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Being gay in America: a 50-year love story

The love between John Darby and Jack Bird has been on solid ground for more than half a century. It is the social landscape around the gay couple that has shifted. After they got together in 1959, they kept their relationship a secret, save for an inner circle of gay…

France reports first case of deadly SARS-like virus

France’s health ministry on Wednesday reported the country’s first case of a SARS-like virus that has killed 18 people so far, mostly in Saudi Arabia. An unidentified person who came back to France from a trip to the United Arab Emirates was diagnosed with the deadly novel coronavirus, the ministry…

Syrian Internet blackout enters second day

Syria’s Internet blackout entered into its second consecutive day Wednesday, which the state news agency blamed on a fault in optical fibre cables. Landline phone services between Syrian provinces have also been down since Tuesday, SANA said. US tech firms and the US State Department reported the blackout Tuesday but…

Hollywood special effects master Ray Harryhausen dies at 92

US-born “king of stop-motion animation” and special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen died aged 92 in London on Tuesday, his family announced. Hollywood tributes flooded in for Oscar-winner Harryhausen, who is best known for his work on “Jason and the Argonauts” and “Clash of the Titans”. “Ray has been a great…

NBA player Michael Beasley investigated for alleged sexual assault

Arizona police are investigating Phoenix Suns forward Michael Beasley in connection with an alleged sexual assault at his home earlier this year, the Arizona Republic newspaper reported. There have been no arrests in the incident which is alleged to have taken place at a house on January 13. Police spokesman…

Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel in solidarity with Palestinians

Professor Stephen Hawking is backing the academic boycott of Israel by pulling out of a conference hosted by Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem as a protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Hawking, 71, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, had accepted…

More short term budget fixes to come: Paul Ryan rules out ‘grand bargain’ with Democrats

Republican budget negotiator Paul Ryan has publicly ruled out a long sought-after “grand bargain” with Democrats over taxation and spending, saying the two sides are “too far apart” for any comprehensive agreement and should focus on short term fixes instead. “I don’t see a grand bargain happening,” he told a…

Mark Sanford defeats Elizabeth Colbert Busch in South Carolina special election

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) completed a political comeback on Tuesday by defeating his Democratic opponent Elizabeth Colbert Busch. The Associated Press projected Sanford to be the winner of the special election for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. In his acceptance speech, Sanford acknowledged “God’s role in all…

Obama vows ‘no tolerance’ for military sexual assault

US President Barack Obama sharply warned Tuesday there would be “no tolerance” for the “outrage” of sexual violence in the military, and said those guilty of such crimes had betrayed their uniform. Obama said he stood squarely behind victims of sexual assault in the military and called on the Pentagon…

New Jersey governor Chris Christie confirms weight loss surgery

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a rising star in the Republican party touted as a possible presidential contender in 2016, confirmed Tuesday he had undergone weight loss surgery. The politician — who has received negative press over his weight — said he had had a gastric band implanted three months…

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