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Saudi employers upset as labor costs soar after immigrant exodus

Saudis have begun complaining of surging labour costs following the exodus of a million foreign workers, although economists insist there will be long-term planning benefits from fully regulating the market. Professionals in the kingdom, both Saudi and expatriate, say the freelance tradesmen who used to queue for odd jobs in…

NASA ‘dumbfounded’ after Hubble telescope discovers six-tailed asteroid

A strange asteroid that appears to have multiple rotating tails has been spotted with NASA’s Hubble telescope between Mars and Jupiter, astronomers said Thursday. Instead of appearing as a small point of light, like most asteroids, this one has half a dozen comet-like dust tails radiating out like spokes on…

430 bodies exhumed from mass grave in Bosnia

Forensic experts have exhumed 430 bodies so far from a mass grave left over from the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, possibly the largest gravesite found in Bosnia-Herzogivina, officials said Thursday. “Remains of 430 victims have been exhumed so far and among them 275 complete bodies,” Lejla Cengic of the Bosnian Institute…

Senate passes landmark gay rights bill

The US Senate passed a historic gay rights bill Thursday that would prohibit companies from hiring and firing based on an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed 64-32, with support from both Democrats and Republicans. “The Senate has clearly spoken to end discrimination in…

French family trapped in the United States because 500-pound son is ‘too fat to fly’

A French family who came to the United States for medical treatment said they were stranded in Chicago after British Airways determined their son was too fat to fly. Kevin Chenais, 22, spent a year and a half at the Mayo Clinic for treatment of a hormone disorder which led…

‘Anonymous’ hacks and defaces website of Singapore’s prime minister

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s official website was hacked Thursday by apparent members of activist group Anonymous after he vowed to hunt down anyone who attacks the city-state’s technological network. “It’s great to be Singaporean today,” read a mocking headline in a section of www.pmo.gov.sg next to the group’s…

Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor confronts new drunken video

Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor faced new embarrassment Thursday when video footage was published showing him in an agitated state, staggering and making foul-mouthed threats. Rob Ford, who admitted earlier this week that he had smoked crack cocaine while on a drunken binge, said he had been “extremely, extremely inebriated” when the…

Black models go topless in Rio to protest racism in the fashion industry

Some 40 black models, most of them women, have staged a topless protest in Rio de Janeiro against the low presence of Afro-Brazilians on fashion catwalks. “What strikes you, your racism or me?” one of the female demonstrators wrote on her chest during the protest late Wednesday timed to coincide…

‘Gossipy-mouthed’ women can’t be Christians, says man yelling at people on sidewalk

God hates chatty women, according to open air preacher Buddy Fisher. The outspoken evangelical Christian uploaded video of himself preaching to attendees of a Pearl Jam concert in Charlotte, North Carolina last week. “If you claim to be a Christian, you better check your life,” he shouted. “There is no…

White House: New data shows recovery ‘continuing to gain traction’

A White House grasping for any good news during a grim political run on Thursday seized on new government figures showing a surprise spurt of economic growth. Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, said the 2.8 percent annualized pace of GDP growth in the third quarter showed…

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