Giles Hewitt

Reactor fear at Japan plant as toll tops 10 000

The operator of a Japanese nuclear plant on Friday reported possible damage to a reactor vessel, casting doubts over control of a radiation leak.

Cameron’s ‘terror’ comment sparks row with Pakistan

UK PM David Cameron was mired in a diplomatic row with Islamabad on Thursday over comments made about the "export of terror" from Pakistan.

China fumes as Dalai Lama heads for Obama meeting

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, headed for the US on Wednesday for a meeting with President Barack Obama that has infuriated China.

Bono and Blair turn Davos focus to Africa

Davos moves into the development arena on Friday, as the annual gathering of global leaders turns its energies to the issue of poverty alleviation, with a special focus on Africa. South African President Thabo Mbeki will participate in the discussion, which also seeks to question whether African nations are doing enough to create the conditions for sustainable growth.

Libeskind seeks harmony in Ground Zero discord

Daniel Libeskind has had his fingers badly burned by the acrimonious project to rebuild the World Trade Center site, but the Ground Zero architect remains convinced his vision will be realised. Since his master plan was chosen from an international field in February 2003, Libeskind has been forced to watch as major elements of his blueprint have been radically modified or taken out of his hands altogether.

Webby awards crown their Prince

Billionaire basketball team owner Mark Cuban was a no-show, but the head of the United Nations Children's Fund made it and pop star Prince rounded off the evening by throwing a guitar over his head. The occasion was the 10th annual Webby awards -- the self-proclaimed Oscars of the internet -- which drew a large and varied group of winners from across the cyberspace world.

US debt clock running out of time and space

Tick,  000, tock, another  000. So rapid is the rise of the US national debt, that the last four digits of a giant digital signboard counting the moving total near New York's Times Square move in seemingly random increments as they struggle to keep pace.

A competition to remember

It's no easy task to promote a sport that even your national champion admits is about as fascinating as watching paint dry. "I don't think it could be more boring if it tried. Think of a roomful of students sitting their exams and you're getting close," Josh Foer said on Saturday, shortly before being crowned Memory Champion of the United States.

‘Pirates’ preys on bored, work-shy office staff

Time, the largest magazine publisher in the world, is looking for desk-bound young men more interested in idly surfing the internet than doing the work they are paid for. Surveys suggest there are millions of them and Time's new online magazine, <i>Office Pirates</i>, has been custom-designed to grab their attention.

New Oprah campaign targets sexual predators

United States talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey, whose influence can turn the New York Times bestseller list on its head, is having a similar impact on the FBI's most-wanted list with a campaign to catch fugitive paedophiles. Winfrey launched ''Oprah's Child Predator Watch List'' last week, to almost immediate results.

Watered-down UN reform endorsed

World leaders ended a three-day United Nations summit on Friday by endorsing a watered-down document on UN reform that fell short of their robust calls for increased efforts to combat terrorism and poverty. The summit had brought together more than 170 leaders in New York.

Harry Potter and the gay fantasy

''Draco's breath is warm against his neck, his body gradually relaxing as Harry holds him, refusing to let go, and Harry discovers this is the most comfortable he's ever been in his entire life.'' Welcome to fan fiction -- stories, millions of them, that people write about their favourite characters from literature, television and film.

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