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Switzerland strikes a deal with the U.S. over tax evasion

Switzerland has accepted a United States demand to settle a dispute over the alleged complicity of Swiss banks in tax evasion by Americans, Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf announced Wednesday. “This is both a good and a practical solution,” Widmer-Schlumpf told reporters after a cabinet meeting approved the draft accord. She…

Obesity growing fastest in Africa and Latin America: UN

Alarmed at expanding waistlines around the world, the UN’s health agency has urged countries to get serious about reining in a ballooning obesity crisis, proposing an action plan that includes taxing unhealthy snacks and rules against marketing junk food to children. Once considered only a problem in high-income countries like…

3 Femen women held in Tunis after baring breasts

Three young European women with topless protest group Femen were arrested Wednesday after baring their breasts in front of Tunis central courthouse in support of a Tunisian activist, an AFP journalist reported. The women, two French and the other German, shouted: “Free Amina,” in reference to the young Tunisian woman…

Britain holding up to 90 suspects at Afghan base Camp Bastion

Britain is holding up to 90 people at its main base in Afghanistan, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond admitted Wednesday, as lawyers claimed they were possibly being detained unlawfully. British lawyers representing two of the men being held at Camp Bastion in the southern province of Helmand claim their cases could…

‘World’s oldest’ Torah scroll found in Italian archive

The world’s oldest complete Torah scroll has been found in a university archive in Bologna, according to an Italian professor who said Wednesday the text could be from the 12th century. The precious lambskin scroll had been classified by the university library as being from the 17th century and was…

Mozilla and Foxconn collaborating on Firefox OS tablet: report

Foxconn and Mozilla are collaborating on a device that will run the latter’s Firefox OS, according to Reuters. Foxconn (also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.) is reportedly interested in diversifying its business beyond the manufacture of Apple products, which contribute a significant…  …

Northern California police chief pitches plan to allow residents to double medicinal pot gardens

A new proposal from Healdsburg’s police chief could allow medical marijuana users there to double the size of their medicinal gardens from what is allowed by state law. Under the new regulations, patients would be able to cultivate up to 12 mature plants and 24 immature ones. Put forward by…

Robots playing a larger role in operating rooms

The patient, a 61-year-old from Flemington, lay motionless on the operating table at Somerset Medical Center. He was surrounded by a team of nurses who helped remove his cancerous prostate. His surgeon, a urologic oncologist named Dhiren Dave, remained seated through almost the entire…  …

OpEDL: ‘Anonymous’ targets far-right English Defense League

Individuals claiming to be part of international hacktivist group Anonymous have published phone numbers and addresses for supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) as part of what they said was the first phase of a campaign to destroy the far-right street protest movement. An audio statement posted on YouTube…

Court saves Japanese teen who ran up $54,000 bar tab on dad’s credit card

A man whose teenage son ran up a $54,000 credit card bill in a champagne-fuelled tour of Japanese hostess bars does not have to pay most of it back, a court has ruled. The 16-year-old and his friend took his father’s platinum American Express card around luxury nightspots in the…

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