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In Venezuela don’t watch your back, watch your hair

They already endure staggering levels of street crime. Now, Venezuelans have something new to fear — muggers who chop off their hair. Members of the scissor-wielding street gangs are called piranas, after the flesh-eating fish. The gangs sell the stolen hair to salons which fashion it into braids in this…

Putin demands U.S. prove Syria chemical weapons use

Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded on Saturday that the United States shows proof that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, arguing that failure to do so would mean that none exists. “Regarding the position of our American colleagues, who affirm that government troops used… chemical weapons, and say that they…

Pope replaces divisive Vatican figure with top diplomat

Pope Francis on Saturday appointed a senior Vatican diplomat as his new Secretary of State, ousting divisive cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as he looks to overhaul the Church’s scandal-ridden administration. His replacement for the “number two” position at the Vatican, Italian cleric Pietro Parolin, is currently the Catholic Church’s envoy to…

Chemical leak in Shanghai kills 15, sickens dozens

An ammonia leak from a cold storage unit at a food company in China’s commercial hub of Shanghai killed 15 people on Saturday and sickened dozens, the city government said. The leak sickened 26 people, who had been sent to hospital, with six in critical condition, the Shanghai government said…

Microsoft and Google to sue over U.S. surveillance requests

Technology firms want to be allowed to publish information about US government requests under the Fisa legislation Microsoft and Google are to sue the US government to win the right to reveal more information about official requests for user data. The companies announced the lawsuit on Friday, escalating a legal…

Mexico ships first load of premium tequila to China

Mexico sent its first shipment of 100 percent blue agave tequila to China, hoping to finally break into what sellers say could soon be their second biggest market. The shipment consisted of more than 70,000 bottles of the highest quality tequila, with a total value of more than $400,000, according…

Hell’s Angels members plead guilty to murder conspiracy charges in Canada

Twenty-seven Hell’s Angels members have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder in part of a wide-ranging Canadian prosecution of the notorious motorcycle gang’s activities, officials said. More than 150 Hell’s Angels were arrested in 2009 after a major crackdown on five branches of the gang in eastern Canada. Charges against…

Roger Waters backs Bulgarian protesters during performance of ‘The Wall’

Former Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters backed anti-government protests in Bulgaria over the past two-and-a-half months during his show “The Wall Live” in Sofia late Friday. Red captions “No fucking way” and “Ostavka” in Cyrillic — which means resignation in Bulgarian — flashed upon Waters’ famous Wall during the performance…

Federal court upholds California ban on foie gras sales

A US federal appeals court upheld California’s ban on the sale of foie gras Friday, 13 months after the block on the controversial delicacy came into force. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected claims that the ban interferes with free trade, made in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles…

AT&T and T-Mobile embroiled in legal fight over the color magenta

AT&T to roll out a nationwide, no-contract service called Aio (via The Christian Science Monitor) T-Mobile CEO John Legere speaks during news conference in New York in July 2013. T-Mobile challenged Aio Wireless’ use of the color magenta in advertisements announcing Aio’s expanding US coverage program. (Mary Altaffer/ AP Photo/…

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