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Internet pioneer, songwriter dies

San Francisco John Perry Barlow, an internet activist and lyricist for the Grateful Dead, has died. The digital-rights group Electronic Frontier Foun-dation said Barlow died early on Wednesday in his sleep at home in San Francisco. He was 70. The cause of death was not known. Barlow had been battling a variety of debilitating illnesses since 2015, according to supporters who organised...

White farmers to get 99-year leases

Harare Zimbabwe will issue 99-year leases to white farmers, according to a government circular, after new President Emmerson Mnangagwa said he would end discrimination along racial lines in agriculture. Fewer than 400 white farmers are still operating in the southern African nation, after former president Robert Mugabe's government evicted over 4000 under an often violent land reform programme. Those who remained were...

Archaeologists unearth 1800-year-old mosaic

Caesarea (Israel) A 1800-year-old mosaic of toga-clad men dating back to the Roman era has been unearthed in Israel, archaeologists said overnight. The mosaic was discovered during the excavation of a building from the Byzantine period some 300 years younger than the mosaic it was on top of in the coastal city of Caesarea. "The surprise was actually that we found two...

Russia meddled in US election: Bush

Abu Dhabi Former United States president George W Bush says "there's pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled" in the 2016 presidential election, forcefully rebutting fellow Republican Donald Trump's denials Moscow tried to affect the vote. While not mentioning President Trump by name, Bush appeared to be pushing back on Trump's attempts to have warmer relations with Russia, as well as...

Pamela Anderson visits Assange

London Long-term supporter Pamela Anderson has visited Wikileaks founder Julian Assange a day after he lost the first part of a legal fight against a United Kingdom arrest warrant. The former Baywatch star carried two takeaway coffee cups into the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange has been living for more than five years. Wearing a black dress and dark glasses, she...

Ancient Briton had dark skin, blue eyes

London "Cheddar Man", Britain's oldest, nearly complete human skeleton, had dark skin, blue eyes and dark curly hair when he lived in what is now south-west England 10,000 years ago, scientists who read his DNA have discovered. The finding suggests that the lighter skin pigmentation now seen as typical of northern Europeans is far more recent than previously thought, according to...

Australian denies spying

Phnom Penh An Australian film-maker accused of spying in Cambodia has told a Phnom Penh court that flying a drone without a permit was an offence but he denied all allegations of espionage. "What has happened here I think is an understandable misunderstanding," James Ricketson, 68, said in a court appearance in the Cambodian capital yesterday. Ricketson also said it was "very...

Gas worker fined over radiation burns

Brisbane An engineer at a Queensland drilling site has been fined $15,000 after exposing a colleague to unsafe levels of radiation. Victor Mokaya pleaded guilty yesterday in the Brisbane Magistrates' Court to two charges under the Radiation Safety Act over the incident at a coal seam gas site at Chinchilla in February 2014. The court heard Mokaya failed to carry out a...

Top Gear Alpine sports car goes up in smoke

London Top Gear presenters Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan have escaped without injury after a car they were driving in Monaco burst into flames during filming. Harris was behind the wheel of a new 50,000 ($NZ98,500) Alpine sports car on Monte Carlo's SS17 stage with Jordan in the passenger seat driving up a hill, when its warning lights came on as...

Frasier star John Mahoney dies

Chicago John Mahoney, the veteran actor best known for playing the father on the 90s NBC hit Frasier, has died in a Chicago hospice, aged 77. The British-born actor starred as Martin Crane alongside his on-screen sons Kelsey Grammar, who played the titular Frasier, and David Hyde Pierce, who played Niles, in the sitcom for a whopping 11 seasons, from 1993...
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