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Disappointed journalists outnumber doomsayers in Turkish ‘apocalypse haven’ of Sirince

As the village of Sirince waited for what some say is an apocalypse from which the tiny Turkish hamlet will be spared, its streets were teeming not with doomsayers but a hoard of disappointed journalists. Hundreds of reporters were wandering aimlessly around the beautiful town of 570 inhabitants Thursday, hoping…

Hunger and homelessness rise dramatically in the U.S.: study

Hunger and homelessness are on the rise in the United States, and cash-strapped cities and social services are being forced to turn needy people away empty-handed, a study published Thursday found. The number of homeless people seeking help had increased seven percent from 2011, according to a survey of social…

U.S. House approves sweeping $633 billion defense spending bill

The US House passed a $633 billion defense authorization bill that includes fresh sanctions against Iran and funds the war in Afghanistan, while offering compromise language on military detention of US citizens. In addition to covering standard national security expenses, it also provides a 1.7-percent pay raise for the military,…

North Korea confirms arrest of U.S. citizen

North Korea confirmed Friday that it had arrested a US citizen in November, saying legal action would be taken against him but giving no details of the charges. The man, identified as Pae Jun-Ho, entered North Korea on November 3 as a tourist, and “committed a crime” against the country,…

Americans eschew perfection as they turn to smaller, wilder Christmas trees

It’s short. It’s scruffy. It’s practically anorexic. And this season, the Charlie Brown Christmas tree is a shining star in Alan Gibson’s tree farm. The cut-priced coniferous outlier among the noble balsam, concolor and Douglas firs at Ridgefield Farm and Orchard symbolizes a growing American preference for shorter, wilder Christmas…

Julian Assange: WikiLeaks is preparing to publish one million new secret government documents

Founder of whistleblowing website marks six months’ confinement in Ecuadorean embassy with bullish speech Julian Assange has said that WikiLeaks is preparing to publish 1m new secret government documents as he marked six months of refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London with a speech from its balcony on Thursday.…

U.K. pays Iraqi torture victims millions in compensation

Lawyers and human rights groups say 400 settlements show ‘systemic’ abuse The Ministry of Defence has paid out £14m in compensation and costs to hundreds of Iraqis who complained that they were illegally detained and tortured by British forces during the five-year occupation of the south-east of the country. Hundreds…

Bloomberg on NRA: ‘Connecticut is because of some of their actions’

On an episode of Nightline to air on Dec. 21, N.Y.C. Mayor Michael Bloomberg discussed the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and gun control policy in the U.S. When asked what he would like to say to the NRA, Bloomberg said, “In fact, Connecticut is because…

Instagram backtracks on changes after users revolt

Instagram tried to calm a user rebellion by nixing a change that would have given the Facebook-owned mobile photo sharing service unfettered rights to people’s pictures. “The concerns we heard about from you the most focused on advertising, and what our changes might mean for you and your photos,” Instagram…

Rep. Barney Frank comments on Scalia, prostitution, marijuana and more

Rep. Barkey Frank (D-MA) gave a very candid interview on the Michelangelo Signorile radio show as he prepares to retire from Congress after 16 terms, reported the Huffington Post. The openly gay congressman reflected on marijuana legalization, Justice Antonin Scalia, same-sex marriage, and prostitution. On recent ballot initiatives that legalized…

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