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Strauss-Kahn paid hotel maid $1.5 million: report

Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn paid a settlement of $1.5 million (1.1 million euros) to the New York hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault, a French newspaper reported Sunday. Citing sources close to Strauss-Kahn, Le Journal du Dimanche said Nafissatou Diallo had received the payment under a…

French military seeks ‘total reconquest of Mali’

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday the end goal of France’s military action in Mali was to retake control of the whole country from Islamist militants who have seized the north. “The goal is the total reconquest of Mali. We will not leave any pockets” of resistance, Le…

Film ‘After Tiller’ gives voice to stigmatized abortion doctors

Forty years after the legalization of abortion in the United States, just four doctors offer controversial late-term procedures, and are the subject of a documentary at the Sundance film festival. “After Tiller,” named for physician George Tiller, a prominent practitioner of late-term abortions shot dead by an extremist in 2009,…

Israelis ‘donate’ votes to Palestinians in protest

As a Palestinian living in the West Bank, Mousa Maria has no legal right to vote in Israeli elections this week. But thanks to a protest initiative, an Israeli voter will be casting a ballot for him. He’s participating in the “Real Democracy” project, a joint campaign launched by Israeli…

Chavez ‘gaining strength,’ says vice president

President Hugo Chavez is “gaining strength” as he finishes post-operative care and entering a “new phase” of cancer treatment, Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Sunday. Chavez anointed Maduro his political heir before flying to Cuba for a fourth round of cancer surgery on December 11. The longtime Venezuelan leader’s…

Biden sworn in for second term as vice president

US Vice President Joe Biden re-took the oath of office Sunday as Barack Obama officially begins his second term, a day ahead of public festivities planned for Monday. Biden placed his hand on a thick and weathered-looking bible held by his wife, Jill, and pledged to “support and defend the…

British survivors recount terror in Algeria

British survivors returning from the Algerian gas plant hostage crisis have told of their experiences, with the mother of one saying that her son will have nightmares for life. One Briton has been confirmed killed in the attack by Islamist militants, while a further five British nationals and one UK…

Mourners exchange fond memories and angry calls for justice at Aaron Swartz memorial service

It was fitting that a memorial service held Saturday for computer freedom activist Aaron Swartz, who killed himself on January 11 as he faced hacking charges, was open to all. In a spacious meeting room in the heart of New York’s East Village neighbourhood, friends, fellow activists and supporters of…

On the trail of dinosaur fossil swindlers

Dinosaur fossils are big business, with complete skeletons fetching millions. And that much cash attracts swindlers, science writer Brian Switek reports Fossils are priceless. I mean that in both senses: they are invaluable clues about vanished lives and their worth should never be measured in dollars. But Eric Prokopi made…

‘Political coward’ Binyamin Netanyahu sees rift with Barack Obama widen

Israeli prime minister’s aides accused American president of interfering in Israel’s elections Already fractious relations between Binyamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama have been further strained in the runup to the president’s inauguration on Monday and the Israeli prime minister’s anticipated victory in Tuesday’s election. Netanyahu aides accused Obama of interfering…

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