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Iranian media dismisses ‘Argo’ Oscar win as ‘political’

Iranian media on Monday scoffed at Hollywood’s awarding of its top honour to Ben Affleck’s Iran hostage drama “Argo”, branding it a “political” win while poking fun at US first lady Michelle Obama’s surprise appearance at the Oscar ceremony. The 85th Academy Awards is “the most political Oscar ever,” Iran’s…

Dominique Strauss-Kahn sues over book documenting his affair

Disgraced IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is taking legal steps to stop a controversial new book by Argentinian-born Marcela Iacub detailing their liaison, his lawyers said on Monday. In “Beauty and the Beast,” due to be released on Wednesday, Iacub says she had a relationship with Strauss-Kahn from January to August…

Morsi seeks meeting with opposition over Egyptian parliamentary elections

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Monday called for a meeting with the country’s opposition to discuss upcoming legislative polls, amid calls for a boycott. “I call on all the brothers in the different parties in all of Egypt to come… so we can sit and put in the place the…

‘Life of Pi’ earns Ang Lee second directing Oscar

Taiwanese-born Ang Lee was the first Asian ever to win an Oscar for directing, in 2006 for gay cowboy movie “Brokeback Mountain.” Seven years later he has done it again with 3D fantasy “Life of Pi.” “Thank you, movie god,” Lee told the audience at the 85th Academy Awards on…

Syrian minister says regime is ready for peace talks with rebels

The Syrian regime is ready to talk with all parties, including armed rebels, who want dialogue to end the conflict, Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said on Monday at talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. “We are ready for dialogue with all who want dialogue, including those who are carrying…

Wombs for rent: Indian surrogate mothers tell their tales

As baby Lili celebrates her first birthday in Australia, far away in India her surrogate mother recalls the day the child was born — and on whom she never laid eyes. “I averted my gaze,” says Seita Thapa, recounting her experience of giving birth at the Surrogacy Centre India clinic…

Pistorius to report to police for first time since posting bail

Oscar Pistorius, South Africa’s sporting hero who has been charged with murder over the killing of his girlfriend, on Monday is due to report to a Pretoria police station for the first time as part of his bail terms. Pistorius is due to report to the Brooklyn police station in…

Putin signs law banning smoking in public places in Russia

President Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning smoking in public places in Russia from June, a cornerstone of the government’s bid to improve public health in the nicotine-addicted country, the Kremlin said Monday. The law makes smoking illegal in restaurants, cafes, hotels, trains and a host of other places…

Mobile phone industry predicts 4 billion subscribers by 2018

The $1.0-trillion (750-million-euro) global mobile industry predicted Monday a boom in subscribers to four billion people by 2018 as the world’s largest mobile fair opened in Barcelona, Spain. Already, 3.2 billion people pay for mobile services, nearly half of the world’s population, said a study by A. T Kearney and…

Ex-Vatican prosecutor: Cardinal cover-up suspects should get papal vote

Cardinals suspected of having protected predator priests should be allowed to take part in next month’s papal conclave, the Vatican’s former prosecutor on child sex abuse cases said Monday. Amid mounting criticism over the presence of such cardinals, notably Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, among the men who will choose…

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