IANS, London : British police have launched a murder inquiry after finding the body of a 23-year-old woman, said to be of Indian origin, in the city of Birmingham Tuesday. West Midlands Police, which are responsible for the town, said Wednesday they have not been able to establish her identity but some media reports named her as Jyotirmayee Nagasibabu. The reports said she came from Andhra Pradesh and was a student at the University of Wolverhampton. Calls to the university, which appeared to be familiar with the case, were directed to the local police.

100,000 US students to visit China in four years

By IANS, Beijing : China will receive 100,000 US students in the next four years as part of the education cooperation programme, a Chinese official has said. The two countries have agreed on an exchange programme under which American students will come to study Chinese language or do research, said Zhang Xiuqin, director of Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges of the Ministry of Education. The agreement was signed during the second round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which concluded Tuesday in Beijing, Xinhua reported.

Russia blocks UN statement on Georgia missile incident

By RIA Novosti United Nations : Russia has blocked a move for a UN Security Council vote condemning Moscow for an alleged violation of Georgian airspace, calling it premature. Georgia accused Russia last week of violating its airspace and dropping a missile at a radar station near the border with breakaway South Ossetia. Russia has denied the charges and called them provocations to disrupt peace efforts in the conflict zone, where its peacekeepers are deployed.

Russia expresses surprise over reports of bombers’ interception

By RIA Novosti Moscow : Russia is surprised by the commotion raised in Western media reports over a recent incident involving Russian bombers in the Pacific Ocean, an aide to the Russian Air Force commander said on Tuesday. Western media earlier cited an anonymous United States military official as saying that Russian bombers were intercepted on Saturday flying near an American aircraft carrier in the West Pacific.

Dec 1 Paris meet to discuss new Iran sanctions

By RIA Novosti Washington : Five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany will gather in Paris Saturday to discuss tougher new sanctions against Iran over its refusal to stop uranium enrichment, the US State Department said Thursday. The report delivered earlier this month by chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei said the country has provided additional documents on its nuclear programme, but noted that Tehran was continuing with uranium enrichment.

British soldiers may have received contaminated blood

By KUNA London : Wounded British soldiers may have been exposed to contaminated blood after the US military failed to follow its own testing procedures, Britain's Defence Minister Derek Twigg said Thursday. Eighteen British soldiers seriously injured in Iraq or Afghanistan were given transfusions using batches of blood sourced from the American military as part of their emergency treatment.

Thai Deputy PM Chavalit tenders resignation for failure to negotiate between protesters and government

By Xinhua,  Bangkok : Thai Deputy Prime Minister ChavalitYongchaiyudh on Tuesday tendered a resignation letter to take responsibility for collapse of negotiation efforts to reach reconciliation between government and protesters after new violent clashes between police and protesters.

Moscow fraudster commits suicide before sentence

By IANS/RIA Novosti, Moscow: A former Moscow official shot himself dead on the day he was due to be sentenced after being convicted of abuse of office.

New Zealand mine drama in fourth day with no end in sight

By DPA, Wellington: The New Zealand mine drama went into its fourth day Monday with still no word of when a bid to rescue 29 men trapped after an underground explosion will be made.

South African security agencies confident of safe IPL

By IANS, Pretoria : South Africa's security agencies have said they have taken adequate measures to safeguard the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). "We are confident that we have the capacity to ensure a safe and secure environment ... to safeguard the Indian Premier League matches," said Vishnu Naidoo, spokesperson for the joint planning committee for security for the IPL. "Security measures will be put in place for the IPL at eight stadia in six provinces to ensure cricket players and fans will be safe," BuaNews quoted Naidoo as saying.

Six South African Indians in Zuma cabinet

By Fakir Hassen, IANS, Pretoria: Six South Africans of Indian origin have been included in the cabinet of new President Jacob Zuma, including the much-spoken about Pravin Gordhan as finance minister and Ebrahim Patel as minister of economic affairs. The four deputy ministers are Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim, deputy minister of international relations and co-operation affairs; Roy Padayachee, public services and administration; Enver Surtee, basic education; and Yunus Carrim, co-operative government and traditional affairs.

Chinese president calls on boosting Sino-Japanese ties

By Xinhua Beijing : Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday called for the expansion and deepening of cooperation with Japan and boosting of bilateral relations to a new level. "The two sides should maintain friendly exchange at various levels, expand and deepen pragmatic cooperation, settle well bilateral disputes through dialogue and equal consultation and continue to expand the mutual benefit between the two nations in an effort to boost bilateral relations to a new level", Hu said.

Kissinger urges US-China cooperation to avoid collision

By IANS, Washington : Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has said that a cooperative US-China relationship can avoid a "collision" of the two giants in Asia, Xinhua reported Wednesday.

Was a 17-hour agonising wait: Sydney hostage’s father

Kolkata: It was an agonising 17-hour wait for the parents of Puspendu Ghosh, who was trapped by a gunman in the hostage drama at...

Woman who gave birth on plane charged with abandoning baby

By DPA, Wellington : A 29-year-old Samoan woman who gave birth on a flight to New Zealand was charged Wednesday with abandoning her baby girl in an aircraft toilet. The woman was remanded in custody when she appeared in the Manukau District Court. She faces a maximum seven-year prison sentence for abandoning the baby, who is now in custody of the government's child welfare department. The woman, whose name was suppressed by the court, faced a second charge of assault on a child, Radio New Zealand reported.

