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Ariel Castro of Cleveland charged with kidnapping and rape

A 52-year-old US man has been charged with kidnapping and rape in connection with the abduction in Cleveland of three women who went missing a decade ago, a city prosecutor said Wednesday. Ariel Castro is accused of raping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight during their time in captivity…

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin says U.S. must lead the way toward colonizing Mars

Buzz Aldrin, the American astronaut who was the second man to walk on the Moon, said Wednesday that the United States must lead the way toward building a permanent settlement on Mars. Speaking at a conference of space experts in the US capital, the 83-year-old said the United States should…

Jury convicts Jodi Arias of first degree murder

A US jury convicted a 32-year-old woman, Jodi Arias, of first degree murder Wednesday after a trial which gripped US media attention with lurid details of sex, lies and graphic violence. Arias had been on trial since January accused of murdering her 30-year-old ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in June 2008 in…

Scientists slam Canada’s tar sands production: Doesn’t address climate change in ‘meaningful way’

Letter urges natural resources minister Joe Oliver to consider consequences of his support for controversial policy The Canadian government’s promotion of the tar sands industry is setting the world on a course of catastrophic climate change, a group of climate scientists and economists have warned. In a letter made available…

Lebanon considered ‘liberal’ in Middle East but still arrests LGBT

Lebanon has a reputation as the most liberal country in the conservative Middle East, but even a night on the town for gays can end in arrest and humiliating sexuality “tests”. They might be less persecuted than elsewhere in the region, but outside a few areas of the capital Beirut,…

Diplomat tells Congress Benghazi mission failed to meet critical security standards

A career diplomat told Congress on Wednesday that the US mission in Benghazi in Libya had failed to meet crucial security standards, a deficiency that may have contributed to American deaths last year. Eric Nordstrom, the regional security officer at the US Embassy in Tripoli in the months before the…

New York design school cancels Galliano workshop after anti-Semitic outburst

New York’s Parsons School of Design has canceled a workshop that disgraced fashion designer John Galliano was set to give in a step toward his rehabilitation after being sacked by Christian Dior for an anti-Semitic outburst. The four-day master class at the prestigious school had come under a bombardment of…

Italian court upholds Berlusconi’s tax evasion conviction

An Italian court on Wednesday upheld a tax fraud conviction for former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, confirming his sentence of one year in prison and a five-year ban from public office. “The court confirms the sentence against Silvio Berlusconi,” a judge at the Milan court said in a live audio…

Famous Mexican gay couple leads the way on gay adoptions

They are perhaps Mexico’s best-known gay couple: one a soap opera actor, the other a theater producer. They were happy enough just being together, until things got better and they could wed. And while it has not been easy, even though they had the law on their side, now Felipe…

Hong Kong’s secret street racing world

As night begins to give way to dawn, 40 high-performance cars pull up on an empty Hong Kong backstreet. While the city sleeps, their revving engines fill the air with a heavy smell of petrol. The drivers huddle together to set the route, always at the last possible minute. One…

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