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Fast-food worker wage protests spread to Detroit and St. Louis

Similar demonstrations aimed at raising fast-food workers’ wages took place earlier in the year in Chicago and New York A series of industrial protests hitting America’s gigantic fast food industry has spread to cities in the Midwest as workers from several national chain restaurants have gone out on strike for…

Manhattan soothsayer pleaded guilty to swindling client out of $650,000

Maybe the devil made her do it. A fake Manhattan soothsayer pleaded guilty to using her powers to persuade a client to fork over more than $650,000. Janet Miller, 39, claimed she was able to see that her victim needed protection from being cheated, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said…

Blueprints for 3-D printable handgun take refuge in Pirate Bay file-sharing site

Blueprints for the world’s first 3D printable handgun took refuge Friday at file-sharing website The Pirate Bay, upsetting a US government attempt to get them off the Internet. Defense Distributed, a Texas non-profit that promotes the open-source development of firearms using 3D printers, withdrew the files needed to make the…

U.S. to return more stolen dinosaur skeletons to Mongolia

Mongolia may need to rustle up some more glass cases for its first dinosaur museum after US authorities announced Friday they will hand back a large new collection of stolen fossils. At a ceremony on Monday, officials had turned over the nearly complete skeleton of a 70-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus bataar, a…

UN governments agree to phase out toxic chemical HBCD

Governments have agreed to phase out the use of the toxic chemical HBCD, and restrict trade in four other dangerous substances, the head of the UN’s anti-pollution division said Friday. “Adding these chemicals to the list is a good thing, because they are known to be quite bad chemicals,” Jim…

India’s ‘Red Brigade’ fights to change the country’s rape culture

India’s “Red Brigade” is a group of angry young women with a simple message for the country’s sexual predators: change your ways or be ready to face the consequences. Dressed in bright red shirts and loose black pants, the brigade’s members are fed up with deeply ingrained patriarchal mindsets and…

Roman police arrest street performer for dressing like John Paul II

A Slovak street performer dressed in white papal vestments has been detained and fined by the police in Rome for bearing too close a resemblance to the late John Paul II, the police said on Friday. “The problem was that he looked a lot like Karol Wojtyla. He was detained…

Raul Castro’s daughter calls for ‘conga’ dance against homophobia in Cuba

Cuban leader Raul Castro’s daughter, a sexologist and supporter of gay rights, has urged Cubans to join a traditional “conga” dance against homophobia taking place in Havana on Saturday. “We are the heirs of a strongly patriarchal Spanish culture, very homophobic and very discriminating,” said Mariela Castro, whose father succeeded…

India accounts for a quarter of cervical cancer deaths thanks to stigma

Social stigma is harming attempts to combat cervical cancer in India where more women die annually of the disease than anywhere else in the world, a new report said Friday. More than a quarter of cervical cancer deaths worldwide occur in India, representing 72,825 a year according to the report…

Lebanese director: Arab League blocked my film because I ‘set foot’ in Israel

Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri whose award-winning film “The Attack” has been banned in his home country said on Friday that the Arab League has asked its 22 member governments to take steps to prevent the film being shown. “The Arab League has asked Arab governments, Lebanon included, to withdraw the…

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