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Russia building new military bases on islands claimed by Japan

Moscow - Russia has begun building two modern military compounds on the far eastern Kuril islands, defence minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday, heightening long-running tensions with Japan over the disputed islands.

U.S. group says Bush should be investigated for torture conspiracy

Washington - Former president George W. Bush and a raft of senior US officials from his administration should be investigated for conspiracy to torture and for other crimes, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

'Christmas lights can slow your Wi-Fi', claims Ofcom

Over the next few weeks, millions of fairy lights will be installed in homes worldwide. They may appear harmless but Ofcom, the UK telecoms watchdog, thinks otherwise. It has warned that Christmas lights can slow down Wi-Fi, prompting a mass debate.

Rising CO2 levels causing spike in phytoplankton in oceans

For a long time, scientists have thought the number of plankton species in the world's oceans would decrease due to increased acidification. However, over the past four decades or so, their populations have increased, says a new study.

NBA teams consider absurd strategy against Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors improved to 19-0 Monday night in a narrow win over the Utah Jazz. The Warriors are already off to the hottest start in NBA history, and they're the undisputed best team in basketball.

Review: Second City's 'Unwrapped' is a holiday treat Special

Toronto - Just in time for the holidays, Second City's latest show, 'Unwrapped,' skewers holiday traditions along with dating on Tinder, "Netflix and chill" and more.

It is happening again — World's bananas at risk of extinction

History does repeat itself, and one of the world's favorite fruits is at risk of disappearing, maybe for good. A virulent fungal disease has struck again, jumping continents as it devastates banana crops in its relentless move toward Latin America.

Unrepentant Dutch cannabis grower revels in court 'win'

Appelscha - Once in his greenhouse in a remote Dutch village, Doede de Jong proudly nurtured a thriving cannabis crop to sell to local users. Now only five plants remain, after the police moved in.

Warsaw 'in contact' with abductors of Polish sailors

Varsovia - Poland said on Tuesday it was "in contact" with the abductors of five Polish sailors kidnapped last week off southern Nigeria, a region known as a piracy hotspot.

Bomb blast hits nervous Istanbul near metro station

Istanbul - An explosion caused by a home-made bomb rocked an Istanbul metro station on Tuesday, triggering panic in the evening rush hour and wounding up to half a dozen people.

E-paper sticky notes let you put information wherever you need it

An innovative technology project seeking crowd-funding wants to create a modern-day alternative to the wads of paper sticky notes that litter desks worldwide. Smart Stickers are controlled from your phone and have month-long batteries.

US special forces to fight IS jihadists in Iraq, Syria

Washington - The United States will increasingly rely on special operations troops to battle Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday, while calling on international powers to beef up their own efforts.

Turkish interests in Russia squeezed after jet downing

Moscow - Workers rounded up, businessmen questioned, a cultural centre closed: the Turkish community in Russia appears to be under pressure a week after Ankara downed one of Moscow's jets.

Op-Ed: Trying to give up smoking? Blame your genes

Tried quitting smoking but just can't seem to shake off the habit? Don't worry, it may not simply be weak willpower - it could be down to your genetic make-up.

Argentine ex-leader Menem convicted, again

Buenos Aires - Argentine ex-president Carlos Menem was convicted on corruption charges Tuesday, but as with a previous arms trafficking sentence he will escape prison time thanks to his immunity as a senator.

Review: Ray Price's 'No More Songs to Sing' is a timeless recording Special

"No More Songs to Sing" by the late country legend Ray Price has been posthumously released to the country radio airwaves.

Tokyo noodle shop awarded world's first ramen Michelin star

Toukyo - A tiny Tokyo noodle shop joined the ranks of the world's top restaurants Tuesday as it scooped up a star from the respected Michelin Guide.

Google Chrome can now save up to 70 percent of your mobile data

The Android version of Google's popular Chrome browser now features an enhanced Data Saver mode which can reduce mobile data usage by as much as 70 percent. It is supposed to improve performance on slow networks and lower bills.

NATO readies new support for Turkey: Stoltenberg

Brussels - NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday the alliance was working on new support measures for Turkey, but insisted the commitment predated Ankara's shooting down of a Russian jet on the Syrian border.

Science shows no such thing as a 'male' or 'female' brain

It is sometimes part of the popular lexicon to sometimes speak of a "male brain" or a "female brain," drawing in on gender-role stereotypes. Scientifically there is no such thing, as a new study demonstrates.
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