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U.S. patent office denies Apple’s efforts to trademark ‘iPad mini’

The US Patent and Trademark Office has denied Apple’s application for a trademark to safeguard its widely popular iPad mini tablet, saying the case to own the phrase was too weak. Apple, however, has until July 24 to better explain how the iPad mini is different and unique from the…

Grammy-winning ‘Pope of Pop’ Phil Ramone dies at 72

Phil Ramone, the legendary US music producer behind hits by Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel and Barbra Streisand, died Saturday, a trade publication said. He was 72. Ramone — a 14-time Grammy winner once dubbed the “Pope of Pop” — died in New York after being hospitalized for weeks…

Eiffel Tower evacuated after terrorism threat called into police

Visitors to the Eiffel Tower have been evacuated from Paris’s iconic monument, following an anonymous phone call announcing an attack Saturday night, a police source told AFP. About 1,400 people were evacuated and a security perimeter has been set up around the monument, the source said. The call came from…

Paris chainsaw thief hacks off Sun King elephant tusk

A man broke into the Paris natural history museum early Saturday and used a chainsaw to hack off the tusk of an elephant that belonged to King Louis XIV of France, officials said. Police arrested the man in a nearby street as he was making his escape and recovered the…

Venezuela inmates open jailhouse nightclub

Venezuelan inmates have opened their own nightclub and hosted friends and family at an inaugural bash complete with strippers and a light and sound show, a newspaper reported Saturday. The late-night party highlighted the plight of the crime-ridden country’s overcrowded penal system, where criminals often use bribery and intimidation to…

Bank of Cyprus savers could lose up to 60%

Big savers in Cyprus’s largest bank face losses of up to 60 percent, far greater than originally feared under the island’s controversial EU-led bailout plan, officials said on Saturday. Cyprus meanwhile launched an investigation into a list published in Greek newspapers of Cypriot politicians who allegedly had loans written off…

Germans seize Justin Bieber’s monkey

Canadian teen heartthrob Justin Bieber had his pet monkey Mally confiscated when he arrived with the animal at Munich airport, officials and media reports said Saturday. Customs officials put the capuchin monkey in quarantine on Thursday because the 19-year-old pop sensation was unable to present the necessary documents for importing…

‘Herod the Great’ lives on in Israel’s columns, frescoes and desert palaces

Archeological excavations at Herodian, West Bank, Thursday, the artificial mountain where Herod the Great built his largest and most lavish palace, yielded much of the material for an immense Herod the Great exhibit at The Israel Museum in Jerusalem.(Christa Case Bryant/The Christian Science Monitor…  …

New film ‘Blue Caprice’ explores 2002 ‘Beltway Sniper’ shooting spree

Joining a cacophonous debate over gun violence in the United States, a new film probes behind the headlines of a 2002 sniper spree that terrorized the area around the nation’s capital. Brooklyn-based French director Alexandre Moors’s film “Blue Caprice” premiered at the Sundance festival and was chosen to open the…

North Carolina takes down Confederate Civil War battle flag after protest

NAACP opposition indicates sensitivity of Southern symbols as country continues to mark 150th anniversary of Civil War William Faulkner once noted that in regards to the American South’s awareness of its troubled history, “the past is never dead. It’s not even past”. That sentiment – coming from one of the…

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