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Catholics see rise in numbers in Asia and Africa

The number of Catholic priests and believers in the world is on the rise, a Vatican report showed on Monday, with gains in Africa and Asia offsetting a slump in Europe and the Americas. The world’s Catholics rose from 1.196 billion to 1.214 billion between 2010 and 2011, an increase…

Hundreds of Bangladesh textile plants shut indefinitely

Hundreds of factories which form the hub of Bangladesh’s garment industry are to close indefinitely after worker unrest sparked by the death of more than 1,100 colleagues, employees announced Monday. As the search for bodies from last month’s collapse of a factory complex wrapped up, the textile industry’s main trade…

Authorities arrest 2 in connection to death of Malcolm X grandson

Authorities have arrested two people in connection with the beating death of the grandson of late US civil rights activist Malcolm X in Mexico City, an official said Monday. Malcolm Shabazz, 29, was found laying on the ground in front of a bar on Thursday and died later in a…

Myanmar president to visit U.S. for first time nearly 50 years

Myanmar’s president will soon make the first state visit to the United States by a leader of the former pariah nation in almost half a century, state television announced Monday. It did not say exactly when former general Thein Sein — whose quasi-civilian government has won international plaudits for its…

Hungarian man drove to hospital holding his sawn-off arm

VIENNA — A Hungarian man who sawed off one of his arms by accident below the elbow managed to drive 15 kilometres (10 miles) to hospital in Austria clutching the severed limb, police said Sunday. The 37-year-old somehow succeeded in fishing the arm out of the machinery that had sliced…

Saudis panic over SARS-like outbreak

Panic gripped Saudis in the country’s east on Monday, where most cases of the deadly coronavirus have been detected, witnesses said, as the death toll from the SARS-like virus in the kingdom hit 15. Scores of people have reported to the emergency services at hospitals in the city of Al-Ahsa…

Greece takes emergency action against striking teachers

Greece on Monday took emergency action — the third this year — to ward off a strike by secondary school teachers timed to coincide with university entry exams. The emergency order to work follows similar steps taken against metro workers in January and seamen in February as the conservative-led coalition…

Installment loans trap low-income borrowers with 182 percent interest rates

By Paul Kiel, ProPublicaThis story was co-produced with Marketplace. Listen to their coverage. One day late last year, Katrina Sutton stood at a gas pump outside Atlanta and swiped her debit card. Insufficient funds. But that couldn’t be. She’d been careful to wait until her $270 paycheck from Walmart had…

French experts reject charging Google for content

A report by a French expert panel published on Monday recommended imposing taxes on smartphones and tablets but rejected a call for search engine Google to be charged for linking to media content. The nine-member panel, headed by respected journalist and businessman Pierre Lescure, said in the keenly awaited report…

Tommy Chong claims cannabis helped cure his prostate cancer

Comedian and stoner Tommy Chong says ‘I kicked cancer’s ass!’ with a variety of treatments including diet and supplements Tommy Chong, the veteran star of the dope-fuelled Cheech and Chong films, says he has beaten prostate cancer with a combination of cannabis use and a special diet. Chong, 74, was…

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