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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…

Obama ‘seriously considering’ hosting climate change summit

Campaign groups say US president could use bipartisan summit to launch a national climate strategy Barack Obama may intervene directly on climate change by hosting a summit at the White House early in his second term, environmental groups say. They say the White House has given encouraging signals to a…

Journalists at censored Chinese paper ‘strike deal’

Journalists at a Chinese newspaper embroiled in a row over censorship have struck a deal to return to work, reports said, as protesters demanding press freedom gathered for a third day. Demonstrators have this week massed outside the Guangzhou offices of the Southern Weekly, a popular liberal paper which had…

Third Delhi gang-rape suspect to plead not guilty

A third suspect accused of fatally gang-raping a 23-year-old student in a moving bus in New Delhi last month will plead not guilty to all charges, his lawyer said on Wednesday. Advocate M.L. Sharma said he would file the plea on behalf of Ram Singh, the driver of the bus…

U.S. defense contractor pays $5 million over Abu Ghraib abuse

A US defense contractor accused of helping torture prisoners at Iraq’s infamous Abu Ghraib prison has paid former detainees more than $5 million to settle a lawsuit, according to regulatory filings obtained by AFP on Wednesday. The plaintiffs, 72 former detainees, alleged that L-3 Services Inc. (now called Engility Holdings)…

Russia probes deadly ‘zorb ball’ accident

Russia has launched an investigation into the death of a 27-year-old man in an inflatable “zorb” ball that tumbled down a mountainside in a horrific accident that was caught on video, a spokesman said Wednesday. Denis Burakov, 27, died of his injuries after he and a friend, Vladimir Shcherbov, 33,…

Aurora shooter’s defense to argue he is unfit for trial

Defense lawyers for the man accused of opening fire in a US theater in July, killing 12 and wounding dozens more, readied Wednesday to call witnesses in a bid to stop the case from going to trial. The preliminary hearing, which began on Monday, has been emotionally harrowing as relatives…

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