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Threat of beer-free nights fuels Turkey protests

ISTANBUL — In his Istanbul liquor store, shopkeeper Menderes Yildirim is worried — not so much about the recent nights of riots and tear gas, but about the stacks of beer in his fridge. Like the protesters themselves, he is furious at one of the government reforms that threatens to…

Rape and sexual assault run rampant in juvenile justice system: Justice Department survey

By Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica Hundreds of teen-agers are raped or sexually assaulted during their stays in the country’s juvenile detention facilities, and many of them are victimized repeatedly, according to a U.S. Department of Justice survey. The teens are most often assaulted by staff members working at the facilities, and…

Brazilian atheists stay closeted or fear death threats

Pity Brazil’s atheists, who live in a country with myriad ways to worship and feel like foreigners in their own home. They live in the country with the world’s largest Roman Catholic population, at 125 million faithful. President Dilma Rousseff has told no less than Pope Francis himself that “God…

Swedish royal couple is stunningly unpopular

In their plush Manhattan apartment, Sweden’s Princess Madeleine and her future husband, Anglo-American Christopher O’Neill, live a life far away from the Swedish throne. The youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf, the Duchess of Haelsingland and Gaestrikland, is unlikely to ever become the nation’s head of state, being fourth…

Clown wins lawsuit against magazine that ran his photo on story about cross-dressing drug addicts

A clown won a lawsuit against the South African edition of men’s magazine FHM after the publication printed his picture with a report likening jesters to cross-dressing drug addicts. FHM used in its December 2007 issue a stock image of Puddles the Clown alongside an article branding clowns “grown men…

Celebrities urge world-famous clown to end cruel circus animal treatment in Russia

Russian rock stars and actors on Thursday urged world-renowned clown Slava Polunin to end what they called cruel treatment of animals at the top circus where he recently took over as director. Animal acts are still commonplace at Russian circuses and remain a popular attraction even though Western circuses have…

Russian President Putin and wife say their marriage is over

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, said on television on Thursday that they have separated and their marriage is over. (Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Steve Gutterman) [New Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila walk after an inauguration ceremony at the Kremlin…

Study: Blacks 9 times more likely than whites to be arrested for pot in NYC

The New York Civil Liberties Union published a research report (PDF) Thursday detailing the vast racial disparities in the state’s marijuana enforcement regime, finding that black New Yorkers are, in some parts of the state, up to 9 times more likely to be arrested for pot than whites. The NYCLU’s…

Florida man Tasered after naked marriage proposal at wrong house

A Florida man who went to the wrong house to propose to his girlfriend in the nude was shocked with a Taser this week after spitting on a police officer. WKMG reported that 22-year-old Thomas Edwards claimed to Casselberry police that his he had gone to the address given to…

Queens police officer kills wife and self with shotgun over dinner dispute

An off-duty New York City police officer murdered his wife with a shotgun outside their home in Queens, Wednesday, then went inside and turned the weapon on himself. According to the New York Post, the murder-suicide took place at around 7:30 in the evening after the officer’s wife returned home…

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