Bush lifts ban on offshore oil drilling

By DPA, Washington : US President George W. Bush Monday lifted a ban on offshore oil drilling in an effort to relax record high gasoline prices. But exploration and drilling cannot proceed until Congress repeals legislation that prohibits offshore production because of the risk of oil spills and other environmental hazards. The Democratic majority has refused to end the moratorium. "Democrats on Capitol Hill have rejected virtually every proposal. And now Americans are paying at the pump," Bush said.

Paralysed Sikh ducks deportation from Canada


Toronto : A paralysed Sikh, who entered Canada with a fake passport four years ago, has ducked deportation to India and sought asylum in a gurdwara.

Five foreigners targeted in neo-Nazi arson atttack in Germany

By IRNA, Berlin : A group of foreigners were targeted early Sunday in a vicious arson attack by neo-Nazis in the sleepy South German town of Winterbach, according to news reports.

PACE voices alarm over rights violations in Chechnya

By RIA Novosti, Strasbourg : Alleged human rights violations by security forces in Chechnya and other parts of Russia's North Caucasus, including torture and executions, have come under harsh criticism from the Council of Europe. A committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) released an 'introductory memorandum' on Tuesday calling the situation in the region "by far the most alarming" in all 47 Council of Europe member states, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said.

Nigerian plane with 153 aboard crashes

By IANS, Abuja : A Nigerian airplane carrying 153 passengers and crew crashed Sunday in the densely populated former capital of Lagos, CNN reported quoting a state rescue official.

Japan considers joining fight against Somali pirates

By DPA, Tokyo : Japan is considering sending warships to the Gulf of Aden to join international efforts to combat piracy in the region, officials said Thursday. Government spokesman Takeo Kawamura said the government might send a destroyer to the region off the Somali coast to prevent pirate attacks against Japanese ships. However, Japan's administration is divided over the move, media reports said, and Prime Minister Taro Aso has not made a final decision.

Sri Lanka Air Force base attacked, five killed

By IANS Colombo : Five Air Force personnel were killed and 18 injured in predawn air and ground attacks by guerrillas of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Sri Lanka's north central Anuradhapura air base Monday, officials said. An official statement quoting defence sources said: "A group of LTTE terrorists infiltrated into the air base around 200 km north of the capital Colombo and launched an attack at around 3 a.m. Monday."

At least 80 dead in Tibet riot

By DPA Beijing : The Tibetan government in exile said it has confirmed at least 80 deaths in rioting in Lhasa, as Tibetan independence protests continued in monastery towns in western China Sunday. "As the Tibet uprising continues reliable sources have confirmed that at least 80 people were killed on March 14, 2008 in Lhasa," the government in exile, based in the Indian city of Dharamsala, said in a statement. The Dalai Lama, the highest leader of Tibetan Buddhism, said he had "grave concerns" that more bloodshed could follow.

Student offers virginity for sale to pay university fees

By DPA, Wellington: A 19-year-old New Zealand student is offering her virginity for sale to the highest bidder on an auction website to raise money for her university fees, a newspaper reported Saturday. "Unigirl," as she calls herself, says she is attractive, has never had a sexual relationship and is still a virgin. "I am offering my virginity by tender to the highest bidder as long as all personal safety aspects are observed," she says on the I Need website ineed.co.nz, which is based in the North Island city of Hamilton.

Mass evacuation underway for fear of “lake quake” burst in China

By SPA, Mianyang, Sichuan : Up to 1.3 million people in west China's Sichuan Province have been ordered to evacuate to higher grounds for fear of a major "quake lake" burst as a result of flooding and strong aftershocks, Xinhua reported.

Japan PM To Hold Series Of Meetings With African Leaders

By Bernama, Tokyo : Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda holds a record-extensive series of bilateral meetings with the leaders of African countries, Russian news agency, Itar-Tass, reported. On Tuesday alone, Fukuda is to receive 16 Heads of State and Government of African countries. Another thirteen meetings are scheduled for Wednesday and eleven for Thursday, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official has announced. Tuesday's list of distinguished guests to be received by Fukuda includes the Presidents of Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and Senegal.

London film fest to be held in October

By IANS, London: The 2013 London Film Festival (LFF) would be held in October, the organisers said Thursday.

Shia symposium in Berlin promotes “friendship among religions”

By IRNA, Berlin : An international one-day Shia conference here Friday stressed the need to promote "friendship among religions." "The core message of this conference is friendship among religions," said Iran's Ambassador to Germany Ali Reza Sheikh Attar in his opening address to the symposium. Sheikh Attar's remarks were echoed by the Cultural Attache of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran Homayoun Hemmati who urged "cooperation among all followers of religions." He added the Shia school of thought emphasized "the unity of all followers of religions."

Landmark Zimbabwe election begins

By DPA Harare : Voting got underway in Zimbabwe Saturday in an election where President Robert Mugabe faces an uphill battle to retain his 28-year grip on power. Some 5.9 million Zimbabweans are listed as registered to vote in the presidential, parliamentary and local polls. Mugabe, 84, faces a stiff challenge in his bid for another five years as president from Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai and former finance minister Simba Makoni, standing as an independent.

