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UN chemical arms experts arrive in Syrian capital

A team of UN chemical weapons experts arrived in the Syrian capital Damascus on Wednesday, an AFP correspondent said, ahead of new investigations into the use of the banned arms. The team, led by chief expert Ake Sellstrom, flew into the Lebanese capital Beirut on Wednesday morning, before continuing by…

British schoolboy admits robbing bank ‘like a real-life action video game’

A British schoolboy described as a “model pupil” on Tuesday admitted robbing a bank while carrying a fake gun. The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, held up a branch of Barclays bank in Liverpool, northwest England, on Friday and made off with £2,000 (about $3,200), the city’s…

Kremlin laughs off rumors that Putin married former Olympic gymnast

The Kremlin on Wednesday rubbished rumours that President Vladimir Putin had got remarried in a monastery to a former Olympic rhythmic gymnastics gold medallist, saying the talk had “nothing in common with reality”. The Russian strongman’s private life has been the subject of intense speculation since he and his wife…

Iran’s new president tells CNN: the Holocaust was ‘reprehensible and contemptible’

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Tuesday condemned the Holocaust as “reprehensible” in a new sign of a radical change by the Tehran government. “Any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime the Nazis created toward the Jews, is reprehensible and condemnable,” the newly elected leader told CNN…

Greek police arrest one of their own while raiding neo-Nazi party’s offices

Greek police raided the offices of neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn and arrested a police officer, authorities said, amid a major probe on the links between law enforcers and far-right politicians. A 45-year-old officer, who is working as the bodyguard of a Golden Dawn lawmaker, was detained during the raid at…

Ban on late-night working shifts divides France

French cosmetics maker Sephora said Tuesday it would appeal a court order to close its flagship Paris store by 9 pm after it became the latest casualty of a much-contested law banning late-night work. In a case that has reignited debate over French attitudes to work, employees of the store…

Russia considers raising divorce fees to avoid bad marriages

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has backed a proposal to make divorce far more expensive as a way of discouraging ill-considered matches, state media reported Tuesday. “The motives (for the suggestion) are understandable: switch on your brain when you’re getting married, otherwise there’s going to be material penalties,” the prime…

Over-the-counter gel found to help hypoglycemic babies avoid brain damage

Sugar gel massaged inside baby’s cheek can help avoid neurological condition linked to hypoglycaemia, Lancet reports A small dollop of dextrose gel inside the mouth of a newborn baby with dangerously low blood sugar levels can prevent the child becoming brain damaged, new research shows. Giving the gel will help…

Brazilian district bans sales of toy guns to ‘change the culture of violence’

A Brazilian territory is believed to have become the first region in Latin America to ban the sale of toy guns as the country attempts to staunch an epidemic of firearm-related crime. The Federal District, which encompasses the country’s capital Brasilia and various satellite towns, launched the initiative as Brazil…

JPMorgan Chase offers Justice Department a $3 billion settlement

JPMorgan Chase has offered to pay about $3 billion to settle an array of pending Justice Department probes, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing a person familiar with the discussions. The Justice Department argued JPMorgan would need to pay billions above the $3 billion offer to settle the cases,…

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