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Watchdog: Children blackmailed into sex abuse via webcam

Children as young as eight are being blackmailed into performing sex acts live on webcams, causing some of them to self-harm or even commit suicide, a British watchdog warned on Friday. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) said it had conducted 12 investigations over the last two years…

Suspected mafia boss to make U.K. bail plea

An alleged Italian mafia boss who was arrested in London last month after two decades on the run will appear via video link for a bail hearing on Friday. Italy wants to extradite Domenico Rancadore, 64, so that he can serve a seven-year jail term for his role in the…

Tunisian women ‘waging sex jihad in Syria’

Tunisian women have travelled to Syria to wage “sex jihad” by comforting Islamist fighters battling the regime there, Interior Minister Lotfi ben Jeddou has told MPs. “They have sexual relations with 20, 30, 100″ militants, the minister told members of the National Constituent Assembly on Thursday. “After the sexual liaisons…

‘Unfashionable’ Victorian art enjoys revival

Cruel, enchanting and dangerous, John William Waterhouse’s red-haired femme fatale pours poison into a cup in one of the once-feted Victorian artist’s best known works, “The Love Philtre”. Looking straight ahead, the bare-shouldered woman with slanting eyes and a long, angular face pauses, as if inviting the viewer to witness…

France to cut fossil fuels by 30% by 2030: Hollande

France will reduce use of fossil fuels by 30 percent by 2030 as part of a strategy to halve overall energy use by 2050, President Francois Hollande announced on Friday. “I propose that we set a goal of reducing consumption of fossil energy by 30 percent by 2030,” Hollande said…

‘Vicious’ Japan shoe poisoner gets 7 years in jail

A court in Japan Friday jailed a man for slipping corrosive acid into the shoes of a colleague he was stalking, causing her to have the tips of her toes amputated, officials and media reports said. Tatsujiro Fukasawa, 41, was handed a seven-year sentence for assault, a court official confirmed.…

South African grannies use condoms to help arthritis pain

The elderly in South Africa are discarding pills for boxes of condoms in the belief that the lubricant oil on the latex helps alleviate arthritis-related pain, a daily reported Friday. They rub the condoms on the painful joints, and claim to feel instant relief, the Sowetan said. “This oil is…

Super Typhoon Usagi on path of destruction towards Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong

Super Typhoon Usagi — one of the strongest storms of the year — barrelled towards Hong Kong and southern China on Friday, prompting warnings of fierce winds and torrential rains. Packing gusts of up to 205 kilometres (127 miles) per hour, the storm is projected to roar between the Philippines…

Rand Corp. report suggests U.S. and China create dividing line in ‘collapsed’ North Korea

The United States should consider negotiating a separation line with China in a collapsed North Korea, a study said Thursday, warning of catastrophic consequences if Kim Jong-Un’s regime suddenly falls. The report by Rand Corp., a prominent US research institute, said that the crumbling of the totalitarian state could trigger…

Obama names large campaign donor Goldman Sachs exec Bruce Heyman as ambassador to Canada

US President Barack Obama named a Goldman Sachs executive and large campaign contributor as ambassador to Canada on Thursday amid potential rifts between the allies over the Keystone pipeline. Bruce Heyman, managing director for private wealth management at the investment bank, lives in Obama’s base of Chicago and is a…

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