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NATO leaders agree to mid-2013 Afghan security handoff

NATO leaders agreed Monday to hand Afghan forces the lead for security from mid-2013 as they rush to end the unpopular war and ensure Afghanistan can ward off the Taliban after foreign troops leave. In a Chicago summit declaration, US President Barack Obama and his 27 military allies confirmed plans…

Supreme Court agrees to hear warrantless wiretapping case

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a US government challenge to a lawsuit against its electronic surveillance program, which allows authorities to eavesdrop on Americans’ overseas phone calls and emails. The court agreed to hear the case Clapper vs. Amnesty International, the Barack Obama administration’s petition to the…

Death row inmates exonerated nine times more often than other prisoners convicted of murder

US death row inmates are ending up exonerated nine times more often than any other prisoner convicted of murder, according to a new report made public Monday. “The most important thing we know about false convictions is that they happen and on a regular basis… Most false convictions never see…

Olympic torchbearers cash in at up to $237,000 on eBay

Some of Britain’s Olympic torchbearers have been making the most of their country’s special moment — by selling their torches on eBay, attracting bids of over £150,000 ($237,000, 186,000 euros). The gold-coloured torches began appearing on the auction website within hours of the torch relay starting in southwest England on…

NATO allies focus on ending unpopular Afghan war

US President Barack Obama and NATO allies will focus Monday on logistical aspects of ending the protracted Afghan war after President Hamid Karzai vowed his country will no longer be a “burden” for the international community. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari’s attendance at the summit here had raised hopes his…

Digital media brings women’s erotica out of the closet

A woman with her e-reader in Frankfurt. With ebooks like Kindle and Nook enabling discreet downloading and reading, erotic novels for women are swiftly gaining in popularity. (AFP Photo/Thomas Lohnes) A woman with her e-reader in Frankfurt. … A view of the best-selling book “Fifty Shades of Grey” in New…

Eclipse sends Japan lemurs into frenzy

The solar eclipse that inspired awe on Monday also sent ring-tailed lemurs at a Japanese zoo into a frenzy, as they were fooled into thinking it was nighttime, an official said. A group of about 20 lemurs at the Japan Monkey Centre in central Aichi prefecture jumped up and down…

North Koreans in rice belt starve to death: report

Food shortages have worsened even in North Korea’s southwestern rice belt and some residents have starved to death there, a Seoul-based online newspaper said Monday. “Because of worsening food shortages this year there were reports of people starving to death even in South and North Hwanghae provinces,” a Daily NK…

China firm buys AMC Entertainment to create cinema giant

Wanda, a property firm owned by one of China’s richest men, said Monday it would buy US cinema chain AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion, in a sign of China’s growing clout in the entertainment business. The deal, which Wanda said would create the world’s largest cinema owner by revenue, gives…

Strauss-Kahn faces gang rape accusation

File photo of former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn. French prosecutors on Monday opened a preliminary investigation into accusations that disgraced ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn took part in a gang rape in the United States. (AFP Photo/Richard Drew) File photo of former IMF head Dominique … French prosecutors on Monday opened…

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