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New York origami convention highlights West’s love of this Asian art

Hundreds of enthusiasts gathered in New York over the weekend for a convention celebrating origami, the ancient Asian art of paper folding, as the craft gains increasing recognition as serious art in the West. Animals, shapes, landscapes and spaceships constructed with astonishing intricacy were on display at OrigamiUSA, all fashioned…

Italian court sentences former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to 7 years for sex with minor

MILAN (Reuters) – A Milan court sentenced former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday to seven years in jail and banned him from public office after finding him guilty of paying for sex with a minor and abusing his powers of office to cover up the affair. The verdict…

Assange: Snowden receives refugee papers from Ecuadorian government

(Reuters) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Monday that fugitive U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden had received refugee papers from the Ecuador government to secure him safe passage as he fled Hong Kong over the weekend. “In relation to Hong Kong, Mr Snowden was supplied with a refugee…

Supreme Court rules generic drug makers cannot be held liable for defects

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that makers of generic drugs already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cannot be held liable under state law for claims of design defects. In a 5-4 vote, the court ruled for Mutual Pharmaceutical Co, a unit of…

Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin writes debut musical for Broadway

The West Wing creator delves back into writing for the stage after dropping out of Houdini in January Academy Award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is writing his debut Broadway musical – six months after dropping out of his first attempt. In January, the West Wing creator withdrew as the librettist for Houdini, which was…

Snowden not aboard flight from Russia to Cuba: reports

MOSCOW (Reuters) – There was no sign that former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden was onboard a Russian plane bound for Cuba as it prepared to take off on Monday, a Reuters correspondent on the plane said. A flight attendant said Snowden was not on the plane and the…

Somalis asks British bank not to cut off funds

Somalia’s money transfer businesses appealed on Monday for the last major British bank they work with not to close its accounts, warning this would cut lifeline services for the war-torn nation. With their country ravaged by decades of conflict and without a formal banking system, many diaspora Somalis depend on…

New Jersey to lower flags in honor of James Gandolfini

Flags will fly at half staff Monday on official buildings in New Jersey as a mark of respect for “The Sopranos” star James Gandolfini, a native of the northeastern US state, officials said. In an executive order issued Friday, Governor Chris Christie said the symbolic move served “to recognize the…

Experimental cancer drug put on hold after patient dies

(Reuters) – Cell Therapeutics Inc said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has placed a partial clinical hold on the company’s experimental blood cancer drug after the death of a patient. The patient, being treated with the drug tosedostat in combination with a chemotherapy drug, died of myocarditis, or infection…

India to begin mass cremation of flood victims

Indian priests are planning to cremate hundreds of flood victims on Monday, as heavy rains halted the search for thousands of tourists stranded in the devastated Himalayan region, officials said. Up to 1,000 people are feared dead and more than 8,000 mainly pilgrims and tourists are still awaiting rescue nine…

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