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Anti-doping chief slams Armstrong ‘PR stunt’

World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey on Friday branded Lance Armstrong’s doping confession a “controlled public relations” stunt that revealed nothing new. As influential South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon threatened legal action to force the state government to reveal how much it paid Armstrong to ride in the Tour Down…

Bolshoi ballet chief hit by acid attack

The head of Russia’s Bolshoi ballet Sergei Filin was Friday hospitalised with severe burns after a masked assailant threw acid on his face, in an attack the theatre linked to internal conflicts. Filin, a former acclaimed dancer who was appointed to his post in 2011, suffered injuries to the face,…

Anxiety mounts over deadly hostage raid in Algeria

Western governments voiced alarm over the fate of dozens of foreigners seized by Islamists at a gas plant in the Algerian desert after several hostages were killed in a dramatic rescue operation. The Algerian military assault left “several people” killed or wounded but freed a “large number” of hostages, according…

Factory smoke clouds China pollution pledges

Clouds of smoke billow from the chimneys at a Chinese chemical plant rumbling with activity, more than a year after authorities closed it following protests by thousands of people. The factory in Dalian was ordered to halt work and relocate 17 months ago after local residents took to the streets,…

Natalie Wood’s husband snubs new death probe

Hollywood icon Natalie Wood’s husband has declined to talk to detectives who have re-opened a probe into his wife’s mystery 1981 death, saying he has already answered all questions. A lawyer for 82-year-old actor Robert Wagner said those seeking to challenge the original finding of accidental death by drowning were…

Some children outgrow autism: study

Some children diagnosed as autistic at a young age see their symptoms completely disappear when they get older, new research shows. The small-scale study — published in the “Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry” — included 34 subjects who were diagnosed very early on with the disorder but who, by…

Jon Stewart annihilates GOP hysteria over Obama’s executive orders

On his show Thursday night, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart tore into conservatives who insisted President Barack Obama was a tyrant because of his proposals to reduce gun violence. Obama on Wednesday called on Congress to renew the assault weapons ban, restrict high-capacity magazines, and require universal background checks…

Bloomberg: Gun control ‘probably’ wouldn’t have stopped Newtown shooting

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday night fought back against the claim that gun laws were pointless because criminals would simply ignore them. He admitted on CNN that it was “probably true” the proposals advocated by President Barack Obama on Wednesday wouldn’t have prevented the tragic elementary school…

Peace talks with Taliban haven’t begun, says U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan

There are no significant peace talks under way with the Taliban, the US ambassador to Afghanistan has said, despite years of western and Afghan government efforts to broker a political end to the decade-long war in the country, and some recent signs of progress. James Cunningham, the US Ambassador in…

Lance Armstrong admits taking performance enhancing drugs

Shamed former Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong admitted taking several banned performance enhancing substances, in a television interview broadcast Thursday. Armstrong told US talk show host Oprah Winfrey that he had used blood transfusions and taken EPO, testosterone, cortisone, human growth hormone in all seven of his Tour victories…

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