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U.S. accuses Suriname president’s son of working with Hezbollah

The United States charged the son of Suriname President Desi Bouterse on Friday with attempting to supply weapons to Hezbollah and allow its fighters a base to attack American targets. Dino Bouterse, extradited from Panama to the US in August, already faces charges of plotting to import 22 pounds (10…

European Union will not remove trade chief caught in tax-fraud case

The European Commission Friday ruled out relieving its trade chief of his responsibilities amid vital negotiations on a deal with the United States, as Belgium took Karel De Gucht to court on tax-fraud charges. The EU executive said it was treating news of De Gucht’s scheduled court appearance on November…

NYC mayor de Blasio turned into Nativity figurine in Italy

The newly-elected mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, is now a figurine for Christmas Nativity scenes in Naples thanks to artisans in the homeland of the politician’s Italian grandfather. The terracotta statuette shows the new mayor — who has spoken proudly of his Italian heritage — smiling and waving…

Frozen yogurt magnate convicted in brutal tire-iron attack of homeless man

On Friday, a Los Angeles jury found Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee guilty of assault with a deadly weapon in the beating of a homeless man. Lee was convicted of beating a transient near the Vermont exit of the 101 Freeway after the man approached Lee asking for money. The prosecution…

Dolphin virus outbreak in Atlantic is deadliest ever

A total of 753 bottlenose dolphins have died along the US Atlantic coast due to a measles-like virus, surpassing the previous deadly outbreak 25 years ago, officials said Friday. The strandings began in July and have spanned the shoreline from New York to Florida, amounting to more than 10 times…

Elderly Florida woman fends off alleged rapist: ‘I just wanted to get the knife in there and twist’

An elderly woman in Florida who had been robbed two days previous awoke Wednesday morning to find a man attempting to rape her. Alice Dunn said she was awoken when a man standing behind her recliner cupped his hands over her mouth and told her to “get in the bedroom.”…

New vending machine gives Muscovites free bus rides if they do Olympic squats

Passengers on the Moscow metro puffed and sweated for a free ride on Friday after Olympic officials unveiled a machine that issues a free ticket as a reward for performing 30 squats. By setting the somewhat embarrassing challenge with a time limit of two minutes, the organisers said they were…

‘Hunger Games’ producers working on ‘potential theme park opportunities’

Jon Feltheimer, the CEO of Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation, told analysts affiliated with the studio that he is actively seeking “theme park opportunities” based on the company’s Hunger Games franchise. “We have been approached in two different territories about potential theme park opportunities, which gives you a sense of the…

Southern Baptist Convention ‘sincerely sorry’ for offensive Asian imagery

The retail arm of the largest US Protestant denomination has apologized to Asian Americans for using stereotypical images including rickshaws. For its summer Bible school, a unit of the Southern Baptist Convention promoted to children a “Far Out Far East Rickshaw Rally: Racing to the Son.” Advertisements included images of…

Albania has become Europe’s main marijuana supplier

Every morning, thousands of women, men and children climb a steep road towards an Albanian village almost veiled in white smoke, hoping to get seasonal work in the surrounding fields. Young and old, from all over the country, they meet shortly after sunrise at the entrance to this mountain-side village,…

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