NASA’s Curiosity rover has uncovered signs of an ancient freshwater lake on Mars that may have teemed with tiny organisms for tens of millions of years, far longer than scientists had imagined, new research suggests.
A French auction house went ahead with the sale of century-old Hopi masks despite recriminations by the Native American tribe that such trade, the second in the French capital this year, is “blasphemous.”
President Vladimir Putin liquidated the state news agency RIA Novosti and tapped a TV journalist known for anti-Western and antigay remarks to build a new outlet that will focus on promoting Russia abroad.
The difficult logistics of a war zone and disposal problems are slowing things down, but experts say it is better to be late and thorough than rush things.
EADS will cut 5,800 jobs at its Airbus Defence and Space unit, including administrative posts, as it trims its defense operations to adjust to the downturn in the sector.
The U.S. and Japan are at odds over the TPP’s goal of across-the-board tariff cuts, including those in such politically sensitive industries as agriculture.
South Africa’s Jacob Zuma is preparing to host 91 heads of state at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, a sharp turnabout for a president who has been under fire during much of his nearly five years in office.
Egypt will hold a referendum on a new constitution in the middle of January, a government minister said on Monday. Hany Mahmoud, minister of administrative development, said the vote would be held nationwide over two days. The new constitution is an important milestone in the political transition plan drawn up by the army-installed interim government that took office after Islamist President Mohamed Mursi was deposed by the military on July 3. A 50-member assembly finished the draft last week and handed it to interim President Adly Mansour, who has yet to set the referendum date.
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) – The trustee seeking money for Bernard Madoff's victims may be unable to pursue some claims against investment firms that fed client funds into the swindler's Ponzi scheme, a Manhattan federal judge said. In a decision released on Monday, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff also said the trustee Irving Picard could not pursue "unjust enrichment" claims against spouses of Madoff's sons Andrew and Mark, saying the women did not qualify as "insiders" who could be held liable for fraud. Amanda Remus, a spokeswoman for Picard, said the trustee is reviewing the decision. Lawyers for Deborah Madoff, who married Andrew Madoff in 1992, and Stephanie Mack, who married Mark Madoff in 2004, were not immediately available for comment.
By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) – Britain should cultivate allies and use its clout to stop a tax on financial transactions in 11 European Union countries from harming the City of London, a panel of UK lawmakers said. The committee from the House of Lords (upper house) also said in a report on Tuesday the planned tax on derivative, bond and share trades was flawed and would undermine the EU single market. They don’t find allies and there is a real and present danger to the City of London, Europe’s most important financial centre,” the committee’s chairman, Lyndon Harrison, told Reuters. The tax is aimed at clawing back money from banks after the taxpayer money their received in the 2007-09 financial crisis.
Expectations of future rises in British house prices hit a 14-year high in November, according to a monthly survey by a property surveyors group which warned that too few homes were going on the market to meet demand. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said on Tuesday that 59 percent of surveyors forecast prices would rise over the next three months, the highest reading since September 1999. A measure of house prices hit +58 in November, edging up from October to an 11-year high as government incentives and more optimism on the economy helped spur demand. Prices rose for a second consecutive month in every area of Britain, while the average number of homes sold per chartered surveyor grew to 20.6, up from 15.9 in the same period of 2012.
By Alissa de Carbonnel KIEV (Reuters) – Thousands of Ukrainian protesters huddled by braziers in their tented camp in the snowbound capital Kiev into Tuesday morning, in defiance of riot police who took up positions throughout the capital as a deadline to clear the streets expired. In a second week of protests against President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision to abandon a trade deal with the EU in favour of closer ties with Russia, demonstrators feared the arrival of riot police heralded a plan to crush them by force. “If blood is spilled during this dispersing, this blood will be on the hands of the person who ordered it … Yanukovich.” Yanukovich is expected to meet the EU foreign affairs chief on Tuesday as well as three former Ukrainian presidents who have proposed talks. But in a sign of a firm hand, masked police raided the office of Fatherland, a major opposition party whose jailed leader Yulia Tymoshenko the EU considers a political prisoner.