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Peru indulges in 24-hour happy hour for ‘National Cocktail Day’

Peruvians on Saturday downed their national cocktail, the pisco sour, with a nationwide celebration of sipping and dancing — even opening a museum in its honor. The cocktail, made from a grape-based liquor called pisco, has been made in Peru since the 16th century. Added to it are a squirt…

Dozens suspended in Harvard cheating scandal: report

Around 60 students at Harvard University have been suspended and others disciplined in a mass cheating scandal at the elite college, a report in the campus newspaper said Friday. The Harvard Crimson quoted an email from Faculty of Arts and Sciences dean Michael Smith that said more than half of…

Powerful 6.9 earthquake shakes northern Japan

A powerful 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck northern Japan on Saturday, causing strong tremors across Hokkaido island but generating no tsunami or immediate reports of damage, authorities said. The quake, which was preceded by an early warning broadcast on television and radio, hit near the town of Obihiro at a depth of…

Saudi preacher spared after raping, killing daughter

A Saudi preacher who raped his five-year-old daughter and tortured her to death has been sentenced to pay “blood money” to the mother after having served a short jail term, activists said on Saturday. Lamia al-Ghamdi was admitted to hospital on December 25, 2011 with multiple injuries, including a crushed…

Turkish Marxist group ‘claims U.S. embassy attack’

A radical Turkish Marxist group has claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb attack at the US embassy in Ankara, according to a statement posted on the Internet on Saturday. The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP-C), which the Turkish authorities had already blamed for Friday’s bombing, accused the United States of…

Colonial flags fly in Hong Kong as anger grows over Chinese rule

Sixteen years after Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule, public discontent with Beijing is swelling and protesters have been rallying around an unexpected symbol — the British colonial flag. Tens of thousands have taken to the streets in recent months in marches against Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who took over…

Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil predicts it won’t stay cold much longer

Thousands gather at Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania town for Phil’s annual ritual – and the lack of a shadow spells good news After recent weather that has included freezing cold snaps, fierce tornadoes and then record-breaking seasonal highs, it’s perhaps not surprising that Americans are looking for climatic solace in…

States seek their share of $10 billion in Super Bowl gambling

Why states shouldn't cash in on Super Bowl odds By the half-time show of the 2013 Super Bowl game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, Americans will have gambled an estimated $10 billion on various aspects of the sports spectacle – from picking the winner to whether Alicia…

Five accused in Delhi gang-rape case plead not guilty

Five men accused of the savage gang-rape and murder of an Indian student pleaded not guilty on Saturday in a case that shocked the nation and sparked huge demonstrations, one of their lawyers said. The 23-year-old physiotherapy student was brutally assaulted in mid-December on a New Delhi bus she had…

French same-sex marriage law clears first hurdle

France’s National Assembly on Saturday overwhelmingly approved the first and most important article of a controversial law that will allow gay couples to get married and adopt children. Deputies voted 249-97 in favour of article one of the draft legislation, which redefines marriage as being an agreement between two people…

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