Senegal urged to seek “final solution” to strikes in schools

By Xinhua, Dakar : The Senegalese authorities must actively seek a "definitive solution" to end numerous strikes besetting the education sector, National Youth Council President El Hadj Malick Diop has said, adding that the country's future was vested in a well-educated young people. "Our country cannot develop without an enterprising youth that is both educated and ambitious," Malick Diop said Tuesday while presiding over an official ceremony launching celebrations to mark the Year of the African Youth in Dakar.

Senior Hamas leader killed in Israeli airstrike

By DPA, Gaza City : An Israeli air strike Thursday afternoon killed Said Siam, minister of the interior in the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, the al-Quds radio station of the radical Islamic Jihad movement announced. Siam's brother was also killed in the strike, as was the head of Hamas' security apparatus, Salah Abu Shreh. Siam, one of the top Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip, is the most senior figure in the Islamist movement to be killed since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead against Hamas on Dec 27.

Pope in mass voices solidarity with Christians

By DPA, Jerusalem: Pope Benedict XVI, during an open air mass in Jerusalem attended by thousands late Tuesday afternoon, expressed solidarity with the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian Christian minority. "Standing before you today, I wish to acknowledge the difficulties, the frustration, and the pain and suffering which so many of you have endured as a result of the conflicts which have afflicted these lands," he said in English.

China tests 113 who flew with Mexican having swine flu

By Xinhua, Beijing : At least 113 people, who were on the same flight with a Mexican national later diagnosed with swine flu in Hong Kong, have been quarantined in China to test whether they are infected with the H1N1 virus, health officials here said. However, none of them have displayed any flu symptoms so far, according to the officials. The Mexican, a 25-year-old male, arrived in Shanghai Thursday aboard flight Aeromexico 098, which carried 176 people and 13 crew members.

Bobby Jindal sued over order to protect same-sex marriage opponents

Washington : A gay rights advocacy group and the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana are suing Louisiana's Indian-American governor Bobby Jindal for...

India, Egypt to enhance defence cooperation

By IANS, New Delhi : India and Egypt, both members of the Non-Aligned Movement, Tuesday discussed ways to enhance defence cooperation and armed forces interaction. A six-member Egyptian defence delegation led by deputy chief of operation authority of Egyptian armed forces, Maj. Gen. Mohamed Mohsen Saad El Shazly, called on the Indian Minister of State for defence M. Pallam Raju here Tuesday. “The Egyptian delegation is on a week-long visit to India to participate in the 2nd Indo-Egypt joint defence committee meeting,” a defence ministry official said.

US draws the line for China with Taiwan package

By Mayank Chhaya, IANS, Washington : In announcing a $6 billion arms package for Taiwan, the Obama administration has drawn the line beyond which it would not let China push them.

South Korea Vows Counter-measures Against Japan’s Claim To Disputed Islands

By Bernama, Seoul : South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said Wednesday that the government and the people will take a long-term and strategic counter-measures against Japan's territorial claim to the disputed islets of Dokdo, which Japan calls Takeshima, in the East Sea (Sea of Japan).

Russia to enact law limiting emissions

By RIA Novosti, Moscow : Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday the draft of a proposed bill on permissible level of industrial emissions would be tabled in the lower house of parliament in October. "The draft is being prepared, and I hope by Oct 1 it will be submitted to the State Duma," Medvedev told a Kremlin meeting. "We need to draft a complete system on acceptable levels of environmental impact," he said.

39 global rights orgs’ condemn SLAPP suit filed by Hindu American Foundation against a...

  The global rights organizations condemned the ‘aggressive lawsuit’ as an attempt to curtail free speech and free expression exercised by a reputed media house...

Two killed, several injured in Spain blast

By Xinhua, Madrid: At least two people were killed and several injured in an explosion on Spain's resort island Majorca, according to media reports Thursday. The explosion was caused by a car bomb outside the Palmanova civil guard barracks, close to the Marivent palace where Spain's royal family is spending its traditional summer holiday, the El Pais newspaper reported. The two victims were civil guard police personnel, the report said.

Australia to sign UN torture treaty

By DPA Sydney : Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd plans to sign an enforcement measure of the United Nations convention against torture, in a further step that distances him from his predecessor, news reports said Saturday. The conservative government under John Howard refused to sign the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture in 2004, arguing that Australia's record on human rights meant accession was superfluous.

United Spirits net rises 54 percent

BY IANS, Mumbai: Liquor major United Spirits has posted a 54 percent hike in net profit at Rs.179.06 crore in the quarter ended June 30 as against Rs.115.93 crore in the like period last year. The total revenue stood at Rs.1,248.06 crore in the quarter, up 17 percent from Rs.1,067.12 crore reported in the year-ago period. The company attributed the increase in sales to first time consumers, who had attained a legal drinking age. "These first time consumers are now entering at mid price points as against low price points," it said in a regulatory statement.

UNECE calls for new dialogue on energy efficiency, security

By KUNA, Geneva : At a one-day conference on International Coooperation on Energy Efficiency, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Marek Belka called for a new dialogue on energy efficiency and energy security which can help address global climate change. Bleka added this dialogue must aim at the reduction of carbon emissions.

A rising Turkey without Europe?

