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Elephants can tell difference between human languages WASHINGTON: African elephants can differentiate between human languages and move away from those considered a threat, a skill they have honed to survive in the wild, researchers said Monday.The study suggests elephants, already known to be intelligent creatures, are even more sophisticated than previously believed when it comes to understanding human dangers. African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are the largest land animals on Earth and are considered a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and illegal hunting for their ivory tusks.Researchers played recordings of human voices for elephants at Amboseli National Park in Kenya to see how they would respond, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Some of the voices were from local Maasai men, a group that herds cattle and sometimes comes into conflict with elephants over access to water and grazing space. Occasionally, elephants are killed in clashes with Maasai men, and vice-versa.Other ...

New spat emerges in South Africa's platinum strike JOHANNESBURG: A public spat emerged on Monday between South Africa's labour mediator and the Chamber of Mines over the former's handling of talks to end an almost seven-week strike in the platinum sector, further dashing hopes of any breakthrough. There are no scheduled talks between the two sides. The squabbling between the group representing the producers and the state mediator makes it doubtful that any government-brokered negotiations will get off the ground again soon. Tens ...
Boko Haram violence hits healthcare in NE Nigeria: doctors KANO: Healthcare services have collapsed in the northern part of Nigeria's Borno state as doctors, nurses and pharmacists flee for their lives from brutal violence unleashed by rebels Boko Haram militants.Medical professionals say health services in the region have largely shut down, with mortality rates and vaccination programmes severely hit and pressure heaped on the skeleton staff that remain."The whole healthcare system in northern Borno has collapsed and healthcare delivery is nil," said Musa Babakura, ...
Libya militants try to load oil on North Korea-flagged ship BENGHAZI: Militants blockading the Libyan oil terminal of Al-Sidra tried Saturday to load crude aboard a North Korean-flagged ship, in the latest challenge to government control of exports, a lawmaker said.A member of the energy committee in Libya's interim parliament, the General National Congress, said "the oil tanker, bearing the name Morning Glory, anchored on Saturday at 4:00 am (0200 GMT) at the port of Al-Sidra."The armed men, who are seeking autonomy for Libya's east, ...
Cairo tram station bomb hurts one person: security CAIRO: An explosion by a suspected homemade bomb targeting a tram station in eastern Cairo wounded at least one person on Saturday, Egyptian security officials said.Since the military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July, militants have stepped up attacks against the security forces in Egypt, killing scores of soldiers and policemen.However, attacks on civilian targets have been extremely rare.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
Swaziland king opens 'white elephant' airport MBABANE: Swaziland's King Mswati III on Friday inaugurated a new $280-million airport in the tiny nation even though the project is years away from being operational and has been dubbed a "white elephant" by critics.It has taken 11 years to build the airport, at a cost equivalent to almost 10 percent of the impoverished mountain kingdom's 2012 Gross Domestic Product.Authorities in the sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy hope the airport will help attract tourism and ...
Niger hands Kadhafi son Saadi over to Libya: Tripoli TRIPOLI: Niger has turned a son of the late dictator Moamer Kadhafi over to Libyan authorities, the Tripoli government said Thursday, as a government-allied militia released pictures of him in captivity.The government said Saadi Kadhafi, who fled across the Sahara desert to Niger during the 2011 uprising that saw rebels capture and kill his father after ending his four-decade dictatorship, was in Libyan custody, promising to release more details at a later time.Copyright AFP (Agence ...


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