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Former head of Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was Nazi paramilitary

A former head of Vienna’s prestigious Philharmonic Orchestra was a member of Nazi Germany’s elite paramilitary SS and collaborated with the secret police, while half of its musicians were members of the Nazi party, historians have said. Helmut Wobisch, a member of the Nazi party since 1933 when it was…

Close friend of Mandela’s says his memory is fading

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s frail anti-apartheid hero who spent a night in hospital at the weekend for a medical checkup, is doing well but has memory lapses, a close friend said on Monday. Renowned South African human rights lawyer George Bizos, who defended Mandela during his 1960s treason trial, said…

Falklands set to reaffirm their British status in referendum vote

Falkland Islanders were to vote Monday on the final day of a two-day referendum designed to make clear their staunch desire to remain British despite Argentina’s increasingly bellicose sovereignty claims. In a move instigated by residents themselves, 1,672 eligible voters are being asked whether they want the Falkland Islands to…

Cardinals hold final talks before beginning selection of next pope

Cardinals will hold a final set of meetings on Monday before they are locked away to choose a new pope to lead the Roman Catholic Church through troubled times. The conclave triggered by the historic resignation of Benedict XVI will start on Tuesday, with the eyes of the world on…

Murder trial set to begin for ‘Canadian Psycho’

The epilogue of the most significant Canadian crime story in years begins Monday in Montreal with the trial of Luka Rocco Magnotta, accused of slaying and dismembering a Chinese student. The case made international headlines after the murder and lewd acts involving the victim’s corpse were filmed by the killer…

Rivals trade barbs as race to succeed Hugo Chavez starts

Venezuela entered a bitter election race to succeed Hugo Chavez, with his chosen successor branding his challenger a “fascist” after the opposition candidate accused him of lying about the late leader’s death. Henrique Capriles accepted the nomination of the main opposition coalition for the April 14 election, immediately launching a…

Ex-Sony CEO Howard Stringer announces retirement

Howard Stringer, the first foreigner to lead Japanese electronics giant Sony during some of its most challenging times, has announced he will retire from the struggling firm. The Welsh-born American stepped down as chief executive in February last year to become the non-executive chairman, a job title that often precedes…

Water contamination suspected as more than 1,000 pig corpses float down China’s Shanghai river

More than 1,000 dead pigs have been found floating in Shanghai’s main waterway, the Chinese city’s government said Monday, as residents expressed fears over possible drinking water contamination. Workers in the southwestern district of Songjiang fished more than 1,200 dead swine out of the Huangpu river, which goes on to…

Facebook COO Cheryl Sandberg inspires women to ‘lean in’ to succeed

Powerful Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg is out to make herself less of an anomaly as she launches a campaign to inspire women to pursue their passions at work and at home. The 43-year-old mom and Facebook chief operating officer on Monday releases “Lean In,” in which she weaves stories from…

New female-friendly dating app promises to be better ‘mousetrap’

Not long after her husband left her “to live in a van down by the river” in Idaho, as she puts it, Elissa Shevinsky thought it was high time for a better mouse trap. Or rather, a better dating website. The thirty-something app developer who divides her time between New…

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