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Belarus jails border guard over ‘teddy bear invasion’

Belarus has convicted and jailed for two years a border guard for failing to report that a foreign plane full of teddy bears had crossed into national airspace from Lithuania last July, the Belarus Supreme Court said Tuesday. The decision by a military tribunal is the first jailing in connection…

Nestle pulls meals in Italy, Spain after horsemeat found

Swiss giant Nestle (VTX: NESN.VX – news) has become the latest food company hit by Europe’s horsemeat scandal, announcing it is removing two pasta meals from supermarket shelves in Italy and Spain due to contamination. The news came Monday as German discount chain Lidl pulled ready-made meals from the shelves…

Has politics weighed on Oscars race?

Perhaps it is no surprise, given that 2012 was a US election year, but this year’s Oscars crop includes a heavy dose of politics — which has arguably influenced Hollywood’s top awards race. From gun control advocates blasting blood-spattered “Django Unchained”, to rows over CIA torture that were triggered by…

Thousands join anti-government rallies across Bulgaria

Several thousand people joined street rallies across Bulgaria on Monday as initial protests against high electricity bills snowballed into bitter anger against the right-wing government of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Between 1,500 and 2,000 protesters marched on parliament in downtown Sofia on Monday evening, shouting “Mafia!”, “Resign!” and “Garbage!” Over…

Boeing seeks temporary fix for suspect batteries: report

US aerospace giant Boeing is considering an interim plan to protect its 787 Dreamliner if its batteries overheat or catch fire, according to a report Monday in the Seattle Times. Boeing’s flagship new jet has been banned from flight worldwide since the middle of last month after battery smoke forced…

David Axelrod: White House made ‘mistake’ in releasing draft immigration bill

A former top adviser to the president said Monday that the White House had made a “mistake” in distributing a draft bill on immigration reform, as Republicans attacked the leaked blueprint as an attempt to sideline bipartisan input. “The mistake here was to disseminate it so widely within the administration…

Two charged for burning alive ‘witch’ in Papua New Guinea: report

Two people have been charged with the murder of a young mother in Papua New Guinea who was accused of being a witch and set upon by a mob that burned her alive, reports said Tuesday. Kepari Leniata, 20, was stripped naked, doused with petrol and set alight atop a…

Sen. Coons: U.S. will likely have more active military role in Mali

The United States is likely to play a more active military role in Mali, where French-led forces are battling Islamist rebels, after the country holds elections, the chair of a key Senate sub-committee said Monday. Washington has been providing intelligence, transport and mid-air refuelling to France, which launched its intervention…

Russian official demonizes U.S. for ‘inhumane torture’ of adopted children

A woman in the US state of Texas has killed her adopted Russian son, the Kremlin’s envoy for children said Monday, outlining the latest alleged abuse of an adopted Russian child by American parents. “A three-year-old Russian child has been murdered by his adoptive mother in the state of Texas,”…

Iran: France ‘engaging in irrational behavior’ over nuclear program

Iran on Monday urged Paris to take “a correct approach based on reality,” after the French defence minister stressed the need to prevent the Islamic republic from developing nuclear weapons. “There is an erroneous belief held by some Western nations that if put under pressure Iran will give up its…

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