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US egg recall above half-a-billion and growing

A massive recall of eggs possibly tainted with salmonella bacteria is now at more than half-a-billion and could grow, the top US food safety official said Monday.

The recalls affect two chicken egg processors — Hillandale Farms and Wright County Eggs, both in the midwestern state of Iowa — and cover at least 14 US states, from California to Arkansas.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that the outbreak could actually be larger than reported, because most people who get sick from salmonella do not seek medical treatment.

The FDA said infected rodents many have spread the salmonella to the eggs.

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Egyptian minister held over Van Gogh theft

The Egyptian government’s head of fine arts has been remanded in custody pending an investigation into the theft of a Van Gogh painting at the weekend.

Muhsin Sha’lan, first under-secretary at the culture ministry, was accused of “negligence”, according to the state news agency Mena.

Several other officials were believed to have been detained at the same time.

The theft of the $50m (£32m) painting from a Cairo museum on Saturday has been blamed on poor security.

The work – known as both Poppy Flowers and Vase And Flowers – was cut from its frame at the Mahmoud Khalil Museum during the day on Saturday.

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China to mourn landslide victims

The Chinese government has announced a national day of mourning as millions in the country’s west struggle with more rain and the aftermath of mudslides that have killed more than 1,150 people.

Flags were to fly at half-mast on Sunday and public entertainment was to be suspended for the day of mourning to express condolences for the mudslide victims, China’s State Council said on Saturday.

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Obama backs ‘Ground Zero mosque’

Barack Obama, the US president, has backed a proposed mosque and Islamic community centre near the site of the former World Trade Centre in New York that was destroyed in the September 11 attacks.

He said the country’s founding principles demanded no less for the project which has sparked debate around the country.

For several weeks, opponents of the plan in New York City have publicly protested against it claiming it is an insult to the memory of nearly 3,000 people who died in the 2001 attacks.

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California’s Proposition 8 gay marriage ban thrown out by court

Declaring that “same-sex love and intimacy are well-documented in human history,” a judge has overturned California’s ban on homosexual marriage as unconstitutional – in a sweeping victory for gay and lesbian civil rights.

US district judge Vaughn Walker ruled that the ban on gay and lesbian marriage imposed by the Proposition 8 referendum in 2008 – when it was backed by 52% of California’s voters – violated the right to equal protection under the US Constitution.

The trial hinged on the civil rights question of whether California’s voters had a right under the US Constitution to make a moral judgment by discriminating against sexual orientation.

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Churchill ‘Hid RAF Plane’s UFO Encounter’

Winston Churchill allegedly ordered a cover up of a close encounter between an RAF aircraft and a UFO during the Second World War because it would create “mass panic”, accordingly to newly-released files.

The claim that the then Prime Minister ordered details of the unexplained incident over the East Coast to be kept secret for at least 50 years was made by a scientist who said his grandfather was one of Churchill’s bodyguards.

The tale is told in newly declassified Ministry of Defence UFO files put online by the National Archives

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United States condemns attacks on Sri Lankan TV station and radio broadcaster

The U.S. Embassy on Saturday condemned attacks on a Sri Lankan television station saying such acts imperil media freedom in the country.

A dozen men armed with assault rifles and petrol bombs attacked the offices of privately owned Voice of Asia Network at pre-dawn Friday.

The television management said the assailants assaulted security guards before setting fire to the building that houses the TV station, destroying its studios, control room and library. One guard and another employee were injured.

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New home for Radio Caroline

Former pirate Radio Caroline has moved in to the British Music Experience at the 02 Dome with an exhibition of the station’s history.

Part of a series of events with the title, London Sixties Week, the residency was due to end on July 26th but has been extended in to August.

In partnership with London Sixties Week, Caroline now wants to expand the exhibition with more artefacts and memorabilia and to offer it to locations around the UK, hopefully returning to the British Music Experience or the Royal Albert Hall for the summer of 2011.

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Vanilla Ice crashes a Cadillac into a pond

Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Robert Van Winkle, recently participated in a bizarre stunt caught on video. In the video, Van Winkle drives a 1967 Cadillac through fire and into a pond. It seems like a reality tv stunt or something done to get on a reality tv show.

Vanilla Ice is 42 years old and has not had musical success since his album To The Extreme charted at #1 back in 1990. The album sold 11 million units, led by the hit song “Ice, Ice Baby”. Vanilla Ice has since dealt with drug addiction and a suicide attempt, as well as a domestic altercation with his wife.

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Man near death after attack in Dolores Park

40-year-old San Francisco man was clinging to life today after being stabbed repeatedly and robbed early this morning in the city’s Dolores Park, police said.

The victim, whose name was not released, was in the park near 19th and Church streets at about 1:30 a.m. when he was attacked by up to a dozen people, police Officer Samson Chan said.

Details on the attack are still emerging, but the assailants beat and robbed the man, who was stabbed multiple times in the torso, Chan said.

Police detained seven people in the incident, but ultimately booked only three of those into jail, Chan said. The investigation is continuing and other attackers are being sought.

The three men arrested are being held on suspicion of attempted murder and robbery, Chan said. Police did not release details about the suspects but said they were 20, 18 and 17 years old.

The victim was taken to San Francisco General with life-threatening wounds.

Police are asking anyone with information about the attack to call the San Francisco police tip line at (415) 575-4444. Tips can also be sent via text to TIPS411.

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