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Obama urged to address drug war related human rights violations during visit to Mexico

US President Barack Obama should address human rights violations related to Mexico’s Washington-backed war on drugs when he visits the country this week, Human Rights Watch urged. Obama is slated to meet Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in December and inherited a drug war that had killed…

Bollywood dynasties keep it in the family as India celebrates 100 years of cinema

As Indian cinema turns 100 years old, one powerful Bollywood dynasty can trace the roots of their stardom almost right back to the birth of the national film industry. “We have been there throughout. All the milestones of cinema, there has been some Kapoor or the other,” says 60-year-old Rishi…

Amanda Knox mulling return to Italy for murder retrial: report

Amanda Knox has refused to rule out returning to Italy for her murder retrial in the grisly 2007 slaying of her British house-mate, USA Today reported on its website Tuesday. Knox, 25, was ordered to stand trial again by Italian authorities last month in the latest twist of the legal…

American extremist in Somalia battles ex-comrades: “‘I’m on a mission from God,’ minus the blues music”

An American extremist in Somalia is fighting former comrades in the Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgent group, in what he says may be his final stand, he writes. Alabama-born Omar Hamami — better known as Al-Amriki or “the American” — once fought alongside the hardline Shebab in Somalia, but last year…

King Willem-Alexander takes Dutch throne

Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander became Europe’s youngest monarch on Tuesday after his mother, Queen Beatrix, abdicated and his country hailed the avowedly 21st-century king with a massive, orange-hued party. “I Queen Beatrix… abdicate in favour of my son Willem-Alexander,” the act said, as read out before the signing that was…

Britain to end direct aid to South Africa in 2015

Britain announced Tuesday that it will cut off direct aid to South Africa in 2015, citing its status as Africa’s biggest economy. London currently gives £19 million of bilateral aid a year to Pretoria, down from a peak of more than £40 million in 2003. Britain said its relationship with…

Chris Christie’s praise of Obama unlikely to hurt his 2016 prospects

New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s favorite question these days is whether he regrets working closely with the president on Hurricane Sandy relief. “No,” he gets to say, before explaining that the work of governing is more important than politics. Then a campaign aide cuts the clip and drags it to…

Dorner manifesto inspires fired LAPD officers to seek reviews of their cases

More than three dozen fired Los Angeles police department officers are seeking reviews of their cases after another former officer, Christopher Dorner, took revenge on the LAPD’s disciplinary process by going on a murderous rampage. Forty former officers have filed review requests since Dorner killed four people in February and…

Obama calls Jason Collins to praise his bravery in coming out

US President Barack Obama called NBA player Jason Collins on Monday to praise his courage after he became the first star in big-time American professional team sports to come out as gay. Collins, currently a free agent who has played for six teams over 12 seasons, made the announcement in…

Those who choose utilitarian ethics have empathy deficit, study finds

Those who would sacrifice one person to save five others score low on one particular measure of empathy, but not other measures, according to research published this month in the scientific journal PLoS One. The study of 2748 people by Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht of the Institute of Cognitive Neurology in Argentina and…

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