Beetles devour George Harrison tribute tree

A tree planted in a Los Angeles park in memory of the late George Harrison (pic) of the Beatles has been killed by beetles, a city councilor said yesterday. Tom LaBonge, whose district includes...

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Nigeria school offers hope to children caught in Islamist strife

Aisha Abubakar was at home two years ago when Boko Haram Islamists stormed through the door. She watched as they executed her father. Children in Nigeria's deeply impoverished north face...

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Once joined in Soviet Union, Ukraine, Russia never further apart

Over a table piled high with food and wine, a newly married husband and wife watched warily as the toasts began. Despite asking everyone to steer clear of politics, bringing together relatives...

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In Poland, hedgehogs find a saviour

Too weak to stand on his feet after swallowing poison for garden slugs, Smoky the hedgehog is fighting for his life. Thanks to a devoted Polish animal lover, he has a chance. Andrzej...

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Thai students mobilise to resist junta rule

Huddled around a table at a university canteen, six Thai students draft a newsletter celebrating democracy – a meeting that would have barely attracted a glance two months ago, but could now land...

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Plus-sized parking spaces for China’s women drivers

The parking spaces outside a Chinese shopping mall are distinctive: marked out in pink, signposted "Respectfully reserved for women", and around 30 centimetres wider than normal. The slots at...

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Japanese woman clings to hope that identical twin alive in North Korea

Misa Morimoto spoke to no one for 18 years about her identical twin sister who vanished when they were 20, not even to her own children. On the rare occasions when asked, she lied and said her...

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Setback for cure overshadows AIDS council of war

For more than three decades, AIDS and those fighting it have been locked in a tango whose steps have gone sideways, backwards or forwards with the lives of millions at stake. The 20th...

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Fossils show strange sea creature’s half-billion-year-old brain

Researchers on Wednesday described fossilized remains unearthed in China showing in fine detail the brain structures of a bizarre group of sea creatures that were the top predators more than half...

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Top 10 countries for education

There are myriad education systems around the world, differing on curriculum, structure and even teaching styles. While there is no "best" way to determine the right curriculum, the following is...

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End of the high life for Hong Kong’s unwanted rooftop dwellers

Their precarious rooftop houses have offered refuge from an unaffordable Hong Kong property market, but some of the territory's poorest residents face losing their makeshift homes as the...

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Move to ban foreign cooks at Penang’s street eateries draws support

The Penang state government's announcement that it was planning to ban foreign cooks at hawker stalls has gained some support, a reflection of what some Penangites feel for their famed street...

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If your friends feel like family, there’s a good reason for it

The truism that friends are the family you choose may be more accurate than you might suppose. A study published yesterday found that people are apt to pick friends who are genetically similar...

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Agony of Pakistani women enslaved by Dubai sex trade

Zunera once dreamed of becoming a computer engineer. Instead, at 16, the bright-eyed Pakistani girl was tricked into prostitution in the UAE, beginning a four-year nightmare of cruelty, violence...

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Germany’s strength in depth delivers ultimate prize

Germany's impressive strength in depth proved the decisive factor in their 1-0 extra-time World Cup final victory over Argentina yesterday as Lionel Messi failed to deliver the golden touch for...

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Beautiful game blossoms at World Cup carnival

Wonderful goals, gripping drama, shocking results, new heroes and old villains: the World Cup played out like the gripping blockbuster tournament its organisers always dreamt it would be. Long...

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FDA zeroes in on e-cigarette risks

One team of researchers assessing the risks of electronic cigarettes is counting the puffs taken by volunteer "vapers." Another will comb Facebook for posts on how people are tinkering with...

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Brazil look to future but drastic sudden change unlikely

Amid the calls for swinging changes at all levels of Brazilian football, the reality is that Neymar and other members of the squad that failed so spectacularly at the World Cup will still have an...

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Ending the cycle of life… on a tricycle

Shuffling off this mortal coil in many countries means making a final trip to burial or cremation in a motorised hearse. But in Denmark – a country famous for its pedalling lifestyle – the...

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Civilians and medical workers pay price of conflict in Gaza

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has called on all sides to protect civilians and medical workers caught in the midst of the escalating conflict in Gaza. The ICRC expressed...

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