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Mother of 3-year-old named Jihad faces French court for putting ‘I am a bomb’ shirt on her son

The mother and uncle of a three-year old named Jihad, who was born on September 11, were due in a French court Wednesday for sending him to school in a top with “I am a bomb” written on it. The sweatshirt also had the words “Jihad, born on September 11″…

Fancy foods garner thousands at charity auction in Paris

Truffles, oysters, an aged side of beef or a three-star dinner by a top French chef: a mouthwatering line-up of festive delicacies were the star lots of an offbeat charity auction in Paris. Dubbed “Fine Food”, and held for the second year running by the auctioneer Artcurial for the benefit…

British prosecutors back off harsh punishments for offensive messages on Facebook and Twitter

British prosecutors announced new guidelines on Wednesday making it less likely that Twitter and Facebook users will face criminal charges for offensive messages they post online. The guidelines, intended to draw a line between genuine threats and misjudged jokes, have been published following a sharp rise in the number of…

Greek civil servants stage 24-hour strike over austerity measures

Hundreds of civil servants protested in Athens against new austerity measures as part of a a 24-hour strike called Wednesday by unions that paralysed public services and disrupted transport. Wednesday’s action grounded flights for six hours, left trains operating on emergency schedules and halted the Athens metro during morning rush…

Time names Obama person of the year again

 Time magazine on Wednesday named the recently re-elected US President Barack Obama as its person of the year for 2012 — the second time it has accorded him this honor. The venerable American news magazine said the United States is in the midst of huge cultural and demographic changes and…

What Christmas does to your brain

It’s obvious what over-indulgence does to your body, but there’s an unseen upheaval going on between your ears What’s going on in your head as Christmas approaches? Your brain is already having to cope with your festive party schedule and the stress of Christmas shopping – and things are set…

Britain to withdraw 3,800 troops from Afghanistan in 2013

Britain will withdraw 3,800 of its 9,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday. “We’ll be able to see troops come home in two relatively even steps in 2013, 2014, leaving probably around 5,200 troops after the end of 2013 compared with…

Joe Biden to head panel on gun violence in wake of Sandy Hook massacre

President Barack Obama on Wednesday will appoint Vice President Joe Biden to head a government panel to formulate a response to gun violence after last week’s school massacre, US media reported. The New York Times and the Washington Post cited White House officials as saying that Obama would formally name…

Your Christmas tree may harbor up to 25,000 ‘freeloading’ insects: scientist

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” Er, not quite. Get a magnifying glass and take a close look at your Christmas tree, says a scientist. In all likelihood, it is harbouring thousands of bugs. Bark lice, mites,…

Andy Warhol’s iconic Mao portraits excluded from China show

Andy Warhol’s famous portraits of Mao Zedong will be excluded in a major show of his work in China, organisers said on Wednesday, although they stopped short of saying they had been censored. The exhibition to mark the 25th anniversary of the American artist’s death, which is currently touring Asia,…

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