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Major tourist destination Luxor transformed into ghost town by Egypt turmoil

Tourists once flocked to Luxor for its ancient treasures, but as Egypt witnesses sweeping political upheavals, the visitors have simply vanished from this famed temple city. Christmas used to be particularly busy, as tens of thousands of visitors thronged Luxor’s famous temples, but fresh unrest that followed the army’s ouster…

Pakistan’s truck artists lament NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan

Pakistan’s truck artists, who transform ugly lorries into flamboyant moving works of art, fear boom times for their trade could be at an end as NATO winds down its mission in Afghanistan. The workhorses of the Pakistani haulage industry are often ageing, patched-up Bedford and Dodge models, but almost without…

New Year’s on ice as weather stalls rescue of Antarctic scientific expedition crew

An icebound Russian research vessel prepared to ring in the New Year in Antarctica Tuesday as blizzards delayed a helicopter rescue planned after several icebreaking attempts failed. The MV Akademik Shokalskiy has been stranded 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont d’Urville for a week, hemmed in by…

Australia’s WikiLeaks Party under fire because members met with Assad to ‘show solidarity’

Whistleblowing group WikiLeaks said Tuesday it had no knowledge of and did not approve a delegation to Syria which met President Bashar al-Assad and included members of Australia’s WikiLeaks Party. The delegation, aimed at showing solidarity with the Syrian people and opposing Western military intervention, reportedly included WikiLeaks founder Julian…

Evacuation in North Dakota town of Casselton after fiery oil-train explosion

A freight train loaded with crude oil derailed in the US state of North Dakota Monday, causing an explosion that sent a massive plume of toxic smoke skyward and forced the evacuation of part of a small town. The accident took place near Casselton, in Cass county, and no injuries…

Giant yellow duck explodes in Taiwan…again

A giant yellow duck on display in a northern Taiwan port exploded Tuesday, just hours before it was expected to attract a big crowd to count down the new year. The 18-metre-tall (59-feet) duck on show at Keelung burst around noon and deflated into a floating yellow disc, only 11…

Chinese officials set corpse ablaze in cremation controversy

Officials in a Chinese village dug up and set fire to a man’s corpse after his family ignored their demand that he be cremated rather than buried, state media reported Tuesday. The case is an extreme example of the country’s unevenly-enforced funeral policy, which tries to encourage cremation rather than…

Central America migrants flee turf wars and corrupt states for refuge in Mexico

Activists say Mexican authorities faced with most dramatic rise in refugees since 1980s era of right-wing dictatorships Extreme violence in Central America is sending a surge of refugees fleeing north to Mexico where they are caught between official indifference and yet more danger if they continue to the United States,…

The ‘secret Capitalist cabal’ behind austerity

The ‘How to Win the Class War’ satirist tells Claire Provost about the ‘shadowy plot’ to claw back working-class gains In a discreet villa in Switzerland, carefully chosen experts have been assembled by a shadowy group of wealthy and powerful commissioners and tasked with answering a single big question: how,…

The ‘little black dress’ is dead — thanks to Facebook and Instagram

Matchesfashion.com and Asos report rise in sales of bright dresses driven by attractiveness on Instagram or Facebook It was once the failsafe option for the party season, but the peerless status of the little black dress is now looking less certain. If sales of the LBD used to dwarf those…

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