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Belgium’s centuries-old beer producers are exporting at astonishing rates

Belgium’s centuries-old beers, product of the tiny country’s location at a culinary and cultural crossroads between north and southern Europe, are taking the world’s tipplers by storm. From red to golden ales and sour cherry froth, lagers to stouts and lambic beers, the fame of Belgian brews has sent exports…

Female anti-immigrant lawmaker tells men to patronize Danish prostitutes to combat trafficking

A woman lawmaker from an anti-immigrant Danish political party said on Wednesday that men should visit only Danish prostitutes to help combat trafficking of foreign sex workers. “I think we should try to stop this trafficking and that means it’s best if they don’t go to a foreign girl,” Pia…

Polish snail farms inch toward huge potential

At a snail farm in lake-rich northern Poland, one of a growing number of breeders across the country, it is easy to accidentally step on a mollusc making a break for freedom. “You have to secure the area to stop the snails from fleeing, because they’re very clever about it,”…

Jordanian journalists demonstrate against ‘repressive’ law blocking news websites

Jordanian journalists on Wednesday demonstrated near the royal palace in protest at a “repressive” government decision to block 290 unlicensed local news websites. “We gathered today to tell King Abdullah II that the government’s repressive decision violates the constitution,” Nasser Lafi, editor of Busala, or compass, news website, told AFP.…

Saudi government smashes ‘sinful’ statues of horses

Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia has smashed sculptures of horses erected on a roundabout in the southwest after the kingdom’s top cleric denounced them as sinful, local media reported on Wednesday. The municipality in the town of Abu Arish in Jazan province bordering Yemen demolished the statues on Tuesday, local online news…

Austrian children’s home charged with ‘decades’ of physical and mental abuse

Children were physically and mentally abused for decades at a former Austrian children’s home and city authorities knew about it but did nothing, a commission charged with investigating the allegations said Wednesday. The Wilhelminenberg home on a hill above Vienna closed in 1977, but until then children staying there were…

Restrictive drug laws censor science and hamper research, scientists say

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) – The outlawing of drugs such as cannabis, magic mushrooms and other psychoactive substances amounts to scientific censorship and is hampering research into potentially important medicinal uses, leading scientists argued on Wednesday. Laws and international conventions dating back to the 1960s have set back research…

Mexico rescues 275 workers from ‘slavery’

Mexican authorities have rescued at least 275 people who were being held in slave-like conditions at a camp where tomatoes are sorted and packed for export, officials said. Thirty-nine teenagers were among those being held against their will at the Bioparques de Occidente camp in Toliman, in the western state…

Hong Kongers to protest in support of U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden

Up to a thousand supporters of US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden are expected to stage a protest in Hong Kong on Saturday to call on the government to protect him, organisers told AFP. The protesters, set to include lawmakers, will march first to the US consulate and then government headquarters,…

EU warns Obama of ‘grave consequences’ from NSA intel scandal

The EU has warned President Barack Obama’s administration of “grave adverse consequences” to the rights of European citizens from a huge US Internet surveillance programme, officials said Wednesday. Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner, wrote a letter on Monday to US Attorney General Eric Holder demanding “swift and concrete” answers…

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