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China charges wife on killing

China has begun formal charges against the wife of ousted Politburo member Bo Xilai over the alleged murder of an English businessman.

Gu Kailai, once a well-known lawyer, was accused of "intentional homicide" by poisoning Neil Heywood, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

An aide, Zhang Xiaojun, was also charged.

"The facts are clear and the evidence is firm and adequate," said the agency.

"Gu (53) and her son had a financial conflict with Heywood, which led her to believe he was a threat to her son's safety."



Farmer creates gigantic 'birds'

A farmer has carved out an intricate tribute to his favourite game, Angry Birds, in his eight-acre field of maize plants.

The image, created at a farm in Sussex, England, shows a giant Angry Bird being catapulted across the field of maize.

Farmer Stuart Beare believes it is the first and only maze created in tribute to the popular online app and aims to register it as a Guinness World Record. The game sees players try to overcome various obstacles to destroy pigs by firing birds from slingshots.



Planes cleared after crash alert

Dozens of US F-16 fighters in Japan have been cleared to fly again after a crash into the Pacific.

Base officials said the jets with the 35th Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base were grounded for five days of safety checks following the crash last weekend.

The pilot ejected and was in the water for six hours before he was rescued.

The crash was the first of an F-16 out of Misawa since 2002 and is under investigation. The pilot is in stable condition.



Cuba ready

for US talks

Cuban president Raul Castro has said his government is willing to mend fences with the US.

At the end of a Revolution Day ceremony marking the 59th anniversary of a failed uprising against a military barracks, Castro grabbed the microphone for apparently impromptu remarks. He said that no topic would be off-limits.