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France moves to toughen ban on religion in schools with ‘Charter for Secularity in School’

France on Monday unveiled a new charter designed to reinforce rules banning religion from schools which have been a recurring cause of tension with Muslims and other faiths. The “Charter for Secularity in School,” is to be displayed in poster form in every state-funded school in the country in a…

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff accuses U.S. of spying for ‘economic’ interests

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff accused the United States of spying on oil giant Petrobras for its own “economic and strategic” reasons — not for national security. The latest allegations of online snooping by the National Security Agency emerged Sunday night when TV Globo reported Brazilian oil giant Petrobras — world…

Four found guilty of Delhi bus gang rape and murder that sickened India

An Indian court convicted four men Thursday of the gang rape and murder of a physiotherapy student on board a moving bus in a crime that sickened the nation. Judge Yogesh Khanna said the men, who could now face the death penalty, were guilty of murdering a “helpless victim” as…

Judge declares Indiana ‘right to work’ law unconstitutional

Indiana’s much-derided “right-to-work” law was ruled unconstitutional on Monday by a state Superior Court judge, paving the way for another legal battle with the state Supreme Court. WXIN-TV reported that Judge John Sedia’s ruling found that a provision in the law requiring unions to represent workers who do not pay…

IOC members gear up to elect new president

Six men will wake up on Tuesday with hopes of ending the day as the most powerful man in sport by being elected International Olympic Committee (IOC) President and succeeding Jacques Rogge. Their fate lies in the hands of fellow IOC members when they vote later on Tuesday in Buenos…

‘Miracle’ Andes survivor faces sexual abuse charges

A 58-year-old Uruguayan man who vanished in the freezing Andes for four months turned from valiant survivor to crime suspect Monday after authorities revealed he was fleeing pedophilia charges. Raul Gomez Cincunegui, dehydrated and weighing just over 40 kilos (88 pounds), was found by chance on Sunday when helicopters flying…

MIT and Harvard top list of the world’s top universities

The United States comes out on top in an authoritative list of international university rankings published Tuesday, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University leading the way. MIT came top of the QS World University Rankings for the second year running, while Harvard displaced Britain’s Cambridge University…

Hawaii Gov. Abercrombie calls special legislative session to pass marriage equality bill

Hawaii’s governor has called a special legislative assembly next month to debate a bill legalizing gay marriage, in what would make it the 14th US state to do so. Lawmakers in the Pacific island state will meet from October 28 to discuss a bill “to address the issue of marriage…

Fourth porn actor reportedly diagnosed with HIV

Calls heighten in California for moratorium on new productions and mandatory use of condoms A fourth American porn actor has reportedly tested positive for HIV, fuelling fears of a significant outbreak in California’s adult film industry. A male performer told a Los Angeles-based advocacy group he had been diagnosed with…

Byzantine-era treasure unearthed in Jerusalem

Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a Byzantine-era hoard of gold in Jerusalem’s Old City, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced on Monday. Dig director Eilat Mazar described the excavation of 36 gold coins, a gold medallion inscribed with a Jewish ritual candelabrum and a selection of gold and silver jewellery as…

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