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Cultural heritage a casualty of war

Damascus - Islamic State militants have destroyed two of the most important temples in the UNESCO-listed Syrian city of Palmyra, as they press their campaign to wipe out some of the Middle East's most important heritage sites.

Siberian statue carries secret code 7,000yr before writing began

The Shigir Idol is the world's oldest known wooden statue. Built in 9,000 BC, it bears a secret code which nobody has ever been able to decipher. Even more startling is that it was written 7,000 years before writing was thought to have begun.

Israel to use crop, water technology to win friends in Africa

Milan - Israel wants to use its cutting-edge agricultural technology to improve food production -- and win friends -- across Africa, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday.

Shares chase Wall Street higher despite China fears

Hong Kong - European and Asians stock markets chased Wall Street higher Thursday after days of wild swings, but dealers warned that the spectre of the slowing Chinese economy means more turbulence ahead.

Wall St rallies but markets still gripped by China fears

New York - US shares rallied strongly Wednesday after a top Federal Reserve official hinted the bank would not raise interest rates, but there was little sign that the global financial turbulence rooted in China's market meltdown was over.

Europe, US markets rally on China rate cut

London - European and US shares rebounded on bargain-hunting Tuesday as China cut interest rates after fears of a slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy sparked a "Black Monday" rout across global markets.

Market turbulence raises fresh worries over global economy

Washington - A roller-coaster ride on global markets, which saw some bourses record their largest one-week losses since 2008 as they took fright at a Chinese sell-off, have raised fresh worries over the strength of the global economy.

Global markets selloff deepens on China worries

New York - World stock markets endured another bruising day Monday as a huge decline in Chinese equities sparked selling throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas, deepening a global stock slump.The Shanghai index tumbled 8.

Family of SF plane crash victim run over by rescuers drops suit

San Francisco - The parents of the young girl accidentally killed by first-responders after she survived a plane crash at San Francisco International Airport have dropped their lawsuit against the city.

S. Korea FIFA hopeful slams 'cannibal' Blatter and stooge Platini

Seoul - South Korean billionaire Chung Mong-Joon pushed his candidacy for the FIFA presidency in uncompromising terms Thursday, calling Sepp Blatter a corrupt "cannibal" and painting his main election rival Michel Platini as an untrustworthy stooge.

World leaders voice relief at Iran nuclear deal

London - World leaders hailed the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, with Barack Obama seeing a "new direction" and Vladimir Putin voicing a global "sigh of relief" -- though Israel criticised it as a "historic mistake".

Millions exit poverty, but only just barely: Study

Washington - Almost 700 million people rose out of abject poverty over the first decade of the century, but most of them remain locked at very low levels of income, a study released Wednesday showed.

US slams 'brutality' of Islamic militants in rights report

Washington - The United States denounced the "brutality" of Islamic militants Thursday and highlighted a litany of abuses in Iran and Cuba as it unveiled an annual assessment of human rights around the world.

Global 'terror' death toll soared in 2014: US

Washington - Islamic jihadists fuelled a huge spike in terror attacks last year with the global death toll soaring 81 percent in more than 1,100 assaults a month, the United States said Friday.

EU should prepare for Greece default, German official says

Berlin - European Union nations should prepare for Greece's expected default and departure from the common currency, a German official said Monday.

Amnesty condemns 'shameful' world response to refugee crisis

London - Rights group Amnesty International on Monday slammed world leaders for "condemning millions of refugees to an unbearable existence" and demanded they work closely to resolve the "worst crisis" since World War II.

UN Security Council is 'failing' war-wracked world says Red Cross

Dakar - The Red Cross has warned that the world is facing conflict on an "unprecedented" scale, fuelled by the international community's failure to work together to end wars and humanitarian crises.

UN targets zero hunger in a generation as numbers fall

Rome - The number of hungry people around the world has dropped below 800 million for the first time since the UN started counting, the Food and Agriculture Organisation said in an annual report on Wednesday.

Britain's poo-powered bus sets a land-speed record

The land-speed record for the world's fastest service bus was broken last week by a vehicle powered not by polluting diesel but rather clean and green poo. The feat, set by the "Bus Hound," was achieved in Britain and has since been verified as accurate.

Gay marriage around the world

Paris - Ireland has voted to legalise same-sex marriage, official results showed on Saturday, joining 18 countries which have made, or are in the process of making the change, 13 of them in Europe.

Thousands worldwide march against Monsanto and GM crops

Paris - Thousands of people hit the streets in cities across the world Saturday to protest against the American biotechnology giant Monsanto and its genetically modified crops and pesticides.

Over 38 million people 'internally displaced by conflicts'

Ginebra - Conflicts and violence in places like Syria and Ukraine have displaced a record 38 million people inside their own countries, equivalent to the total populations of New York, London and Beijing, a watchdog group said Wednesday.

USA: The worst place in the developed world to be a mother

The U.S. is the most dangerous place in the developed world to become a mother, says a Save the Children report. In the world's richest country, the chance of dying in childbirth and levels of child mortality are not far removed from the third world.

Italy PM says riots will not ruin Milan Expo

Milan - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi warned Saturday that stone-throwing protesters who clashed with police in Milan during the Expo 2015 opening would not ruin the world fair.

Violent clashes overshadow start of Milan Expo

Milan - The opening of Expo 2015 was marred Friday by violent clashes between police and dozens of militants opposed to Milan's hosting of the world fair.

Italian police fear trouble at opening of Milan Expo

Milan - Italian police are bracing for potential trouble at the opening of Expo 2015 after carrying out pre-emptive raids Wednesday on radical groups suspected of planning to disrupt its launch.

China, Russia and eastern Europe boost defence spending

Stockholm - Military spending increased sharply in 2014 in China and Russia and the Ukraine conflict prompted eastern European countries to boost their defence programmes, according to a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) release...

Muslim population could catch up with Christians globally

Washington - The Muslim and Christian populations could be nearly equal by 2050, with Islam expected to be the fastest-growing faith on the planet, according to projections released Thursday.

Minecraft to be given free to every school in Northern Ireland

Every secondary school in Northern Ireland is to receive free copies of the massively popular computer game Minecraft after the title was recognised for its unique educational potential and ability to teach children about the world.

Apple CEO Tim Cook plans to donate his wealth to charity

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that he plans to give much of his vast fortune away to charity in the near future, joining a list of tech executives including Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who enjoy sharing their wealth with others.
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