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  • WASHINGTON D.C., May 8, 2009-The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on Wednesday launched a campaign to oppose embryonic stem cell research and support ethical cures, encouraging citizens to contact Congress and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    After President Barack Obama's March 9 executive order permitted federal funding for further embryonic stem cell research, the NIH proposed guidelines to fund research that will require stem cells harvested from the destruction of living human embryos.

  • BANGKOK, May 8 (TNA) - The World Health Organization on Friday praised the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) countries for quickly instituting their cooperative response to the H1N1 virus outbreak.

    Speaking in Bangkok on Friday, Dr. Shin Young Soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, commended the region's public health ministers from the ASEAN countries plus China, Japan, and South Korea in Bangkok.

  • RIO DE JANEIRO, June 6 -- The Brazilian Air Force informed on Friday that bad weather conditions on the Air France Flight 445's crash site are making the search for the aircraft's parts more difficult.

    According to Brigadier Ramon Borges Cardoso, head of the Airspace Control Department, no debris was located in the past hours, though the aircraft involved in the search are still making their rounds, in order to spot more objects, but the area in which they are able to fly was reduced due to the weather.

  • VATICAN, April 20, 2009-- "Galileo and the Vatican" is the title of a new book that gathers together the documents of the commission created by Pope John Paul II on the famous Italian scientist and seeks to debunk the black legend and other myths about this case.
    In statements to the Mexican news agency Notimex, Cardinal Paul Poupard recalled that John Paul II publicly apologized about Galileo in October of 1992.

  • Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Sondhi Limthongkul's the leader of the "yellow-shirts," which brought down former PM Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006, has been shot and injured. He was ambushed by gunmen who attacked his car in the Thai capital, Bangkok, spraying it with bullets and hitting Sondhi in the shoulder; another two people were injured in the attack.

  • UNITED NATIONS, June 27 (PNA/Xinhua) -- Governments have failed to provide developing countries with the resources they need to deal with the financial crisis, according to an umbrella group of trade unions, civil society and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), which released a report card critical of the United Nations economic conference on the financial crisis here on Friday.

  • Kabul (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Two earthquakes have hit Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan, killing at least 22 people and injuring another 30. A 5.5-magnitude quake struck at 01.57 local time (21.27 GMT), followed by a 5.1-magnitude aftershock two hours later.
    Ahmad Shekib Hamraz, a disaster management official, said that "the centre of the earthquake is located 45 kilometres km from Sherzad district".
    Survivors in Mir Gadkhel village were scrambling through the rubble of flattened houses to recover bodies after the quake.

  • MOGADISHU, April 18 (PNA/Xinhua) -- NATO forces on Saturday captured seven Somali pirates and freed 20 people taken hostage by the pirates in the Gulf of Aden, according to agencies reports.
    The reports quoted a NATO spokesperson as saying that a Dutch warship with NATO mission took action after the pirates launched attack on the tanker MT Handytankers Magic in the Gulf of Aden.
    They chased the pirates fleeing on a small skiff and later boarded a Yemeni-flagged fishing dhow which was captured by the pirates on Sunday and taken as their "mother ship".

  • BANGKOK, April 24 (PNA/Xinhua) -- The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had expressed confidence in Thailand's politics and hoped the Thai government would be able to restore stability, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said Friday.
    Kasit met with Clinton during his official visit to Washington this week to boost the bilateral tie, the website by The Nation newspaper reported.

  • MOSCOW, May 1 (PNA/RIA Novosti) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially confirmed 331 cases of influenza A/H1N1, the technical name for the virus commonly known as swine flu, in 11 countries.

    The United States has reported over 120 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Mexico has reported 312 human cases of infection, including 12 deaths. The difference in some reported figures and those of the WHO may be down to the fact that not all countries have had all their cases confirmed by the global body.