By Fadi Hakura In the midst of European antipathy regarding Turkish accession to the EU, Turkey is attempting to chart an alternative path to secular democracy and economic prosperity. Yet Turkey should go one step further and question the unbridled axiom that, without Europe, it is destined to the scrapheap of Muslim radicalisation or unrepentant nationalism.

New Yemen Al Qaeda chief calls for attacks on US

Sanaa : The new leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Qassim al-Raymi, released his first audio message on Friday in which...

Six Indonesian marines killed when amphibious tank sinks

By SPA Jakarta : An amphibious Navy vehicle sank in the sea off the northern coast of East Java province, killing six Indonesian marine officers, DPA quoted local media reports as saying. Navy spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Novarin Gunawan was quoted as confirming by the state-run Antara News Agency that the accident took place on Saturday during an exercise in the sea off the East Java district of Situbondo. The amphibious tank was carrying 14 marine soldiers when it sank, he said. Eight marines survived.

200 dead in Brazil plane accident; 54 bodies recovered


Sao Paulo : At least 200 people, including victims on the ground, were dead after a Brazilian TAM airline jet with as many as 180 passengers on board crashed into a gasoline station while trying to land at Congonhas Airport - the country's busiest air hub.

Mexico looking at 4-5 percent growth in 2010: President

By IANS/EFE, Mexico City : Mexico's economy could grow between 4 percent and 5 percent this year, said President Felipe Calderon. "All the forecasts agree that Mexico's economic growth this year will be at least 4 percent. And some are already projecting growth of 5 percent," the president said Sunday. Mexico's economy contracted by 6.5 percent in 2009, marking the biggest drop in economic output since the Great Depression, when it contracted 14.8 percent in 1932.

Another earthquake strikes Indonesia

By DPA, Jakarta : 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Jambi province in Sumatra in Indonesia Thursday morning, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, seismologists said. The quake struck at 8.52 a.m. (0152 GMT) at a depth of 10 km, about 46 km southeast of Sungaipenuh in Jambi province, Indonesia's National Meteorological and Geophysics Agency (BMG) said. The agency said there were no immediate reports of injury or structural damage from the quake, the second powerful earthquake to jolt Indonesia's Sumatra in less than 24 hours.

Europe Commission: Nukes not Taboo

By Prensa Latina, Brussels : The European Commission on Saturday advocated a nuclear way out to the rise in oil prices and climate changes, against some conceptions of atomic energy as a taboo subject. The EU executive organ is studying the rise of private investment in the nuclear sector, even though the issue is in the center of strong debates in several European States such as Germany, Great Britian, or Spain, over security of the facilities.

Sarkozy suffers heavy defeat in French regional elections

By DPA, Paris : French President Nicolas Sarkozy suffered one of the worst defeats of his political career in Sunday's second round of regional elections. According to projections by the CSA institute, the opposition Socialists and their allies received 56 percent of the vote, compared to only 37 percent for Sarkozy's conservative UMP. Prime Minister Francois Fillon admitted defeat shortly after the first projections were made public, saying: "The results confirm the success of the lists headed by the left. We were not able to convince the voters."

Quietest bulls walk away with more females than loudest rivals

By IANS, Washington : The quietest bull walks away with the most females and sires the most offsprings while studs bellowing the loudest are left with almost next to nothing, according to a new study. "We were expecting to find that the bigger, stronger guys - the high-quality males - would have the loudest bellows, because they can handle the costs of it," said Megan Wyman, a geography student at the University of California, Davis, (UC-D) and co-author of the study.

Russia sends 50,000 tonnes of food to North Korea

By IANS, Moscow : Russia has sent 50,000 tonnes of food aid to North Korea, which is facing a shortage of food this year.

Women face higher obesity risk after menopause

By IANS New York : The risk of women becoming obese increases with age and becomes especially high after menopause, a new study has found. Postmenopausal women are at an age when the incidence and exacerbation of chronic health conditions associated with obesity become more prevalent.

Philippine govt offers reward for informayion on bombing

By NNN-PNA/Bernama Manila : The Philippine government is offering a P2-million (US$45,248.87) reward to anyone who could give any information on those behind Friday's blast at the Glorietta shopping mall in Makati City that left nine people dead and more than 100 others wounded, Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported. Philippine National Police's (PNP) National Capital Region Command (NCRCom) chief Geary Barias, said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has approved a P2-million reward for the capture of the suspects.

State-owned companies in China lost US$4.29 billion in earthquaket

By SPA, Beijing : A Chinese government official says the estimated economic loss suffered by state-owned enterprises in the earthquake was 30 billion Yuan (US$4.29 billion; ¤2.74 billion). Li Rongrong said Wednesday that the figure was a preliminary one after the May 12 earthquake that has killed more than 41,000 people. Li is chairman of the state body that oversees state-owned enterprises, the Associated Press reported.

US defence system in Poland unjustified: Russia

By DPA, Moscow: Moscow Tuesday criticised the stationing of a US defence missile shield in Poland as "unjustified". "Unfortunately not enough attention has been paid to our position," said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, according to the news agency Interfax. "But we will continue the dialogue on the subject". Russia has repeatedly criticized the missile shield as a threat to its security. Russia saw no danger from Iran which would require the construction of a missile shield, Ryabkov said and demanded a new, coordinated approach to the issue.

