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Vietnam seizes massive shipment of illegal ivory

Vietnam has seized two tonnes of illegal elephant tusks found stashed in bags of shells being shipped to China, state media reported Wednesday. Customs officials found the tusks in a shipping container that had been transported to the northern port city of Hai Phong from Malaysia, according to the state-run…

Obama demands immediate restoration of military death benefits

President Barack Obama demanded immediate action after learning the US government shutdown had cut off death benefits to relatives of soldiers recently killed in action, his spokesman said Wednesday. Obama expected a solution by the end of Wednesday, Jay Carney said, adding the US leader was “disturbed” to find out…

North Korea says it is ready for a military confrontation

North Korea took fresh aim at the United States Wednesday over a three-nation naval drill, accusing it of “serious military provocation” and branding the exercise an “attack on our efforts for peace”. The planned drill in waters around the Korean peninsula involves South Korea, Japan and the United States, which…

San Francisco train gunman fails to attract attention of ‘overly engrossed’ smartphone users

San Francisco police allege that on September 23, Nikhom Thephakaysone shot and killed college student Justin Valdez while they were getting off the train. The randomness of the alleged murder is made more troubling, according to investigators, because of video evidence that demonstrates that although Thephakaysone openly brandished his .45-caliber…

Obama invites all Republican and Democratic lawmakers to the White House

President Barack Obama Wednesday announced plans to invite all Republican and Democratic lawmakers to the White House to talk about the bitter impasse which shut the government and could throw the United States into default. Obama will begin the process by meeting minority Democrats from the House of Representatives later…

U.S. to suspend most of its military aid to Egypt: officials

The United States is poised to suspend much of its military aid to Egypt due to Cairo’s sweeping crackdown against supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, US officials said Wednesday. The decision would hold up the delivery of major weapons, including Apache helicopters, F-16 fighter jets and M1A1 Abrams tanks,…

Pat Robertson doesn’t know what ‘a transgender’ is, compares them to ‘a former stallion who is now a gelding’ anyway

Today on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson claimed not to know what “transgender” means. “I may be an old fuddy-duddy,” he said, “but what is transgender?” Not that his profession of ignorance prevented him from criticizing “this whole business about transgenders, you’re saying they’ve got boy parts but they want…

IRS executive denies ‘consorting with the Devil’ and ability to fly

While testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday, Sarah Hall Ingram — an IRS official charged with implementing much of the new health care law — was grilled by Virginia Democratic Congressman Gerald Connolly. “Have you been consorting with the Devil,” he asked, mocking the line…

Sex workers protest evictions from London’s Soho district

Sex workers in the legendary London district of Soho demonstrated in carnival masks and negligees on Wednesday against evictions they claim threaten their safety and the unique nature of the area. The small but colourful group held up posters saying “No evictions — safety first” and “I’d rather sell my…

Tennessee man refuses to remove blackface hanging scene from corn-maze

A photograph from a Halloween corn-maze in Tennessee is causing controversy on social media. The image is entitled “Hung up,” and features a white man stringing up what appears to be an African-American child with a noose. The child, however, is actually white and wearing blackface. One visitor to the…

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