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Putin supports bill granting amnesty to white-collar criminals

President Vladimir Putin urged lawmakers Friday to pass a newly-drafted bill that would grant an amnesty to white-collar criminals in a bid to improve Russia’s frigid business climate at a time of slowing growth. In a keynote address to the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin also unveiled a $13.7-billion…

Lesbian couple attacked after having sex in McDonald’s bathroom

Two women were allegedly attacked and beaten by a group of people outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Pennsylvania after being kicked out for allegedly having sex inside the women’s bathroom. The Daily Mail reported that the confrontation began Thursday afternoon, after customers at the Upper Darby restaurant complained to management…

Coroner says Canadian tourist found in hotel water tank died of natural causes

Coroner’s officials say that a Canadian tourist whose body was found in a Los Angeles hotel’s water tank died from an accidental drowning. According to the Los Angeles Times, medical examiners found no signs of trauma on the body of Elisa Lam, and toxicology reports returned clean. Lam’s body was…

European Union ministers back ban on menthol cigarettes

European Union health ministers on Friday approved plans to ban menthol and other flavoured cigarettes as part of a crackdown on youth smoking. But the ministers reduced the size of mandatory health warnings on packages, including pictures of diseased organs, and they stopped short of banning “slim” cigarettes. The proposed…

Obama meets privacy board to discuss surveillance programs

US President Barack Obama Friday meets members of a privacy watchdog board, finally fully active after years of delays, to discuss a furor over US spy agency Internet and telephone snooping. The meeting will take place in the secure Situation Room of the White House to allow classified information to…

American Medical Association calls on reversal of gay blood donor ban

A leading US doctors’ group this week urged the reversal of a decades-old ban on donations of blood from gay men, saying the law is discriminatory and outdated. The policy decision came Tuesday in Chicago at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, a professional grouping of more than…

Abercrombie and Fitch stops selling anti-Taylor Swift T-shirt

LOS ANGELES — Abercrombie and Fitch, under fire recently for failing to cater to plus-sized shoppers, says it’s no longer selling a T-shirt that mocks pop diva Taylor Swift’s prolific love life. Fans of the singer-songwriter, known as Swifties, used social media including YouTube and aChange.org petition this week to complain…

Hagel sorry for making Taliban joke about Indian-born professor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has expressed regret to an Indian-born college professor for jokingly asking, “you’re not a member of the Taliban, are you?” seconds before the professor rose to ask a question. Hagel’s spokesman said the joke was not directed at anyone in particular, and…

FAA investigating near-collision above New York airports

By Victoria Cavaliere NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two airliners nearly collided above New York airports earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement on Friday. The incident occurred at about 2:40 p.m. on June 13, when a Delta Air Lines Inc Boeing 747 arriving from Tokyo at…

New York chef said employer showed him severed finger when he asked for income tax forms

By Francesca Trianni NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York chef in a lawsuit against his former employer said that when he asked for forms to report his income taxes, he was shown a gruesome photo of a person whose fingers were chopped off and warned to keep silent. Alfred…

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