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Russia puts 12 on trial over anti-Putin rally

Twelve Russians went on trial in Moscow on Thursday accused of violence at a rally on the eve of President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration last year, in a process condemned by critics as a show trial aimed at suffocating dissent. Ten defendants were participating in the hearing from inside a glass-walled…

Israel plans new road in sensitive West Bank area

A plan to build a new interchange between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim was expected to be approved by an Israeli planning committee on Thursday, Haaretz newspaper reported. It is the latest phase of construction in the contentious E1 zone east of Jerusalem, which has drawn…

U.S. teacher arrested in Shanghai for school sex abuse

An American teacher at an elite French school in Shanghai has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting at least seven children, school officials and parents told AFP on Thursday. The news comes after a former instructor at the school, also an American, was extradited to the US on similar…

Murdoch’s eldest son denies return to News Corp fold

News Corporation tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son Lachlan says he has no intention of rejoining his father’s global media empire, telling Australian newspapers he has “moved on”. The tycoon’s plans, approved last month, to split his sprawling worldwide firm into separate media and entertainment entities fuelled speculation Lachlan, 41, would…

Toll from Midwest tornadoes climbs to 20

At least 20 people were killed by a series of tornadoes that swept through the Midwestern US state of Oklahoma last week, including seven children, officials said, providing an updated toll. The state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said only one of the victims, a child, was still unidentified.…

Former Mexico president calls for marijuana legalization

Ex-president Vicente Fox says Mexico should legalize marijuana to steal business back from violent drug cartels — and when it’s legal, he’s in (as a grower). “Once it is legitimate and legal, of course, I do some farming. I can do it myself,” the conservative former leader said from his…

California denies Manson follower Leslie Van Houten parole for 20th time

By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Manson Family killer Leslie Van Houten on Wednesday was denied parole for the 20th time since she was sentenced to life in prison for her role in sensational cult murders nearly 44 years ago. California prison officials declined to release Van Houten, 63,…

New York ‘soccer mom’ accused of $3 million marijuana operation

A suburban mother-of-two with a keen interest in equestrianism has been accused of running a multi-million dollar marijuana enterprise from a warehouse in New York City. Andrea Sanderlin was described by friends and neighbours in the upmarket town of Scarsdale as a “soccer mom” who drove a Mercedes SUV and…

IMF admits to under-estimating damage austerity would do to Greece

The International Monetary Fund admitted it had failed to realise the damage austerity would do to Greece as the Washington-based organisation catalogued mistakes made during the bailout of the stricken eurozone country. In an assessment of the rescue conducted jointly with the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European commission,…

NSA is collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers under secret court order: report

By Joseph Menn and Sinead Carew SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency is collecting telephone records of millions of Verizon Communications customers, according to a secret court order obtained and published by the Guardian newspaper’s website. The order marked “Top Secret” and issued by the U.S.…

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