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Obama jokes: I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist I used to be

President Barack Obama poked fun at himself, his political opponents, the news media and even his wife’s hairstyle late on Saturday at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The dinner, where around 3,000 guests dine in a massive hotel ballroom, is greeted with near hysteria in Washington, normally a strait-laced…

Thousands march in Japan’s first ‘Rainbow Week’ parade

Thousands of people marched in Tokyo on Sunday at the start of Japan’s first “Rainbow Week”, a series of events aimed at supporting sexual minorities. Organisers said about 12,000 people took part in the parade, which has been running for several years, and other events on Sunday, part of a…

Police probe fight on Mount Everest

Police near Mount Everest are investigating reports of a fight on the upper reaches of the world’s highest mountain between two foreign climbers and their Nepalese guides, officials said Sunday. “We were told our clients and the guides fought on their way to camp three. We don’t have all the…

German minister says new anti-euro party is ‘insane’

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said a new anti-euro party “can’t be taken seriously” and labelled its core demand “economically insane” in comments published on Sunday. The small Alternative for Germany (AFD) party wants to ditch the euro and bring back the Deutschmark currency. It has called for an “orderly…

Algerian President Bouteflika hospitalized after ‘mini-stroke’

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika suffered a mini-stroke and was taken to Paris for examination, but is not experiencing any lasting effects, the APS news agency reported. Bouteflika, 76, had a “transient ischemia”, a temporary blockage of blood flow often called a “mini-stroke”, Rachid Bougherbal, the director of the National Sports…

Instructional film parody teaches you about ‘Building A Human’

Take heart, residents of Edité-Frignim (or, as it’s more popularly known, “Earth”): if you’ve been itching to build your own Replicant but repli-can’t scrounge up the credits, a new video by comedians Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz walks you through those last few steps in putting together your own reasonable…

Mexico’s border schools deal with an influx of English-speaking students

Mexico: Border schools adjust to influx of English-speaking students (via The Christian Science Monitor) Schoolchildren scamper across the border to waiting parents in the Mexican town of Palomas in May 2009.(Tony Avelar/The Christian Science Monitor/File) Elementary students at Lamberto Hernández School in this northern Mexican city were long gone by…

Beirut bans award-winning Lebanese film shot in Israel

Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri said Saturday the Lebanese authorities have banned his award-winning film “The Attack” from cinemas in his home country because it was partly shot in Tel Aviv using Israeli actors. “I regret to inform you that the Interior Minister of Lebanon, Minister (Marwan) Charbel, has decided to…

Deadly fire exposes failures of Russia’s mental health care system

A fire that killed 36 patients at a dilapidated wooden psychiatric facility has exposed Russia’s failure to move on from the old Soviet system of punitive psychiatry used against political dissidents. Two staff and 36 patients — apparently too sedated or disorientated to escape from their mass dormitory with barred…

Dinner with superstar chef auctioned off for $36,750

An Asian gourmet splashed out $36,750 at a New York auction to have dinner for four with famed chef Ferran Adria. The dizzy tab contributed to a $913,605 sale at Sotheby’s late Friday that was based on the revolutionary Catalan chef’s stellar wine collection, which he sold along with kitchen…

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