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Archive for April, 2008

Albert Hofmann has died of a heart attack, at the age of 102, at his home in Basel. The Swiss chemist discovered the hallucinogenic drug LSD.

He first produced LSD in 1938, while researching the medicinal uses of a crop fungus. Before it became a popular street drug in the 1960′s, his hope was to use LSD to treat mental illness. (more…)

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Accused of trying to assassinate Jose Ramos-Horta, East Timor’s president, last February, a group of rebels have surrendered to the government.

Gastao Salsinha, rebel leader, was persuaded to hand himself in following talks with representatives from the army, parliament and the Catholic Church, said an adviser to Ramos-Horta. (more…)

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More than half of the teenage girls that were removed from a polygamist sect in Eldorado, Texas, are either currently pregnant or mothers, according to US officials.

Allegations of sexual abuse prompted police to raid the ranch this month, and all 463 children on the Yearning for Zion Ranch (photo from the BBC) were taken into care. (more…)

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In a bid to draft a common position on a truce with Israel, Palestinian factions are due to meet in cairo, for talks with Egyptian officials. 

To further discus the plan, the factions will hold talks with Omar Suleiman (photo, from Haaretz), the Egyptian intelligence chief, on Tuesday and Wednesday. (more…)

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Rome’s mayor poll has been won by a right-wing candidate. It is the first time in 15 years that the Italian capital will be controlled by the right. (more…)

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Austrian police has arrested a man that they believe imprisoned his daughter for 24 years in a windowless basement, abused her and fathered seven children with her.

The woman, identified as a 42-year-old Elisabeth, told the police that Josef Fritzl, her father, had lured her into the basement of the block where they lived, in Amstetten, in 1984. Then he drugged and handcuffed her, before imprisoning her. (more…)

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In 18 of 23 constituencies, the results of parliamentary elections recount were unchanged, said Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission (ZEC).

This means that, for the first time since Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain, in 1980, Zanu-PF, the party of the president, Robert Mugabe, has lost the parliamentary majority.

(more…)

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Conservatives have consolidated their victory in Iran, after winning more seats in a run-off in the parliamentary elections. They now have 69% of all seats, reformists 16% and independents over 14%, according to the interior ministry.

Eighty-two seats were contested after no candidate managed to win 25% of the vote in last month’s first round. (more…)

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A six-month “period of quiet” in Gaza, has been proposed by the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas (photo from lexpress.fr). And it says the truce could then be extended to the West Bank.

Mahmoud Zahhar, former Palestinian foreign minister, said this truce would have to be mutual and include the lifting  of an Israeli blockade of Gaza. (more…)

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The result of a partial recount of last month’s disputed elections in Zimbabwe has been delayed. The recount by electoral officials, in 23 out of 210 seats, has already began on Saturday and would take three days.

Led by Morgan Tsvangirai (left photo), the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition claims it beat Robert Mugabe’s (right photo) Zanu-PF outright, and say the recount is illegal. (more…)

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