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CIA ‘gave millions in cash’ to Karzai over the years

The CIA has delivered tens of millions of dollars in cash packed in suitcases and backpacks to the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai for more than a decade, the New York Times reported Monday. “We called it ‘ghost money’,” Khalil Roman, Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 to…

The Orange Couch Does Mad Men: S6E5, “The Flood”

I saw some grousing on Twitter last night about this episode of Mad Men being a “very special episode” exercise, an accusation that was, I suspect, utterly inevitable should this show ever make race relations the central theme of an episode—no doubt one of the reasons that the writers have…

EU experts to vote on two-year pesticide ban linked to bee deaths

A key committee of EU experts was meeting on Monday to mull a two-year ban on pesticides blamed for a sharp and worrying decline in bee populations. European Union sources have told AFP that a decision to suspend the use of certain pesticides is likely following the closed-door talks between…

Iceland grapples with 19 percent spike in tourism

In Iceland’s Thingvellir national park, a wooden bridge covers a crack in the paved road leading to the site where the world’s oldest parliament was founded in 930. But the bridge is considerably younger, only dating back to last summer. It was built after a few hundred metres (yards) of…

Inquiry into death of nurse pranked over royal pregnancy delayed until September

The inquest into the death of the nurse who took a prank call targeting Prince William’s pregnant wife Catherine has been delayed to September, an official said on Monday. Indian-born Jacintha Saldanha, a mother of two, was found hanged several days after taking the call from two Australian DJs, which…

Chris Christie: Obama ‘kept every promise’ after Hurricane Sandy

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Monday shrugged off criticism from Republicans who said that he was a traitor for praising President Barack Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy just days before the 2012 election. Speaking to MSNBC on the six-month anniversary of the super storm, Christie doubled down by…

Immigrant dad meets daughter at ‘miracle’ border fence opening

A Mexican immigrant to the U.S. held his 5-year-old daughter for the first time during a ceremony along the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday, adding extra poignance to a brief event celebrating the Latin American Day of the Child. “It’s a miracle,” Luis Angulo told KGTV-TV after his two-minute meeting with…

It’s time we stopped giving trademark bullies a free pass

Trademarks are funny things. At their best, they’re great: a clever way to incentivise companies to divert some of their profits to preventing fraud and sharp dealing. At their worst, though, they’re terrible; a means for companies to steal the very words out of our mouths through legal bullying. Let’s…

Sharp bee population decline forces EU to consider ban on pesticides

A key committee of EU experts was meeting on Monday to mull a two-year ban on pesticides blamed for a sharp and worrying decline in bee populations. European Union sources have told AFP that a decision to suspend the use of certain pesticides is likely following the closed-door talks between…

Dutch worry new King Willem-Alexander spends too much on sex toys, cannabis and furry clogs

Brewers have stepped in to celebrate the man who becomes king on Tuesday after a reputedly boozy time as a student at Leiden university that earned him the nickname “Prince Pils,’ after the Pilsner type of lager. Limited edition beers honouring the future monarch and his abdicating mother, Queen Beatrix,…

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