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Catholic bishops slam Israel’s security barrier

A delegation of Roman Catholic bishops from Europe and North America pledged on Thursday to press their governments to act against the “injustice” of Israel’s West Bank separation barrier. During a three-day trip ending on Thursday, the eight prelates visited Christian congregations in the Gaza Strip, Bethlehem, the West Bank…

Obama mocks Lew’s loopy signature: Don’t devalue the dollar with illegible writing

President Barack Obama jokingly joined in criticism of Jack Lew’s signature on Thursday, urging his Treasury nominee to change it before it appears on the greenback and risks devaluing the dollar. Lew’s doodle-like eight-loop signature — a cute but utterly undecipherable scrawl described as an “unraveled slinky” by one graphologist…

94-year-old man breaks out of Munich hospital in search of a birthday beer

A 94-year-old pensioner broke out of hospital in Munich so he could belatedly celebrate his birthday in one of the German city’s famous beer halls, police said Thursday. A passer-by noticed the elderly man at an underground rail station on Wednesday as he still had an intravenous drip needle implanted…

Boston’s mayor declares public health emergency due to flu outbreak

Mayor Tom Menino urges residents to get vaccinated as city confronts 700 confirmed cases amid fears of nationwide danger The city of Boston has declared a public health emergency as fears of a nationwide flu outbreak intensify. Mayor Thomas Menino urged residents to get vaccinated against flu, as the city…

Chinese state media mocks ‘repulsive’ government cliches

Chinese state media turned on the government’s own use of language Thursday, mocking a list of “repulsive” official cliches submitted by social media users. The public shaming of bureaucrat-speak — hosted on the microblog of the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily — came after China’s new leaders slammed the…

FDA orders sleep drug makers to reduce dosage

US authorities ordered sleep drug makers to lower their recommended dosage because evidence shows some people wake up groggy and not in the best shape to do things like drive. The active ingredient to combat insomnia is called zolpidem and is contained in drugs like Ambien, Edluar and Zolpimist. The…

Amazon ramps up challenge to iTunes store with AutoRip

Amazon.com on Thursday launched a service that gives compact disk buyers instant copies of music in the Internet “cloud” in a major challenge to Apple’s iTunes shop. Amazon AutoRip provides free MP3 versions of music on CDs bought from the online retail titan. Copies of tunes are stored in Cloud…

Unusual heavy snowfall hits Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — Jerusalem was transformed into a winter wonderland on Thursday after heavy overnight snowfall turned the Holy City and much of the region white, bringing hordes of excited children onto the streets. As temperatures plummeted, the bitter winds and rain that have battered the Middle East since Sunday turned…

EU moves to end state monopolies of railways

In proposals likely to infuriate Germany, the EU executive will this month urge an end to Europe’s last rail monopolies and so open the lucrative passenger market to competition from 2019. The toughest opposition to the European Commission plan is likely to come from Germany and its rail giant Deutsche…

Mexico City officials blame pack of wild dogs for string of gruesome deaths

By Jo Tuckman, The Guardian Official explanation of marauding wild dogs for deaths of five people found with horrific flesh injuries prompts public backlash Crime scene tape strung between trees in a hilly park in the working class Mexico City suburb of Iztapalapa marks the place where a teenage couple…

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