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Make money not arthouse films: British PM tells industry

After a period of critical and commercial success, Prime Minister David Cameron has urged the British film industry to focus on making more mainstream movies to allow them to compete with Hollywood. Six months after the multi-billion-dollar grossing “Harry Potter” series came to an end, and almost a year after…

Mississippi suspends controversial mass pardon

The US state of Mississippi has temporarily suspended a mass 11th-hour pardon that set four convicted murderers free and sparked outrage among victims and law enforcement officials. The state’s attorney general argued Wednesday that the surprise decision by outgoing governor Haley Barbour to pardon some 200 prison inmates — including…

Spaniards to launch gay retirement homes

Spanish gays and lesbians are uniting to build Spain’s first homosexual retirement residence, driven away from traditional homes by prejudices that linger since the decades of dictatorship. Gays who say they must return to the closet at risk of being isolated and insulted when they enter a care home have…

New sex scandal hits Australian defence force

SYDNEY — The Australian military was rocked Thursday by a new sex scandal, including allegations of assault, child porn, rape and drug-dealing within its ranks. Documents obtained by Channel Seven News under the Freedom of Information Act detail what it called “ongoing, often major, breaches of discipline in Australia’s armed…

North Korea says Kim’s body to lie in state

SEOUL — North Korea Thursday announced plans to honour late leader Kim Jong-Il, saying his body would lie in state in a Pyongyang palace and memorial towers would be built nationwide. Kim died on December 17 of a heart attack at age 69 after 17 years in charge of the…

Buffett offers to match Republican donations to pay down deficit

WASHINGTON — U.S. tycoon Warren Buffett has challenged Republicans in Congress to make personal contributions to cut the US deficit, vowing to match their donations dollar-for-dollar. Answering Republican calls for the mega-billionaire to donate money to the US Treasury if he wants to help with deficit reduction, Buffett told Time…

Hundreds rally in U.S. against Guantanamo

WASHINGTON — Ten years after the first “war on terror” inmates arrived at the US-run prison at Guantanamo Bay, hundreds of protesters rallied in Washington on Wednesday, demanding the facility be closed for good. “Ten years too long, ten years too late,” chanted the activists, some in orange prison jumpsuits,…

In Cuba, Iran leader says capitalism ‘in decay’

HAVANA — Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad slammed capitalism as bankrupt and called for a new world order Wednesday on a visit to Cuba, steering clear of the controversy over his country’s nuclear program. The Iranian leader arrived in Cuba for talks with his counterpart Raul Castro as the Islamic republic…

U.S. denies blame in killing of Iranian scientist

WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday denied that it was to blame for the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist by a car bomb, after Tehran said Washington and Israel were responsible for the attack. “I want to categorically deny any United States involvement in any kind of act…

Romney’s cash conspicuous for a White House hopeful

WASHINGTON — Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney “is probably one of the richest people ever to run for President of the United States” according to his party rival Rick Perry. With an estimated net worth of $250 million, Romney is certainly very wealthy compared with most Americans. And after the biggest…

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