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Storm gives New Yorkers new family — each other

Thanksgiving is America’s family holiday, but for New York’s victims of superstorm Sandy, family this year got bigger, with total strangers arriving to ensure that even the neediest got turkey, apple pie and lashings of love. In a rough part of the Rockaways neighborhood, on the Atlantic outskirts of the…

Iran cautiously backs Gaza truce deal

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a qualified welcome Thursday to a truce deal between Israel and Hamas, mediated by Egypt to end eight days of violence that killed six Israelis and 163 Palestinians. “I agree that the truce is a good thing, but we will have to see the basis…

Study: 1.3 million overdiagnosed for breast cancer in US

 More than a million US women have received unnecessary and invasive cancer treatments over the last 30 years, thanks to routine mammograms that detected harmless tumors, scientists said Thursday. The results throw new doubt over the effectiveness of an already controversial cancer screening tool that is aimed at detecting tumors…

Call us Mexico, not ‘United States of Mexico’: president

President Felipe Calderon has one last wish before he leaves office next week: Please change the country’s name from “United States of Mexico” to just “Mexico.” The country has officially been named the United States of Mexico since 1824, but Calderon said Thursday it was time for the country to…

EU ends shark finning, practice of mutilating, leaving sharks to die

The European parliament on Thursday called a definitive halt to shark finning, the long contested practice of fishermen slicing off fins and throwing the live body overboard to drown. The EU prohibited shark finning in 2003, but an exemption allowed fishermen with special permits to remove the fins from their…

Swiss nuclear reactor back up after closure over defect

A reactor at a Swiss nuclear plant that automatically shut down due to a defect was brought back online Thursday evening, the operator said. “After an interruption of around 24 hours, Block 2 of the Beznau nuclear power plant will start producing electricity again tonight,” operator Axpo said in a…

Four Chinese hostages freed in Colombia

Four Chinese oil company employees held hostage since June 2011, allegedly by Colombia’s FARC rebels, have been freed in southern Colombia, their embassy said Thursday. “They released the four last night in the department of Caqueta. They are in good spirits,” said the spokesman of China’s embassy in Bogota. The…

Brazil swears in first black supreme court president

Brazil judge Joaquim Barbosa took the oath of office as Brazil’s first ever black head of the Supreme Court on Thursday, in a historic ceremony attended by President Dilma Rousseff and other top leaders. The son of a bricklayer and a cleaner, Barbosa, 58, pledged in his swearing in “to…

After ceasefire, Israel arrests 55 militants in West Bank

Israeli troops arrested 55 Palestinian “terror operatives” across the West Bank overnight, hours after a truce came into effect in the Gaza Strip, the army said Thursday. “A total of 55 terror operatives, who are affiliated with different terror groups have been detained. Among those arrested were a number of…

Ugandan parliament to debate anti-gay bill

Ugandan lawmakers will debate a controversial anti-gay bill calling for severe punishments for homosexuality in the near future, a parliamentary spokeswoman said Thursday. The proposed legislation could come up for debate in the next few days after it was included as the third item on Thursday’s order paper for parliamentary…

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