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Jordanian journalists demonstrate against ‘repressive’ law blocking news websites

Jordanian journalists on Wednesday demonstrated near the royal palace in protest at a “repressive” government decision to block 290 unlicensed local news websites. “We gathered today to tell King Abdullah II that the government’s repressive decision violates the constitution,” Nasser Lafi, editor of Busala, or compass, news website, told AFP.…

Saudi government smashes ‘sinful’ statues of horses

Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia has smashed sculptures of horses erected on a roundabout in the southwest after the kingdom’s top cleric denounced them as sinful, local media reported on Wednesday. The municipality in the town of Abu Arish in Jazan province bordering Yemen demolished the statues on Tuesday, local online news…

Austrian children’s home charged with ‘decades’ of physical and mental abuse

Children were physically and mentally abused for decades at a former Austrian children’s home and city authorities knew about it but did nothing, a commission charged with investigating the allegations said Wednesday. The Wilhelminenberg home on a hill above Vienna closed in 1977, but until then children staying there were…

Restrictive drug laws censor science and hamper research, scientists say

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) – The outlawing of drugs such as cannabis, magic mushrooms and other psychoactive substances amounts to scientific censorship and is hampering research into potentially important medicinal uses, leading scientists argued on Wednesday. Laws and international conventions dating back to the 1960s have set back research…

Mexico rescues 275 workers from ‘slavery’

Mexican authorities have rescued at least 275 people who were being held in slave-like conditions at a camp where tomatoes are sorted and packed for export, officials said. Thirty-nine teenagers were among those being held against their will at the Bioparques de Occidente camp in Toliman, in the western state…

Hong Kongers to protest in support of U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden

Up to a thousand supporters of US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden are expected to stage a protest in Hong Kong on Saturday to call on the government to protect him, organisers told AFP. The protesters, set to include lawmakers, will march first to the US consulate and then government headquarters,…

EU warns Obama of ‘grave consequences’ from NSA intel scandal

The EU has warned President Barack Obama’s administration of “grave adverse consequences” to the rights of European citizens from a huge US Internet surveillance programme, officials said Wednesday. Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner, wrote a letter on Monday to US Attorney General Eric Holder demanding “swift and concrete” answers…

Unpaid ‘Black Swan’ interns win landmark case against 20th Century Fox

The two have won an action against 20th Century Fox, claiming their unpaid work should have been done by paid employees Two interns who completed unpaid work on the Oscar-winning film Black Swan have won a landmark case against the studio behind the movie, 20th Century Fox. Alexander Footman and…

Britain to regulate e-cigarettes as non-prescription medicine

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is to regulate electronic cigarettes as non-prescription medicine from 2016 in an attempt to improve quality, though the country’s drugs watchdog said they would still be sold in convenience stores. Healthcare authorities around the world are grappling with how to deal with the battery-driven devices, which…

Ex-Arizona congressman Richard Renzi convicted of fraud and extortion

By Brad Poole TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) – Former U.S. Representative Richard Renzi of Arizona was found guilty on Tuesday of fraud, extortion and money laundering stemming from a federal land swap deal when he was in office, prosecutors said. Renzi, 55, was convicted of 17 felony counts in the corruption…

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