British inventor takes flight in ‘Iron Man’ suit

British inventor Richard Browning lifted off from the shore of Vancouver Harbor on Thursday in a personal flight suit that inspired references to comic superhero ‘Iron Man.’Using thrusters attached to his arms and back, Browning flew in a circle and ho…

April 27, 2017

Spieth duo, Aussie Ruffels pair share PGA lead

World number five Jordan Spieth and fellow American Ryan Palmer combined for a six-under-par 66 in alternate-shot play Thursday to grab a share of the lead at the PGA Zurich Classic.Spieth sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 final hole to lift the …

April 27, 2017

El Salvador bans metal mining in world first

El Salvador on Thursday became the first country in the world to ban the mining of metals in what campaigners called a landmark move for environmental protection.

The law bans “prospection, exploration, exploitation, extraction or processing of metallic minerals in El Salvador,” according to the text published Thursday in the official journal.

“This is more than just a novelty,” the president of the Salvadoran Ecological Unit, Mauricio Sermeno, told AFP.

“It is a law that is necessary in the face of an industry which, far from bringing any benefit to communities, brings serious pollution to water sources and the environment.”

When lawmakers approved the bill in March, non-government campaign group MiningWatch Canada said El Salvador had “made history, becoming the first country to ban metal mining outright.”

Some Latin American countries thrive on mineral exports but local communities complain of environmental risks from toxic metals used in the process.

The new law entered into force after being signed by President Salvador Sanchez Ceren.

El Salvador says it will protect poor rural communities threatened by proposed mining projects.

The country has had disputes with powerful foreign mining firms in the past.

MiningWatch has said it hopes the Salvadoran legislation will set an example for other countries in the region.

This month it seized assets belonging to an Australian-Canadian gold mining group, OceanaGold, for legal fees the company owed after losing a lawsuit over mining permits.

In neighboring Guatemala, rural communities are challenging mining projects by Goldcorp of Canada and two US firms, Tahoe Resources and Kappes, Cassidy & Associates (KCA).

Nicaragua has rejected projects by Canadian company B2 Gold.

Central American countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are among the poorest in the region.

But mining accounts for a minimal portion of their economies and jobs, a recent study by various NGOs showed.

April 27, 2017

Protesters storm Macedonia parliament, attack MPs

Scores of protesters, many wearing masks, broke through a police cordon and entered Macedonia’s parliament late Thursday, attacking lawmakers to protest the election of a new speaker despite a months-long deadlock in talks to form a new government.

April 27, 2017

Google parent Alphabet revs up revenue, profit

Google parent Alphabet on Thursday reported strong gains in quarterly results, beating most market forecast despite rising costs for its “moonshot” efforts.Alphabet reported a 29 percent jump in quarterly profit to $5.4 billion, while revenue jumped 22…

April 27, 2017

Online videos of killings pose tricky problem for Facebook

Posting a smartphone video online has never been so easy — even if the video shows a murder. After two recent cases that shocked the world, this has become a tricky but urgent problem for Facebook to tackle.On Monday, a 20-year-old Thai man broadcast …

April 27, 2017

German MPs approve partial burqa ban, security measures

German lawmakers on Thursday approved a partial ban on the full-face burqa Islamic veil and a package of security measures aimed at preventing extremist attacks.The new laws follow several jihadist attacks, including a truck rampage through a Berlin Ch…

April 27, 2017

MVP, other prizes to be unveiled on new NBA awards show

NBA individual award trophies for the 2016-17 season, including those in six new fan-voted categories, will be unveiled together in the inaugural NBA Awards show June 26 in New York.The league announced Thursday that traditional season-end awards will …

April 27, 2017

Amazon delivers strong profits, shares rally

US online giant Amazon on Thursday delivered stronger-than-expected financial results for the first quarter, pushing shares higher.Profit rose 41 percent from a year ago to $724 million, on revenues growing 23 percent to $35.7 billion.The results fuele…

April 27, 2017

Football: Guam chief pleads guilty in FIFA scandal

The US prosecution of the massive corruption scandal rocking world soccer scalped a new head on Thursday: the football chief on the tiny Pacific island of Guam.Richard Lai, a 55-year-old US citizen, pleaded guilty Thursday in a federal court in New Yor…

April 27, 2017

Microsoft quarterly profit up 28 percent at $4.8 bn

Microsoft on Thursday reported a strong jump in profits in the just-ended quarter but revenue fell short of expectations in the tech giant’s first earnings report incorporating social network LinkedIn.Net profit rose 28 percent to $4.8 billion while re…

April 27, 2017

Venezuela defies international powers, Trump weighs in

Venezuela defied international pressure over its deadly political crisis Thursday as European lawmakers accused its government of “brutal repression” and US President Donald Trump called the country “a mess.”Nearly a month of clashes at anti-government…

April 27, 2017

Sevilla close in on Champions League return

Wissam Ben Yedder struck a 79th-minute winner as Sevilla defeated 10-man Celta Vigo 2-1 on Thursday to move eight points clear in La Liga’s fourth and final Champions League spot.Joaquin Correa rounded off a superb run with a tidy top-corner finish to …

April 27, 2017