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Former North Korean spy’s memoir details ‘enemization’ training conducted by abducted South Koreans

As well as the obvious classes like bomb-making, Kim Dong-Sik’s intensive spy training in North Korea included memorising hundreds of South Korean pop songs and dance moves. Such strategies for assimilating into South Korean society were considered essential to avoid suspicion, Kim revealed in a recently-published memoir that lifts the…

Treasury Department: Legally-married same sex couples qualify to file joint taxes regardless of their state

The US government on Thursday announced that legally married gay couples will be treated the same as married couples for federal tax purposes. The decision applies to legally married same-sex couples whether they live in a state that recognizes the marriage or not, the US Treasury Department and the Internal…

Syria’s wounded find medical care in Israeli hospitals despite official hostilities

The quiet hospital ward in northern Israel is a world away from the ravages of Syria’s civil war but scores of wounded Syrians, ignoring long-standing taboos concerning relations with the Jewish state, are receiving treatment here. Fatima, a Syrian woman who ended up in Ziv hospital with her daughter after…

NFL, 4,500 players reach $765 million settlement in lawsuits that claim league hid concussion risks

NFL, retired players reach settlement on concussion lawsuits (via SB Nation) By Jeff Gray on Aug 29 2013, 1:33p + The league and some 4,500 players have reached a $765 million agreement. The NFL has reached a $765 million settlement with more than 4,500 former players who brought suit against the…

Nearly one in five scientists thinking of leaving the U.S. in search of better funding

A coalition of top scientific and medical research groups is set to release a study next week which reveals that nearly 20 percent of scientists in the U.S. are considering leaving the country in favor of better funding environments. According to Sam Stein at Huffington Post, the lead organization, the…

Suspect al Qaeda gunmen kill Yemeni man they suspected of being gay

Suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen on Thursday shot dead a Yemeni man because they believed he was a homosexual, a security official told AFP. “Armed Al-Qaeda suspects on a motorbike opened fire on 29-year-old Salem Ahmed Hasan in a market in Huta,” capital of the southern province of Lahj, the official said,…

Saudi Arabia adopts first law to criminalize domestic violence

Saudi Arabia has adopted a law criminalising domestic violence, usually targeting women and children, in a move hailed by activists who on Thursday demanded its swift implementation. The law, approved by the cabinet on Monday, is aimed at protecting people from “all forms of abuse” and offering them shelter as…

Fast food workers strike in 50 cities to demand wages of $15/hour, right to unionize

Thousands of workers at McDonald’s and other fast food outlets across the United States went on strike Thursday in a growing movement for higher wages in the industry. Workers in 50 cities joined the strike to fight for $15 an hour wages — double what most currently earn — and…

Scientists link weight gain from quitting smoking to shift in gut bacteria correlated with obesity

Nervous nibbles alone do not explain the weight that people tend to gain when they give up smoking, Swiss researchers said Thursday, turning the spotlight instead on a bacterial shift in the intestines. Studies have shown that quitting smoking leads to an average weight gain of four to five kilogrammes…

Popular Australian entertainer faces child rape, child porn charges in England

Rolf Harris, the veteran Australian artist and entertainer, has been charged with nine counts of indecent assault on two girls aged under 16, prosecutors in Britain said Thursday. The 83-year-old, who has long been a fixture on British TV, has also been charged with four counts of making indecent images…

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