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Canada quits making pennies

Canada’s last penny was struck Friday at The Royal Canadian Mint’s manufacturing facility and will become a museum piece as the one-cent coins are withdrawn from circulation. “For over a hundred years, the penny played an important role in Canada’s coinage system,” said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. “Although the cost…

Colombian prostitute said Secret Service agents withheld $800 for services

One of the Colombian prostitutes involved in a sex scandal with US Secret Service agents broke her silence Friday to tell how she had begged for hours to be paid $800 for her services. “I told him, there’s a problem here. Because if I had come with you to enjoy…

2 arrested in Britain on charges of genital mutilation

Two people were arrested in Britain’s second city of Birmingham on Friday after a media report that medics and alternative practitioners had offered to perform female genital mutilation. West Midlands Police said they had arrested two men aged 55 and 61 on suspicion of offences under the Female Genital Mutilation…

U.S. indicates Chen will be leaving China soon and given ‘priority attention’

The United States said Friday that China had indicated it would let blind activist Chen Guangcheng and his family leave the country soon, raising hopes of a resolution to a damaging diplomatic crisis. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said China would expedite travel documents for the rights campaigner, who escaped…

14 people fall ill from contact with tainted dog food

Tainted dog food has sickened at least 14 people in the United States, health officials said Friday. “Humans can become ill by handling pet products contaminated with salmonella, and by coming in contact with pets or with surfaces that have been contaminated,” Ohio’s health department said in a statement. Health…

Activists hold SlutWalk rally in Jerusalem

Dozens of Israelis held a SlutWalk rally in Jerusalem on Friday to protest sexual violence and counter claims that women’s attire or behaviour provoke rape and sexual assault, an AFP correspondent said. Predominantly young women and some men marched through central streets of the Holy City in minimal or sexually…

TransCanada proposes new oil pipeline through Nebraska

A Canadian firm has reapplied for a US permit to build a multi-billion dollar Canada-US oil pipeline, after its first proposal was rejected over environmental concerns, both sides said Friday. The US State Department said it is “committed to conducting a rigorous, transparent and thorough review” of the northern leg…

‘Big Bang’ scientist convicted of al-Qaeda terror plot in France

A Paris court sentenced a Franco-Algerian nuclear physicist to four years in jail on Friday after he was convicted of plotting with Al-Qaeda’s north African branch to carry out terror attacks. Police arrested Adlene Hicheur, a researcher studying the Big Bang at the birth of the universe at the European…

U.S. unemployment rate falls to 8.1 percent, economy adds 115,000 new jobs

The US unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent in April as the economy created a modest 115,000 jobs, official figures showed Friday, the eve of President Barack Obama’s maiden reelection rally. Despite the meager job creation, the Labor Department data showed unemployment at the lowest level in over three years.…

South African cat survives spin in washing machine

A South African cat emerged washed and rinsed but unharmed after nearly two hours trapped inside a washing machine, The Star newspaper reported Friday. Karin Bennett, 63, heard muffled meows but searched in vain for her black cat Tabitha for an hour and 45 minutes, until she saw a furry…

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