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Hugo Chavez’s ‘apostle’ sworn in as Venezuelan president

A self-styled “apostle” of Hugo Chavez, Nicolas Maduro, who became Venezuela’s president Friday, climbed from humble beginnings as a bus driver to the pinnacle of power in the shadow of his charismatic predecessor. “I am the first post-Chavez president in history,” he proclaimed hours before taking the oath of office…

Economic ‘Group of 20′ urges global community to end banking secrecy

The Group of 20 economic powers on Friday urged the global adoption of standards for sharing bank account information in an effort to fight tax evasion and curtail banking secrecy. The G20 said they “strongly encourage” all countries to sign on to a commitment to the automatic exchange of banking…

French marriage equality opponents prepare for last protest before vote

France’s bitter debate over gay marriage is set to reach a potentially explosive climax on Sunday, two days before a bill legalising same-sex unions is due to be finally approved. Opponents of the reform have been urged to take to the streets of Paris in a last-ditch show of their…

Hotelier rescued from elevator after being stranded for four days

A hotelier in rural Austria was stuck in a lift for four days but skills acquired on a Swedish military survival course helped him pull through, police said Friday. A friend delivering bread eventually alerted rescue services on Friday after noticing post piled up outside the hotel in Bad Gastein…

Wikileaks publishes transcript of ‘secret’ talk between Julian Assange and Google CEO Eric Schmidt

WikiLeaks has produced a transcript of a “secret” meeting between Google CEO Eric Schmidt and WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who at the time was under house arrest in the United Kingdom. Schmidt and Jared Cohen, a former advisor to Hillary Clinton, were researching a book, “The New Digital…  …

Spanish anarchists send Catholics explosive packages containing vibrators

“Anticlerical Pro Sex Toys Group” targets prominent Roman Catholics including archbishop of Pamplona An anarchist group in Spain has been sending bombs to prominent Roman Catholics, hiding the explosives inside packages containing vibrators. At least two such mini-bombs have been sent by a group that calls itself the Anticlerical Pro…

Patients of ‘dirty’ Oklahoma oral surgeon test positive for hepatitis and HIV

Test results came in Thursday for more than 3,000 of the 7,000 patients potentially exposed to infectious diseases through the practice of an Oklahoma oral surgeon who did not use proper sterilization techniques. According to Oklahoma City’s KFOR News, of Dr. Scott Harrington’s tested patients, dozens are coming back positive…

Nicolas Sarkozy investigated over Kadhafi campaign funding claims

French former president Nicolas Sarkozy is to be investigated over allegations that he accepted cash from former Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi to fund his 2007 election campaign. Judicial sources confirmed Friday that a formal probe has been opened that could lead to Sarkozy facing a second set of corruption-related charges…

Russia puts mice and newts in space for a month

A Russian rocket carrying a capsule filled with 45 mice and 15 newts along with other small animals blasted off Friday on a month-long orbital mission that should pave the way for manned flights to Mars. Live footage on the Roscosmos space agency website showed the Soyuz lifting off at…

Shot Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev featured ‘terror’ links on YouTube

The Boston marathon bombings suspect who was killed in a police shootout features a YouTube page listing links to men he identified as “terrorists” and Islamic teachers. The Russian-language YouTube page of the dead suspect, identified as 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, features various links to websites pulled by YouTube as well…

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