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/ 6 May 2008

Drug patents are beside the point

This week Switzerland will become ground zero for the future of health policy in Africa. The World Health Organisation’s intergovernmental working group is meeting in Geneva to discuss public health, medical innovation and intellectual property. Many participants are expected to express their support for efforts to undermine patent protections for drugs.

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/ 25 April 2008

Nigeria militants claim another oil-pipeline bombing

The main militant group behind a string of recent attacks in Nigeria’s southern oil region said on Friday it had sabotaged another pipeline. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said its fighters hit a pipeline late on Thursday in southern Rivers State — bringing to four the number of pipelines the group has reportedly hit in the past week.

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/ 9 April 2008

Top US official pushes cybersecurity goals

Federal cybersecurity officials are trying to develop an early-warning system that alerts authorities to incoming computer attacks targeting critical United States infrastructure, says Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. His keynote speech on Tuesday at the RSA security conference, however, was light on details.

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/ 26 March 2008

Scientists to test plan for ‘remote-control fish’

Call them Pavlov’s fish: scientists are testing a plan to train fish to catch themselves by swimming into a net when they hear a tone that signals feeding time. If it works, the system could eventually allow black sea bass to be released into the open ocean, where they would grow to market size, then swim into an underwater cage to be harvested.

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/ 24 March 2008

A forgotten war draining a forgotten people

The road from Harar runs for more than 960km east towards the border with Somalia, penetrating deep into the desiccated badlands of the Ogaden desert, the dusty heart of Ethiopia’s war-torn Somali regional state. This is the land that the self-styled separatists of the Ogaden National Liberation Front claim as their own.

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/ 18 March 2008

SA seeks talks to avert Comoran conflict

South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma called on Tuesday for eleventh-hour talks in Comoros as African Union troops prepared to support federal forces in a bid to take control of the rebel island of Anjouan. ”The federal government first wants the disputed elections dissolved,” she said.

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/ 15 March 2008

Aussie kangaroo cull draws human shields

Animal rights activists declared themselves human shields on Saturday and vowed to prevent authorities from killing kangaroos that have overrun a Canberra military base. Last week, the Australian government enraged animal lovers by approving the killing of about 400 kangaroos at risk of death from starvation.

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/ 14 January 2008

Republican candidates go for a spin in Detroit

It’s an exacting task campaigning for president — you have to be an expert on everything, including gas-electric hybrid propulsion systems for a new generation of sedan cars. Campaigning for Tuesday’s Michigan primary, the leading Republican candidates dropped in on the Detroit motor show to emphasise their dedication to helping the region’s shrinking car industry.

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/ 4 December 2007

Brad Pitt unveils plans for New Orleans homes

Brad Pitt launched his own regeneration project for Katrina-ravaged New Orleans on Monday, unveiling designs for a range of eco-friendly and flood-proof homes. Pitt, who had ambitions to be an architect if he had not taken up acting, commissioned 13 architectural firms to produce houses that would incorporate solar power and other environmentally-sound designs.

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/ 15 November 2007

Nigeria hit by new oil pipeline attack

Unknown attackers blew up a Nigerian crude oil pipeline on Thursday, extending a month-old resurgence of violence against Africa’s top oil producer and dashing hopes for a government peace drive. The pipeline attack at Royal Dutch Shell’s Forcados oil terminal was a setback to the company’s efforts to restore output from the Niger Delta.

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/ 24 September 2007

Threat places oil companies on alert in Nigeria

Western oil companies reinforced security in Nigeria on Monday after a rebel group threatened to resume attacks on Africa’s largest oil industry, but security sources played down the risk of a major disruption. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta threatened fresh attacks on oil facilities.