Thai Parliament debate for peaceful solution for political turmoil

By Xinhua, Bangkok : A special bicameral parliament session continued on Sunday evening, aiming at sorting out a peaceful solution for Thailand's ongoing political turmoil. The session opened at 1:30 p.m. (0630 GMT), chaired by parliament president and House Speaker Chai Chidchob. A total of 460 elected members in the House of Representatives and senators attended the session.

From Sunday, Nepal government becomes null and void

By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS Kathmandu : Nepal's coalition government faces its gravest crisis ever with just 48 hours left to it, after which it will become constitutionally null and void. "From Sunday, the government of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala loses its validity and the constitution itself becomes null and void," warned Shambhu Thapa, one of the framers of the new constitution and a leading lawyer in Nepal. The crisis has come due to the government's inability to hold a critical election in November.

People of higher status choose better diets — but pay more

By IANS, Washington : The higher one's education level, the greater the preference for low-calorie diets which are rich in nutrients, but cost more. University of Washington (UW) researchers compared eating habits and food costs of a sample of 164 adults in the Washington area. The energy density of the diet (i.e. available energy per unit weight) is one indicator of diet quality. Lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy products and fresh vegetables and fruit provide fewer calories per unit weight than do fast foods such as sweets, candy and desserts.

Nigerian military denies claims rebels killed 29 soldiers

By DPA, Abuja (Nigeria) : The Nigerian military Sunday dismissed claims that a militant group had killed 29 soldiers in the oil-rich Niger Delta. "Between last Sunday and today, we have not had any encounters with militant groups in any part of the Niger Delta," Lieutenant-Colonel Sagir Musa, an army spokesman in Rivers State, said. "It is all propaganda, total falsehood." The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said Saturday that it had killed the soldiers in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states in "three separate coordinated attacks."

Masked men break into Ukraine’s national gas company office

By DPA, Kiev : Masked men believed to be government agents broke into the headquarters of Ukraine national natural gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy Wednesday and are searching the premises, witnesses said. The men were armed and wore camouflage uniforms commonly used by Ukrainian special force police and military units. The assault teams were moving through Naftogaz offices, the witnesses said. The entire senior board of Naftogaz had been placed under arrest, according to an unconfirmed Interfax report.

Honduran diplomat’s son slain

By IANS/EFE, Tegucigalpa: A son of Honduras' former ambassador to the Organization of American States, Carlos Sosa Coello, was fatally shot Friday, his father said.

China, Bhutan ready to forge diplomatic ties

By IANS, Beijing : Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley have expressed willingness to establish formal diplomatic ties between their countries.

Terror threat in UK growing – home secretary

By IRNA, London : The terrorism threat facing the UK is "severe" and "growing" with police tracking dozens of plots, according to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. "There are 2,000 individuals they are monitoring. There are 200 networks. There are 30 active plots," Smith said Sunday. "That has increased over the past two years," she said. In an interview with the News of the World, Britain's biggest- selling tabloid newspaper, she said that since the beginning of 2007, 57 people have been convicted on terrorist plots.

New Zealand government under fire over minimum wage rise

By IANS, Wellington : The New Zealand government raised the country's minimum wage Tuesday by just 25 NZ cents per hour, a sum critics said was condemning low wage earners to poverty.

India, China to hold joint army exercise in mid-December

By IANS, New Delhi : India and China, which had fought a brief but bloody war in 1962, will hold their first joint army exercise on Indian soil in mid-December. “The India-China exercise will be conducted in the second week of December in Belgaum (Karnataka),” Defence Minister A.K. Antony told IANS.

Chinese surgeons transplant heart, liver, kidney on same patient

By Xinhua Xian (China) : A Chinese hospital said Sunday its team of doctors has successfully carried out heart, liver and kidney transplants on a patient in a marathon operation in a medical first for the country. The operation lasted some 16 hours and ended early Sunday morning. The 47-year-old female patient has been doing fine, said Dou Kefeng of the Xijing Hospital hepatobiliary surgery department. The hospital in Xian, capital of the northwestern Shaanxi province, is known for conducting the first face transplant in China, and the world's second, in 2006.

British kids learn how to hack off thieves’ hands

By IANS, London: Children as young as six in Britain are being taught brutal Sharia law punishments, including how to hack off a criminal's hand or foot, a media report said Monday.

‘British men, women most promiscuous in world’

By IANS, London : British men and women are the world's most promiscuous people, leaving their American cousins far behind, according to a study. Germans come next with the Dutch, Czechs, Australians, Americans and French ranking third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, in the list of the most promiscuous people, according to a study by Bradley University (BU) in Illinois, US.

Boat carrying 6 children found off Spanish coast

By EFE, Algeciras (Spain) : A boat carrying six children between the ages of 10 and 12 that was trying to reach the coast of southern Spain has been intercepted, emergency services officials said. The children, all boys, were found aboard the vessel early Tuesday some 2.9 km south of Tarifa Island, close to the Strait of Gibraltar. All the children were in good health, officials said.

Iran n-talks under Khamenei’s guidance: Rouhani

Tehran: Tehran will continue nuclear talks with the six world powers under the guidelines of supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani...

