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Giant blue ‘Hahn/Cock’ statue lands in London’s Trafalgar Square

A huge blue cockerel descended upon London’s Trafalgar Square on Thursday, but the artwork has ruffled feathers by putting the symbol of France in a site marking a famous British victory over Napoleon. Standing 4.7 metres (15.5 feet) tall and coloured a vivid ultramarine, the fibreglass rooster was sculpted by…

The 10 dumbest ideas to defeat Rove & progressives discussed by the conservative Groundswell organization

Groundswell — the group email list and weekly meeting sponsored by “a balance of social conservatives, national security conservatives, and constitutional conservatives” (and, notably, not fiscal conservatives) — was established to attack liberals and progressives, stymy President Barack Obama’s agenda and push Republican leaders to hew more closely to a…

12-year-old French girl caught writing bad checks for candy

A 12-year-old girl in the southern French city of Bordeaux has been caught by police after using stolen cheques to buy 2,600 euros ($3,440) worth of candies and pastries. Local police said Thursday that the girl had stolen a chequebook in March from a neighbour and used it over several…

Study: Taller women associated with greater cancer risk

By Laura Zuckerman (Reuters) – Women’s chances of developing cancer after menopause increase with their height, according to a new study. Among nearly 145,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79, researchers found that height was more strongly associated with cancer than such established risk factors as obesity. The…

Train driver in deadly Spanish crash to face investigation

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain — One of the drivers of a train that hurtled off the rails in northwestern Spain, killing 80 passengers, faces questioning by police on Thursday, a court official told AFP. “The judge has asked the police that he make a declaration,” said the spokesman for the…

France drops law that makes insulting the president a criminal offense

Change to law pushed through after conviction of man who held up a sign telling then-president Nicolas Sarkozy to get lost Being rude to the French president is no longer an offence after parliament amended legislation dating back to 1881 in favour of freedom of speech. Previously any rude remark…

Cheese shop owner on crusade to block ban on mimolette over mites in rind

In the Washington suburb of Arlington, cheese shop owner Jill Erber is leading a desperate crusade to convince US authorities not to ban one of her products over the tiny mites that live on its rind. The sign behind the counter at Cheesetique, Erber’s store and wine bar where more…

Justice Department wants renewed authority over Texas voting laws

WASHINGTON/PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice plans to ask a federal court to reinstate its authority over voting laws in Texas, part of a new Obama administration strategy to challenge state and local election laws it says discriminate by race, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday. “Based…

Federal prosecutors charge SAC Capital hedge fund with criminal fraud

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors on Thursday unveiled criminal fraud charges against billionaire Steven A. Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors LP, capping a nearly seven-year probe into one of Wall Street’s most renowned firms. The indictment accused SAC and various affiliates of four counts of securities fraud and one count…

O.J. Simpson to ask Nevada parole board to cut prison sentence

(Reuters) – Former football star O.J. Simpson will ask the Nevada parole board on Thursday to reduce his prison sentence of up to 33 years for his role in the robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers. Simpson, convicted in 2008 of storming a Las Vegas hotel room with other men…

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