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LinkedIn tops 200 million users

LinkedIn on Wednesday announced that more than 200 million people have joined the career-focused online social network since its launch nearly a decade ago. “This milestone is more than just a metric, it’s a reminder of the global footprint and the scale of impact our network has each day,” LinkedIn…

15-year-old Saudi girl granted divorce from 86-year-old man

A 15-year-old Saudi girl who was forced to marry an octogenarian has been granted a divorce after a local human rights group intervened, the watchdog said on Wednesday. The Saudi Human Rights Commission (SHRC) raised the case “after learning of the marriage of a minor girl to an 86-year-old man…

Beyonce to sing national anthem at presidential inauguration

Pop diva Beyonce will sing the national anthem before hundreds of thousands of onlookers at US President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony on January 21, organizers said Wednesday. On a stage specially constructed for the event at the foot of the Capitol, the singer — a long-time supporter of Obama —…

China becomes second-largest movie market

Moviegoers in China spent 17 billion yuan ($2.7 billion) on tickets last year, turning the country into the second-largest film market in the world, the state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday. Sales rose 30 percent from 2011, it said, citing the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT),…

Judge delays WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning’s trial until June

Judge reschedules former US soldier’s trial to give more time for review of classified information related to WikiLeaks case A military judge has pushed back the trial of Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of being behind the WikiLeaks publication of state secrets. Colonel Denise Lind, the judge presiding over…

Obama to nominate chief of staff Jack Lew for Treasury chief

President Barack Obama plans to nominate his chief of staff Jack Lew as his next Treasury secretary, replacing Timothy Geithner, US media reported Wednesday. Lew, 57, is a veteran Washington insider who previously served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. His nomination — which must be confirmed…

Germany’s Catholic Church severs ties with criminologists who research sex abuse

Germany’s Roman Catholic Church said on Wednesday it had severed ties with criminologists commissioned to research sexual abuse by clergy in a row over the right to publish their findings. The Church announced in July 2011 it would open its archives, which date back to the end of World War…

Berlin museum spotlights U.S. filmmaker Martin Scorsese

A Berlin museum will Wednesday open what it called the first exhibition worldwide dedicated to the work of veteran US film-maker Martin Scorsese, who opened his vast archive for the show. Featuring relics such as Robert De Niro’s shirt drenched in fake blood from “Cape Fear” and his battered boxing…

British men snagged ‘millions’ by smuggling Chinese garlic into Sweden

Two British men are believed to have made millions of euros in just over a year by smuggling Chinese garlic from Norway into Sweden, a prosecutor in Gothenburg said Wednesday. Something didn’t smell right for authorities in June 2010, when a truck full of garlic was intercepted in the Bohuslaen…

Volunteer firefighters complain new fire truck is too wide for narrow French streets

Volunteer firefighters in a southern French village are complaining after the new truck they received — at a cost of 250,000 euros ($326,000) — turned out too wide for its narrow streets. The firefighters have complained to local authorities in the town of Montcuq about the truck ordered by regional…

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