North Korean coast guards seize Russian ship

By RIA Novosti Vladivostok (Russia): North Korean coast guards seized a Russian commercial ship Saturday morning and convoyed it to a North Korean port, a Russian rescue coordination centre spokesman said. The Russian vessel Lidiya Demesh was carrying cars from the Japanese port of Hamata to Vladivostok in Russia's far east, when a North Korean border guard vessel stopped it near Cape Musudan, three to five miles from North Korea's shores.

Jordan, France’s Areva discuss plans to build nuclear plant

By Xinhua, Amman : Energy-thirsty Jordan on Sunday discussed with French nuclear giant Areva plans to join hands to build a nuclear plant in the kingdom. Talks between Jordan's Prime Minister Nader Dahabi and visiting Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon covered a timetable for the project, Areva's key role in helping Jordan raise sufficient funds for construction, and operation of the nuclear power facility.

Americans rethink convenience of plastic grocery bags


Washington : US supermarkets have a way of confirming preconceptions about Americans and their environmental sins.

Cashiers at US supermarket chains seem to see no limit to the number of plastic bags they use to pack groceries, a job the cashiers themselves perform for customers.

Physicists assemble low cost, high tech landmine detector

By IANS, Washington : Physicists have assembled a low-cost yet high-tech mine detector. The system costs about $10,000, or less than a hundredth of the laser-based Doppler remote detection systems sold for more than $1 million, each. John Scales, physics professor at Colorado School of Mines (CSM), along with his associate Martin Smith and students, built a new system using microwave-based sensors to detect vibrations in the ground (or other structures). Microwaves have many other advantages including that they can see through foliage.

Hillary Retains Democrat Lead

Washington, Jan 24 (Prensa Latina) US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds the general preference of Democrat voters with 42 percent, Los Angeles Times revealed Thursday. According to a poll by the daily and Bloomberg news agency, Illinois' Sen. Barack Obama is second, with 33 percent. For the Republican side, the battle is close between Arizona's legislator John McCain, with 22 percent, and former governors Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney, with 18 and 17 percent, respectively, the source added.

More rain threatens China’s mudslide-hit region

By IANS, Beijing : Rescuers Thursday scrambled to look for survivors in China's Zhouqu county, where mudslides triggered by torrential downpour killed 1,117 people, as more heavy rains are expected to lash the region Friday. The National Meteorological Centre warned of more landslides in the coming days, with heavy rain of up to 90 mm expected to hit Friday. The provincial government has ordered evacuation of residents in areas prone to flooding and geological disasters.

US asks China to redress Tibetans’ grievances

By IANS, Dharamsala: The US has asked China to allow Tibetans to express their grievances and resolve these by engaging in dialogue, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said here Friday.

Three civilians killed in Chechnya militant attack

By RIA Novosti, Grozny (Russia) : Three civilians were killed, one injured and several others abducted when a group of Chechnya militants attacked a village in Russia's North Caucasus region, a local police source said Friday. According to the source, the gang of some 60 militants carried out the attack on Benoi-Vedeno village in Nozhai-Yurt district of Chechnya Thursday night. The gang was led by Usman Muntsigov, who is on the federal wanted list, the source said. The militants burnt down five houses in the village. All of those killed were members of one family, the source said.

US House approves defence spending bill

By Xinhua Washington : The US House of Representatives has approved $471 billion in defence spending for 2008, a 9.5 percent increase over last year. However, the bill, passed on a 400-15 vote, does not include money for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, except $12 billion for new armoured vehicles aimed to resist roadside bombs.

Top US diplomat headed to India ahead of strategic dialogue

By Arun Kumar , Washington: A top US diplomat is headed to India to prepare the ground for their strategic dialogue ahead of the first...

Thai coalition parties agree on amending constitution based on 1997 charter

By Xinhua, Bangkok : Coalition parties in Thailand's government have agreed on using the abrogated 1997 version as a model to amend the current 2007 Constitution, local media reported Tuesday. Samart Kaewmeechai, secretary to the government whips coordination committee said Monday that coalition parties in the government led by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej will propose a motion for amendment before the Parliament by the end of this month and the charter rewrite is expected to be completed by September, according to newspaper The Nation.

UN Haiti headquarter collapses in earthquake

By IANS, New York : The headquarter of the UN mission in Haiti has collapsed in a massive earthquake that struck the country Tuesday evening, an official said. Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Alain Le Roy, in a briefing said: "As far as we know, the main building that was the headquarters building called the Hotel Christopher has collapsed." "Some of our troops - mostly Brazilian troops - are surrounding the building and trying to rescue the people from the main headquarters."

I first thought some bombs had exploded: Quake survivor

By Amiya Kumar Kushwaha, New Delhi : Seventy-three-year-old Balaji was visiting the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu when the ground beneath started shaking violently and he...

Obama gets big thumbs up; stimulus less popular

By Arun Kumar, IANS, Washington : Between 64 and 76 percent Americans approve of the job Barack Obama's doing as president, but the economic stimulus package he's trying to push through Congress is not nearly as popular, three new opinion polls suggest. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday said 76 percent of those questioned give Obama a thumbs-up when it comes to the way he's performing his duties, with 23 percent disapproving of the way he is handling his job as president.

