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Venezuela looks to Lenin’s embalming experts for Chavez’s body

It’s a process described as “not a pretty sight” that involves the extraction of all the blood from a corpse. But if Venezuela needs help embalming Hugo Chavez then Russia has expertise stretching back to Soviet revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. Authorities in Caracas announced last week that Chavez’s body will…

Google fined $7 million for collecting personal data with Street View

Google struck a deal with US authorities Tuesday to pay a $7 million fine for collecting people’s personal data without authorization as it combed neighborhoods for its Street View service. In a legal settlement with 38 states, the Internet giant agreed to destroy emails, passwords, and web histories it harvested…

Locked-away cardinals must eat ‘plain’ food while voting on next pope

The cardinals locked away to choose the next pope will be served plain but wholesome food — and nothing so delicious that they will want to drag out their deliberations, an Italian newspaper reported on its website on Tuesday. The nuns who will cook for the 115 cardinals during the…

French ethics panel opposes ‘sexual assistants’ for disabled

An ethics panel in France on Tuesday opposed the use of so-called sexual assistants for the disabled, an issue sparked by a true-to-life film recounting the experiences of a handicapped man. The National Consultative Ethics Committee (CCNE), which advises the government on health issues, said it saw too great a…

Ex-Paris mayor sentenced over vote rigging

A court handed former Paris mayor Jean Tiberi a suspended 10-month prison sentence Tuesday for vote rigging and declared him ineligible to contest for public office for three years. The appeals court also gave his wife Xaviere a nine-month suspended sentence and a 5,000-euro ($6,533) fine for her part in…

Hackers claim to have posted Michelle Obama’s personal data

WASHINGTON — The US Secret Service launched an investigation Tuesday after hackers posted what they said was personal data and credit information of celebrities including first lady Michelle Obama online. The probe was opened over files which included personal information purportedly from FBI chief Robert Mueller, Vice President Joe Biden,…

Austria marks 75th anniversary of Hitler invasion

VIENNA — Austria solemnly marked Tuesday 75 years since German troops crossed the border unopposed on the early hours of March 12, 1938 and “annexed” Hitler’s native country into the Third Reich. “Already on the evening of March 11 swastika flags were fluttering over Vienna and other cities, including at…

Artists sue Harlem Shake creator over failing to get permission for samples

Two artists featured on YouTube hit seek compensation from Baauer, claiming he used their work without permission The creator of Harlem Shake could end up returning 100% of his earnings from the viral video hit after neglecting to clear two of the song’s most recognisable samples. The No 1 song in America…

Republicans and Democrats unveil rival budgets

President Barack Obama’s Democrats will unveil their first budget in four years this week in the US Senate as House Republicans put forward their own blueprint, but the two are unlikely to be reconciled. Congress, aiming to ultimately craft a broad plan that can help reduce the swollen $16 trillion…

Tokyo zoo posts video of mating pandas on its website

A mating pair of pandas have wasted no time in getting intimate, a Japanese zoo said Tuesday, coupling on their first evening together and then again the next morning. The female Shin Shin and her companion Ri Ri were put in a private enclosure on Monday evening after keepers at…

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