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Aussies angry as Cher tries to sell Adelaide ‘key to the city’ on eBay

Officials in southern Australia’s Adelaide voiced their disappointment Saturday at revelations that US singer Cher had apparently put her key to the city up for sale on Internet auction house eBay. The key and accompanying memorial plaque was being sold online by a user called Authentic_Cher who claims to be…

Rare Egyptian ‘Book of the Dead’ scrolls found in Australian collection

A British historian said Saturday he had unearthed a trove of Egyptian Book of the Dead fragments by a top ancient official after chancing upon a scrap on show in an Australian museum. John Taylor, a world-famous Egyptologist from the British Museum, said his discovery began with a shred of…

Charges laid in ‘Olympic’ dog-sled slaughter

Charges were laid on Friday in the grisly slaughter of dozens of huskies used by a tourism company during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada’s westernmost province. British Columbia prosecutors charged Robert Fawcett, manager of a sled-dog touring company in the ski resort of Whistler, with “causing unnecessary pain or…

Marijuana fans hold pot parties in Canada, U.S.

Marijuana fans held mass rallies and pot parties in Canada and the United States, easing into the weekend with an annual celebration devoted to the feel-good weed. Western Canadian metropolis Vancouver closed a major road in the financial district for the day-long demonstration, in which attendees are urged to light…

Space mining startup set for launch in U.S.

A startup evidently devoted to mining asteroids for metals is to make its public debut on Tuesday in the US northwest city of Seattle, seeking to redefine the term “natural resources.” X Prize founder Peter Diamandis and a former NASA astronaut are slated to unveil Planetary Resources, which boasts an…

Rodney King criticizes ‘Stand Your Ground,’ recalls LA beating

Rodney King, whose beating by police in 1992 sparked the LA riots, criticized Friday the law at the heart of the contested Trayvon Martin shooting, as he recalled his own struggles. Speaking a week ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles race riots which left more than 50…

Far right party leads in polls in Canada’s oil-rich Alberta province

MONTREAL — After 41 years at the helm of Canada’s oil-rich Alberta province, the Tories are facing possible defeat in a general election on Monday, against a new far right party. The Wildrose Party, named after the province’s official prickly flower, was formed in 2008 amid growing disaffection with the…

Woman’s death blamed on ‘addiction’ to Coca Cola

WELLINGTON — A New Zealand inquest has been told a woman’s 10-litre (2.2 gallon) a day Coca-Cola habit may have contributed to her death, reports said Friday. A coroner’s inquest was told Natasha Harris, a 30-year-old mother of eight from Invercargill in southern New Zealand who died in February 2010,…

North Carolina commutes death sentence under new ‘racial bias’ law

WASHINGTON — A North Carolina judge Friday commuted the death penalty of a black man accused of murdering a white man, saying race played a role in the severity of the sentence, in the first case reviewed under a new state law. Judge Greg Weeks of Fayetteville commuted the sentence…

11 now investigated in Secret Service scandal

The US military said Friday it is now investigating 11 service members linked to the growing sex scandal in Colombia that has rocked the president’s Secret Service. The Pentagon had initially said five troops were implicated and later said there were 10 suspects. “I can tell you now, based on…

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