Germany’s orphaned zoo bear gets first taste of meat

By RIA Novosti Berlin : Flocke, the celebrity female polar bear at Germany's Nuremberg City Zoo, was given meat for the first time on Wednesday, the zoo's vet told journalists. The cub received her first piece of veal on a bone after she turned three months. "Flocke is now old enough to be given a bone," Bernhard Neuroh said. "For normal development and teeth hygiene baby predators should regularly crunch bones." He added that zoo experts have made a new menu for the cub, who now receives about 1.5 liters of special milk and a bowl of dog food.

Taxes dominate final week of US poll campaign

By Chris Cermak, DPA, Washington : With a financial system on the verge of meltdown and an economy facing a prolonged recession, the final weeks of the US election campaign have mostly focussed on something much narrower: taxes. Some of it is attributable to the sheer complexity of the financial turmoil that has ballooned out of control since September. Mortgage-backed securities, short-selling and market-to-market accounting don't make for snappy soundbites in a 24-hour news cycle.

New Zealand, Australia to attend PIF ministerial meetings in Fiji

By Xinhua, Wellington : The chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) has confirmed Australia and New Zealand will be allowed to participate in ministerial meetings in Fiji next week, the Suva-based Pacnews regional news agency reported Wednesday. Tongan Prime Minister Fred Sevele said that Fiji's interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama was aware the Australian and New Zealand foreign ministers would be in Fiji next week to take part in the Ministerial Contact Group meeting on Fiji's progress toward elections.

UN assembly rebuffs Taiwan’s bid for UN membership

By Xinhua United Nations : The 62nd session of the UN General Assembly approved on Friday the recommendation of its general committee not to include the so-called issue of "Taiwan's participation in the United Nations" into the agenda.

10 amputations following Boston bombings

By IANS, Boston : At least 10 amputations have been performed and doctors pulled "ball bearings out of people" following the twin Boston bombings that left three people dead and over 140 injured.

Bush reaches out to Putin ahead of G8 summit


Washington/Frankfurt : US President George W. Bush moved Friday to create a conciliatory mood with Russia ahead of next week's Group of Eight (G8) summit in Germany.

Merkel calls for ceasefire in Ukraine post-MH17 crash

Berlin : German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday called for a ceasefire in Ukraine after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine Thursday killing all...

Indonesia resumes search for missing AirAsia plane

Jakarta: Search and rescue operation for the AirAsia plane that went missing Sunday with 162 people on board resumed Monday morning, rescuers said here. "Some...

Russia suspends CFE treaty

By RIA Novosti Moscow : Russian President Vladimir Putin Saturday suspended the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty and related international agreements in Russia until NATO ratifies an adaptation agreement, the Kremlin press service said. The decree said the decision to suspend the CFE in Russia follows the failure of the NATO to ratify an agreement to adapt the CFE to present realities that has direct relation to Russia's security. It said US plans to deploy conventional arms in Bulgaria and Romania have "a negative impact" on compliance with CFE group limits.

Jackson memorial to be unveiled in London

By IANS/RIA Novosti, London: A memorial to Michael Jackson will be unveiled at a theatre in London June 24, on the eve of the first death anniversary of the pop star, a media report said. The Lyric Theatre in London will be a first permanent Jackson memorial in the city, where his fans came after his death June 25, and created a shrine of candles, tributes, flowers and books of condolence, the BBC reported. The unveiling ceremony will be attended by Britain's Got Talent 2009 winners and other prominent performers.

Thailand, Cambodia to discuss disputed temple’s World Heritage status in Paris

By Xinhua, Bangkok : Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama said Sunday he would travel to France on May 22-23 to meet with Cambodian and UNESCO officials to discuss the Cambodian government's plan to register the ancient Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site. Noppadon said he had met Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An recently and discussed the plan, with the Cambodian official becoming more flexible and wanting to settle the dispute with Thailand amicably, according to state media Thai News Agency.

US, Europe, Japan, pursuing new anti-piracy deal

By DPA Washington : The US, European Union and Japan are pursuing a 34-country agreement targeting worldwide piracy of copyrighted goods and counterfeiting. The agreement, which has been pursued for more than a year outside the World Trade Organisation framework, represents a major step in the fight against theft of intellectual property rights, said US Trade Representative Susan Schwab at a press conference in Capitol Hill Tuesday.

EU condemns detention of Myanmar’s Suu Kyi


Berlin : The European Union's German presidency has "deeply condemned" the one-year extension of the house arrest of Myanmar opposition leader and Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

US Senate Confirms First US Ambassador To Asean

By Salmy Hashim, Bernama, Washington : The United States Senate yesterday confirmed career foreign service officer Scot Marciel as its first ambassador for Asean affairs. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Richard Lugar, who first mooted the idea for the position in 2006, said: "This is an extraordinary milestone affirming the strong bipartisan commitment of American leaders and the American people to maintain and broaden our relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations."

‘Japan must protect Chinese embassies, personnel’

By IANS, Beijing: Beijing has said that Japan should ensure safety of Chinese embassies and personnel within its territory, Xinhua reported.

Spanish, British journalists abducted in Somalia

By IANS, Mogadishu : A Spanish photographer and a British journalist along with their two translators have been kidnapped in the Somali port of Bosasso, Spain's EFE reported. The Spaniard was identified as Jose Cendon, while the name of the British journalist, who apparently works for London's Daily Telegraph, is not yet known, according to the report Wednesday. Bosasso is the capital of the semi-autonomous Somali state of Puntland.

