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>Dinosaur discovered in war-torn Angola

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Scientists say they have discovered the first fossil of a dinosaur in Angola, and that it's a new creature, heralding a research renaissance in a country slowly emerging from decades of war.

A paper published Wednesday in the Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences describes a long-necked, plant-eating sauropod, among the largest creatures ever to have walked the earth. The international team that found and identified the fossilized forelimb bone says it is from a previously unknown dinosaur, citing unique skeletal characteristics.

The fossil was found along with fish and shark teeth in what would have been a sea bed 90 million years ago, leading its discoverers to believe the dinosaur might have been washed into the sea and torn apart by ancient sharks.

The new dinosaur has been dubbed Angolatitan adamastor -- Angolatitan means "Angolan giant" and the adamastor is a sea giant from Portuguese sailing myths. War broke out in Angola in the 1960s and the fighting ended in 2002.


>Abbas offers to meet with Hamas rivals

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- The Palestinian president on Wednesday offered to go to the Gaza Strip for unity talks with his Hamas rivals, a day after Israel intercepted an arms shipment it said was sent by Iran to the Islamic militant group.

Mahmoud Abbas' gesture to Hamas suggests he has given up on reaching peace with Israel and will instead seek internal reconciliation at the risk of jeopardizing relations with the West. The United States, Israel and EU consider Hamas a terror group.

Abbas has not visited Gaza since Hamas expelled his forces in a five-day civil war in 2007. Since then, his Western-backed Palestinian Authority has ruled only the West Bank. Repeated reconciliation efforts since then have failed.

Following parallel rallies in Gaza and the West Bank urging the rival Palestinian leaderships to reunite, Gaza's Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, invited Abbas to come try to mend ties.

"I declare that I am ready to go to Gaza tomorrow to end the split and form a new government," Abbas said.


>Town gets royal title for honoring war dead

LONDON (AP) -- A town famous for honoring dead British soldiers as they are repatriated from Afghanistan will gain the rare honor of receiving a royal title, Britain's prime minister said Wednesday.

David Cameron told lawmakers that the town -- where people line the streets each time a soldier's cortege passes by -- will officially be renamed Royal Wootton Bassett, recognizing its efforts to honor the U.K.'s war dead.

The move marks the first time in more than 100 years that a town has been granted the title of "royal" -- an honor reserved for the very few.

"Their deeply moving and dignified demonstrations of respect and mourning have shown the deep bond between the public and our armed forces," Cameron said. Cameron said Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the honor on the town of Wootton Bassett, 85 miles west of London, as tribute to the "enduring symbol of the nation's admiration and our gratitude to the people of that town."

Since the war began in 2001, 359 British forces personnel have died in Afghanistan.


>Premier 'too old' for all that sex

ROME (AP) -- Premier Silvio Berlusconi has sat down with the enemy, telling an opposition newspaper that he is too old to have had all the sexual encounters he is accused of by Italian prosecutors.

The 74-year-old faces trial in Milan next month over charges he paid for sex with a Moroccan minor and used his influence to try cover it up. In court documents, prosecutors have identified 33 women, including the Moroccan teenager, who allegedly prostituted themselves during parties at Berlusconi's villa near Milan.

"Even though I am a little mischievous 33 girls in two months seems like too much even for a 30-year-old," the premier said in an interview published Wednesday in La Repubblica, a leftist newspaper that has led a campaign for his resignation in the wake of the scandal.

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