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Literary icon Gabriel Garcia Marquez dead at 87

Colombia’s Nobel-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez died Thursday in Mexico City at the age of 87, Mexican and Colombian media reported. Garcia Marquez, the author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” passed away at his home with his wife and two sons by his side, Mexico’s Televisa anchor Joaquin Lopez-Doriga…

Pope Francis includes elderly Muslim in Easter foot-washing ritual

Pope Francis washed the feet of a dozen elderly and disabled people including a Libyan Muslim during an Easter ritual in Rome on Thursday imitating Jesus Christ’s humility. The 77-year-old bent down with difficulty to wash and kiss the feet of the nine Italians and three foreigners aged between 16…

Ex-BP employee accused of insider trading sold $1 million in stock after Gulf oil spill: SEC

Regulators Thursday charged a former BP employee who worked on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with insider trading after he sold $1 million worth of BP stock days after the disaster. Keith Seilhan, who coordinated BP’s cleanup of the giant oil spill, sold his family’s entire portfolio of BP stock…

Pentagon chief: U.S. will send ‘non-lethal’ military aid to Ukraine

The United States will send helmets, medical supplies and other non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine amid fears of another Russian incursion there, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday. Hagel said he had informed Kiev that President Barack Obama “has approved additional non-lethal military assistance for health and welfare items and…

John Kerry slams ‘grotesque’ anti-Jewish pamphlets in eastern Ukraine city

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday notices were sent to Jews in a Ukrainian city asking them to identify themselves as Jews, a move he condemned as “grotesque”. “In the year 2014, after all of the miles travelled and all of the journey of history, this is…

Iranian murderer set to hang gets a slap in the face from the victim’s mother instead

An Iranian mother spared the life of her son’s convicted murderer with an emotional slap in the face as he awaited execution with the noose around his neck, a newspaper reported Thursday. The dramatic climax followed a rare public campaign to save the life of Balal, who at 19 killed…

Computer-generated Japanese pop star Hatsune Miku to join Lady Gaga tour

Hatsune Miku, a computer-generated Japanese pop star who performs as a hologram, is to support some of Lady Gaga’s tour of North America next month, the US songstress has announced on Twitter. The pixel-perfect pop princess, whose voice is also the product of digital code, will perform in 3D alongside…

115 Nigeria schoolgirls still missing after kidnap: principal

A Nigerian school principal on Thursday denied military reports that most of the girls kidnapped from her school by Islamist gunmen were now safe, as the parents of those taken voiced anger over the conflicting claims. The defence ministry and the government in Borno state, where the attack took place,…

Japanese ‘zentai’ fetishists seek liberation in full body suits

By day, she is a mild-mannered office clerk, whose modest make-up and conservative hairstyle make her blend in to any crowd. By night, she dresses in a skin-tight, all-in-one Spandex body suit that covers everything — including her eyes — and sits in bars, alone but liberated, she believes, from…

Scientists unscramble great sperm-egg secret, opening new avenues in fertility, contraception

Scientists said they had made the long-sought discovery of how sperm latches onto an egg in the very first spark of reproduction, the outcome of a near decade-long hunt. The find opens up avenues for new contraception or treating infertility, they said. When a sperm meets an egg, they fuse…

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