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Sen. John McCain makes unannounced visit to Syria to meet with rebel forces

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) made an unannounced visit to Syria on Monday, speaking to rebels there about their struggle against forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Word of McCain’s stop was first reported by The Daily Beast, but the senator did not comment on his trip. Rebel sources told the…

Marked increase in dangerous ‘double-jaw’ plastic surgery causes spike in severe complications

South Korea’s obsession with plastic surgery is moving on from standard eye and nose jobs to embrace a radical surgical procedure that requires months of often painful recovery. A stream of celebrities boast on TV shows how it gave them a “new life,” while advertisements extolling its cosmetic benefits are…

Vintage typewriters find new life in hands of writers, actors and old repairmen

Ermanno Marzorati has rarely been so busy. He is currently fixing a 1930 Underwood typewriter for Tom Hanks. But there are plenty more ancient writing machines awaiting his tender care. While the modern world taps away in an ever-increasing frenzy online, the Italian senses a new trend, from his calm…

Osaka mayor defends comments about wartime sex slavery by claiming U.S., British forces also did it

The combative mayor of Osaka took on Japan’s foreign press corps Monday in a nearly three-hour defence of his comments on wartime sex slaves. Toru Hashimoto again insisted Japan’s soldiers were not uniquely guilty in their widely-condemned “comfort women” system, claiming systemic trafficking for sexual purposes by armies around the…

WATCH: Gay French couple to be first in France to wed after marriage equality legalization

France on Wednesday celebrates its first gay marriage in the southern city of Montpellier after months of bitter debate and opposition that saw tens of thousands take to the streets. Officially a secular republic, France is overwhelmingly Catholic, and the issue of gay adoption and marriage — a key campaign…

Angelina Jolie’s aunt dies of breast cancer

Angelina Jolie’s aunt has lost her battle with breast cancer, it was reported, just weeks after the Oscar-winning actress announced that she had undergone a preventative double mastectomy. The Hollywood entertainment website E! News cited Jolie’s uncle, Ron Martin, as saying that his wife, Debbie — the younger sister of…

Guardian launches paywall-free online-only Australian edition

Britain’s Guardian newspaper on Monday launched a new online edition in Australia where print media is struggling, pledging an independent perspective and a multimedia approach. The Guardian, the world’s third most read newspaper website, unveiled the new site with an exclusive interview with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and a pledge…

Rabbi charged in 2006 sexual assault of 15-year-old boy

An Illinois rabbi was arrested Sunday and charged with sexual assault of a minor, in an incident alleged to have occurred almost seven years ago. Police were notified at the time that Larry Dudovitz, 45, had assaulted a 15-year-old boy in his sleep, but the family was unsure about pressing…

Child lured by kidnappers through Facebook rescued by police

Police in Pakistan’s biggest city Karachi on Monday rescued a teenage boy who was kidnapped for a half-million dollar ransom after apparently being lured through Facebook, officers and relatives said. Officers raided the gang’s hideout to the west of the sprawling city, which is plagued by gang violence and extortion…

Florida woman delivers baby in front of hospital

A Florida woman went into labor Thursday night and didn’t quite make it to the hospital on time, delivering her new baby right in front of the emergency room, gripping the arms of a wheelchair with midwife looking on. Amy Beth Cavaretta, 36, was fortunate enough to have a friend…

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