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/ 23 April 2008

Web regulation ‘entirely unwarranted’

The top United States government communications official said on Tuesday his agency has all the authority it needs to prevent internet service providers from discriminating against web surfers and that new legislation is unnecessary — this at a time when the issue of ”network neutrality” has heated up.

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/ 15 April 2008

Oil prices scale record highs above $112 a barrel

World oil prices touched new record highs above $112 a barrel in Asian trade on Tuesday as supply concerns and a sluggish greenback remained key factors behind the hike, dealers said. They said market sentiment remained bullish after the latest United States government data showed a surprise sharp fall in the country’s energy stockpiles.

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/ 2 February 2008

Beatles to be beamed across the universe

The songs of The Beatles have always enjoyed a global appeal. Now one of their best-loved recordings is to be beamed into the galaxy in an attempt to introduce the Fab Four’s music to alien ears. Nasa will broadcast the song, Across the Universe, through the transmitters of its deep-space communications network on Monday.

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/ 2 February 2008

China arrests leading rights activist

Chinese state security forces have arrested one of the country’s most prominent civil rights activists in an apparent crackdown on dissent ahead of the Olympics. Hu Jia — who used blogs, webcasts and video to expose human rights abuses — is expected to face charges of inciting subversion of state power, his lawyers said on Saturday.

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/ 2 January 2008

Oil bounces above $96

Oil rose above on Wednesday, bolstered by expectations United States government data would show crude stocks falling for the seventh consecutive week, and as fresh violence in major oil exporter Nigeria revived supply concerns. US light crude for February delivery rose 46 cents to ,44 a barrel by 7.08am GMT, while London Brent crude rose 48 cents to ,33 a barrel.

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/ 20 December 2007

Cuban cricket team caught out by US ban

More than a century ago, a war correspondent called Winston Churchill was dispatched to Cuba to cover the conflict with Spain. ”It may be that future years will see the island as it would be now, had England never lost it — a Cuba free and prosperous under just laws and patriotic administration, throwing open her ports to the commerce of the world, sending her ponies to Hurlingham and her cricketers to Lord’s.”

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/ 18 December 2007

Castro hints he will not cling to power

Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who has not been seen in public for 16 months, suggested on Monday he might give up his formal leadership posts — the first time he has spoken of his possible retirement since he fell ill. Castro, who took power in a 1959 revolution, handed over temporarily to his brother Raul Castro in July 2006.

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/ 26 November 2007

Mission for James Bond’s Q: Seek venture capital

In the James Bond novels and films, it fell to technical expert Q to invent the gizmos and cunningly concealed weapons that helped the British spy cheat death and save the world. From a biometric keyboard to blast-proof curtains, the inventions on display in the real world this month came from five technology firms in the final round of the Global Security Challenge.

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/ 24 November 2007

Aids taboo broken in Uganda — now for the drugs

Selina Akello sits in a clearing between the mud huts in her village. ”I will tell you anything,” she says. An older man passes within earshot, but she does not falter. This conversation would have been impossible a few years ago; Akello has the disease that used to be called ”slim” because people wasted away. Now it is called HIV/Aids.

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/ 23 November 2007

Oil prices slip further from record heights

World oil prices fell on Friday after a momentous week that saw record peaks close to $100 as traders worried about tight energy supplies and geopolitical jitters in key producer countries. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for January delivery, sank 95 cents to $96,34 per barrel. The contract had hit an historic $99,29 on Wednesday.

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/ 11 November 2007

Nasa told to solve ‘UFO crash’ X-file

For four decades, residents of the tiny Pennsylvania town of Kecksburg have told their story of strange blue lights in the sky one winter’s evening and a fireball crashing into woods. In 1965, they say, they saw armed soldiers cordoning off the area and a large, metallic, acorn-shaped object driven off at speed on the back of a lorry.

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/ 10 November 2007

‘All this, for one unarmed woman’

Benazir Bhutto was going nowhere. A phalanx of riot police stood at the end of her leafy street, tapping their shields and manning a barbed-wire barricade. Armoured vehicles rolled in. Officers even prowled the neighbours’ gardens, just in case the opposition leader might vault her back wall.

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/ 6 November 2007

Scientists rethink Reich’s orgasm theories

Physician-scientist Wilhelm Reich, best known for his claims of a cosmic life force associated with sexual orgasm, died in federal prison, and the United States government burned many of his books and other publications and destroyed his equipment. But now scientists and other believers are working to advance the psychiatrist’s work.