Indian state moves to debunk black magic

Politicians in western India have passed a bill aimed at debunking black magic and prosecuting religious charlatans after the death of activist Narendra Dabholkar, who campaigned for nearly two decades for the legislation. The anti-superstition legislation allows police to investigate religious fraud, extremism and human sacrifice. (Guardian)

EU offers 'unprecedented' aid to help Israeli-Palestinian talks

The European Union promised Israel and the Palestinians better access to European markets and "unprecedented" political and economic aid as an incentive to push them into resolving their decades-old conflict. To support a deal, the EU would offer closer cultural and scientific links and trade and investment support, EU foreign ministers said in a statement on Monday. (Reuters)

Pope replaces conservative U.S. cardinal on influential Vatican committee

Pope Francis moved on Monday against a conservative American cardinal who has been an outspoken critic of abortion and same-sex marriage, by replacing him on a powerful Vatican committee with another American who is less identified with the culture wars within the Roman Catholic Church. (Washington Post)

Ukraine leader 'seeks loans' in Russia amid pro-EU rallies

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is to discuss closer co-operation with Russia, as protests continue in Ukraine over his move not to sign an EU deal. But pro-EU protesters in Ukraine fear Mr Yanukovych may sign an accord tying Kiev to the Russian-led Customs Union.His U-turn on the EU association deal last month sparked mass protests. (BBC)

Old bone dates human hand evolution

The discovery of an ancient bone at a burial site in Kenya puts the origin of human hand dexterity more than half a million years earlier than previously thought. In all ways, the bone - a well-preserved metacarpal that connects to the index finger - resembles that of modern man, PNAS journal reports. It is the earliest fossilised evidence of when humans developed a strong enough grip to start using tools. (BBC)