Sri Lanka committed to implement 13th constitution amendment: MEA

New Delhi : Sri Lanka has assured India that it is committed to implementing the 13th amendment in its constitution, an official said Monday. "Our...

Better gay than grey, EU citizens tell leaders

By DPA, Brussels : European Union (EU) citizens would prefer to elect a gay leader than to have one they consider too old, a study released in Brussels revealed Tuesday. According to the Eurobarometer study of 27,000 EU citizens across the 27-nation bloc, just 17 percent of Europeans would be totally comfortable with someone over the age of 75 in their country's highest elected post.

Earthquake near Reykjavik causes damage to buildings

By SPA, Reykjavik : An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale shook the town of Selfoss, 50 kilometres south-east of Reykjavik, Thursday, causing severe damage to buildings, according to DPA. Police said that nobody had been killed or injured in the earthquake. However, it caused a great deal of damages to buildings in the area near the epicentre. Reykjavik residents reported feeling houses shake in the city even though the epicentre was 50 kilometres away and 10 kilometres beneath the earth's surface.

Moscow fire toll rises to nine

By RIA Novosti Moscow : The toll in a fire incident at a management institute in southeast Moscow has risen to nine, a Russian emergencies ministry spokesman said Wednesday. "Last night (Tuesday), three more people died in hospital, while 51 people are currently being treated for injuries," the spokesman said. Rescuers are currently searching for three students still missing in the building.

Biggest ozone hole over Antarctica in “one or two weeks”

By IANS, Toronto : A new Canadian study says that cosmic rays, not chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), are the main cause of the depletion of the ozone layer in the earth's atmosphere. The study also predicts that the largest ozone hole - larger than the size of the US and Canada combined - will occur over Antarctica in ``one or two weeks.'' The ozone layer in the earth's atmosphere absorbs the sun's high-frequency ultraviolet rays which are deadly for life on earth and cause diseases such as skin cancer and cataracts.

Former politician, rebel guard escape from Colombian guerrillas

Bogota, Oct 27 (IANS) Former Colombian congressman Oscar Tulio Lizcano, held hostage by the leftwing rebels for eight years, escaped his captors, along with his guerrilla guard. Lizcano and his guard walked for three days in the dense jungles of the northwest and eventually ran into an army camp Sunday, Spain's EFE news agency Monday quoted Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos as saying.

Mongolian parliament fires PM

Ulan Bator : Mongolian lawmakers voted Wednesday to dismiss Prime Minister Altankhuyag Norov for incompetence, cronyism and corruption. Of the 66 lawmakers present during the...

Snoop Dogg gives weed to homeless men

By IANS, Los Angeles: Singer Snoop Dogg recently helped a group of homeless men buy lunch and also gave them a bag of marijuana.

U.S. marine wanted for slaying pregnant colleague arrested

By Xinhua Beijing : A U.S. marine suspected of brutally slaying his pregnant colleague who had accused him of rape was arrested Thursday night in Mexico, according to media reports. Magdalena Guzman, a spokeswoman for Michoacan, Mexico, state prosecutors office, said Marine Corporal Cesar Laurean was detained by Mexican police on a street in the small town of Tacambaro, Michoacan, around 7 p.m. EDT Thursday. Laurean, 21, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, 20, who was eight months pregnant.

Sri Lankan Govt focuses on speedy development of Jaffna

By NNN-LK News

Colombo : The Sri Lankan Government is focusing its attention on speeding up the development and deliver of the essential goods of Jaffna Peninsula despite of the tremendous obstacles posed by the conflict in the area.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affaires, a SCOPP team has recently visited 13 outlets in Kudathanai, Atchuweli and Jaffna examine the current situation.

U.N. Chief Condemns Violence in Mogadishu

By SPA, United Nations : U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday condemned weekend violence in the Somali capital of Mogadishu that reportedly killed dozens of civilians. A human rights group in Mogadishu reported that at least 81 civilians were killed and that over 100 were when Somali transitional government forces and Ethiopian troops battled opposition militias.

Sri Lanka withdraws security detail for Fonseka

By DPA, Colombo: The security measures provided to Sri Lanka's defeated presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka have been withdrawn with immediate effect, a military spokesman said Thursday. Brigardier Udaya Nanayakkara said four vehicles, including a bullet-proof car, and 20 army personnel had been withdrawn from Fonseka's security assignment. The spokesman declined to comment any other security arrangements the general may be entitled to as former army chief.

$10 mn for information on leader of Islamic State: US

Washington: The US has offered a bounty of 10 million dollars since 2011 for the information on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the top leader of...

Canadian students protest against tuition fees

By IANS, Toronto : Thousands of students in Toronto and a dozen other major cities put down their pens and took to the streets Wednesday to seek end to tuition fees. They also marched to the provincial assembly here to give a petition to the government. Calling on Premier Dalton McGuinty to drop tuition fees, students took out rallies in Toronto, Ottawa, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Mississauga, London, Guelph, Peterborough, Hamilton, Scarborough, Kingston and Windsor in Canada's biggest province of Ontario.
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