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International stories

Spider bite costs legs

Melbourne A man has had his legs amputated and may lose an arm after a suspected white-tailed spider bite in north-west Victoria. Filipino tourist Terry Pareja was visiting relatives in Birchip when he is thought to have been bitten in the last week of February but took days to seek medical attention. By the time the local doctor opened on the following...

Divers search for Caligula’s royal barge

Rome Italian divers are to search for the long-lost remains of a ceremonial barge built for Emperor Caligula 2000 years ago. Caligula, notorious as one of Rome's most eccentric and sadistic rulers, had enormous vessels built for his pleasure cruises on Lake Nemi, 30km outside the capital. The remains of two similar barges were found between 1928 and 1932 when the lake...

Butter or margarine? One of them may boost risk of death

London Saturated fat found in butter, meat or cream is unlikely to kill you, but margarine just might, new research suggests. Although traditionally dietitians have advised people to cut down on animal fats, the biggest ever study has shown that it does not increase the risk of stroke, heart disease or diabetes. However trans-fats, found in processed foods like margarine raises the...

Gas attack kills scores

Beirut A suspected Syrian government chemical attack killed scores of people, including children, in the north-western province of Idlib overnight, a monitoring group, medics and rescue workers in the rebel-held area said. The United States government believes the chemical agent sarin was used in the attack, a US government source said, adding it was "almost certainly" carried out by forces loyal...

Ford escapes flying ban

Los Angeles Harrison Ford will not face any penalties over mistakenly landing on a taxiway at a Southern California airport earlier this year, the actor's lawyer says. Lawyer Stephen Hofer wrote in a statement that the Federal Aviation Administration will not fine Ford and the actor will retain his pilot's licence without restriction. "The FAA conducted a full investigation into the matter,...

Papal plot role admitted

New Jersey A New Jersey teen has pleaded guilty to participating in a plot to try to kill Pope Francis in 2015 during a public Mass in Philadelphia, according to a statement by federal prosecutors. Santos Colon, 17, admitted yesterday in a federal court in Camden, New Jersey, that he attempted to conspire with a sniper to shoot the Pope during...

Be a man of peace, Pope urges Prince Charles

Vatican City Pope Francis met Britain's Prince Charles overnight at the Vatican, telling him to be a man of peace. The Prince of Wales and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall spoke in private for about 30 minutes with the Pope in one of his studies near the Vatican's large audience hall. "Wherever you go, may you be a man of peace,"...

Drug-makers tested products on thousands of psychiatric patients

Vienna Switzerland's pharmaceutical industry profited from testing unlicensed products on far more than 1000 psychiatric patients until the 1970s, medical historians. The researchers examined research projects at the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Basel, the city known as a hub for Switzerland's pharmaceutical industry. Between the 1950s and the 1970s, at least 60 medical substances were tested on patients, the study...

Pink Star diamond sells for $102m

Hong Kong A 59.60-carat pink diamond sold for a record $US71.2 million ($102.05 million) in Hong Kong overnight to local jewellers Chow Tai Fook after a five-minute bidding war between three phone bidders. The "Pink Star", the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond so far graded by the Gemological Institute of America according to Sotheby's, set "a new record for...

Kylie Minogue honoured for Anglo-Australian relations

London The Duke of Edinburgh has met pop star Kylie Minogue during a private audience in Windsor Castle. Prince Philip, 95, welcomed the much-loved Aussie star to the Queen's Berkshire residence where he presented her with an award honouring her contribution to Anglo-Australian relations. The royal patriarch chatted to the singer in the castle's grand White Drawing Room as he handed over the...
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