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Putin vows no anti-LGBT discrimination at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday vowed there would be no discrimination against gays at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, despite a storm of controversy over a new law banning the dissemination of gay “propaganda” to minors. In an interview with Channel One television, Putin dismissed speculation about the…

Leaked season 3 premier of ‘Homeland’ downloaded more than 200,000 times

An unfinished work-print of the hit Showtime series Homeland appeared online yesterday. According to TorrentFreak, the leaked episode is missing the opening credits and some of the “seamless” CGI effects — buildings in the background, cars on closed roads, and a key element of last season’s finale — have yet…

Qatar announces its first MERS coronavirus death

A woman has died in Qatar after contracting the MERS coronavirus, becoming the first recorded fatality from the SARS-like virus in the Gulf state, local press reported on Wednesday. The 56-year-old Qatari victim, who already had chronic illnesses, died on August 31, a week after she was admitted to intensive…

Secret U.S. documents reveal Al-Qaeda has anti-drone operation: Washington Post

Al-Qaeda’s leaders have set up cells of engineers to try to shoot down, disable or hijack US drones, The Washington Post reported late Tuesday citing top-secret US intelligence documents. The Al-Qaeda leadership is “hoping to exploit the technological vulnerabilities of a weapons system that has inflicted huge losses against the…

100,000 kilograms of dead fish cleared from polluted Chinese river after ‘chemical discharge’

Hundreds of thousands of dead fish were left floating in a Chinese river after a chemical discharge, officials said Wednesday, the latest industrial accident to pollute the country’s battered environment. About 100,000 kilograms of fish were cleared from 40 kilometres of the Fu river in Wuhan, the capital of the…

British soldier tells inquiry board about unit’s ‘degrading’ abuse of Iraqis

Duncan Aston tells al-Sweady public inquiry how sergeant stamped on head of dead Iraqi after firefight in Iraq in 2004 A British soldier engaged in a fierce gunfight in Iraq described on Wednesday how his colleagues punched and kicked a prisoner and stamped on the head of a dead Iraqi,…

Edward Snowden receives whistleblowing award in Germany

I’m still at a loss as to how people cannot call Ed Snowden a whistleblower, given just how many government abuses his leaks have revealed, and the wider discussion they have created (all without revealing anything that appears to be truly damaging –…  …

Toronto International Film Festival promises WikiLeaks ‘full story’

North America’s largest film festival opens Thursday with a drama about real life WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, promising the “full story” behind the whistleblower website. “The Fifth Estate” by director Bill Condon is based on a book by Assange’s once-trusted lieutenant and former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg, about events leading…

Ex-U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright honored with Anna Lindh prize for role as a ‘unique female leader’

Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will receive a prize in memory of assassinated Swedish prime minister Anna Lindh for her role as a “unique female leader,” the award’s organisers announced Tuesday. The Anna Lindh prize, worth 150,000 Swedish kronor (17,000 euros, 23,000 dollars), is given to those who…

‘Defined Lines’: Feminist parody of Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ re-emerges on YouTube after banning

A feminist parody of Robin Thicke’s controversial hit “Blurred Lines” has gone viral on YouTube after being briefly banned from the video-sharing website for being too raunchy. The spoof by three Auckland University law students titled “Defined Lines” satirises Thicke’s song with a music video that uses bare-chested males in…

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