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Paul Walker of ‘Fast & Furious’ fame, dead in fiery LA car crash

Paul Walker, 40, made famous in the “Fast & Furious” racing movies, died Saturday as a passenger in a sports car accident in Santa Clarita, Calif., near Los Angeles. Details are emerging, but officers from the Santa Clarita station of the Los Angeles police were willing to confirm that two…

Xi Jinping, leader of China: a profile of enigma

STANDFIRST: Profile: Since coming to power in March, he has introduced huge reforms yet clamped down on freedom of speech. So who, exactly, will David Cameron meet on his trip to Beijing this week In early November, China’s most powerful man, Xi Jinping, stepped into a rustic farmhouse while on an…

Leaked paper shows major policy split in UN on international drug war

Major international divisions over the global “war on drugs” have been revealed in a leaked draft of a UN document setting out the organisation’s long-term strategy for combating illicit narcotics. The draft, written in September and seen by the Observer, shows there are serious and entrenched divisions over the longstanding…

Online sales soar during Black Friday

Online purchases reached $1.93 billion on Friday itself, the unofficial start of the retail sector’s holiday season. That marked a 39 percent increase over 2012, according to software maker Adobe, which analyzed 400 million visits on some 2,000 American shopping websites. Technology giant IBM also found similar numbers for overall…

U.S. Army software pirate: settles suit for $50 million

A small software firm in Texas has a big payday against an unlikely software pirate: the U.S. Army. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Army settled with Apptricity, an enterprise planning and logistics software firm, for $50 million this week after pressing claims that the Army had installed its…

North Korea extracts ‘apology’ from detained American-Korean War veteran

North Korea has detained Merrill E. Newman, a US citizen and veteran of the Korean War, for committing “hostile acts,” the country’s official state news agency confirmed on Saturday. Newman, 85, has been held in Pyongyang since October 26, when he was taken off an Air Koryo flight leaving the…

ACA website deadline day passes without word from the White House

Dan Roberts, theguardian.com A White House deadline for fixing the troubled federal health insurance website passed without a formal declaration of victory on Saturday, after officials scheduled extra maintenance work and pushed back a planned media briefing until Sunday. President Barack Obama had pledged that the “vast majority of users”…

Anti-LGBT cardinal: Catholic church isn’t anti-gay and was ‘out-marketed’ on same sex marriage

Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan said in an interview on Friday that the Catholic Church is “caricatured” as anti-LGBT, but actually isn’t. He went on to say that the institution got “out-marketed” by same sex marriage advocates, a fact that he “regrets.” Dolan was taping an appearance on “Meet the Press,”…

Democratic Rep: Ohio Republicans actively trying to ‘suppress the voting rights of African-Americans’

Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge (D) has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to review two new proposed voting laws in the state on the grounds that they are unfairly aimed at suppressing the votes of African-Americans. According to Cleveland.com, Fudge contends that Ohio state Senate Bill 238 and House Bill 260…

Listen to harrowing 911 calls from people stuck on wind-whipped Washington bridge

A storm that barreled through the northwest in early November caused a bridge across Lake Washington outside Seattle to sway violently in the wind. On Friday, police department officials released the terrified 911 calls of people who drove on to the Evergreen Point Bridge on Washington State Road 520 and…

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