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Ancient Korean king’s hat recovered more than 500 years after Japanese theft

A hat which belonged to South Korea’s most revered monarch King Sejong has been recovered more than 500 years after it was looted by Japanese invaders, a senior scholar said Wednesday. Apart from its intrinsic value as an historical relic, the discovery has thrilled scholars after documents were found stitched…

Mexican union leader accused of spending workers’ money on plastic surgery

Elba Esther Gordillo, the head of Mexico’s powerful teachers union and an influential political figure, has been arrested for allegedly embezzling funds for personal use, including plastic surgery and shopping sprees, authorities said. Attorney General Jose Murillo Karam said Gordillo was arrested Tuesday at the airport of Toluca, in the…

Holocaust survivor and ‘world citizen’ Stephane Hessel dies at 95

Best-selling French writer, veteran diplomat and concentration camp survivor Stephane Hessel, whose work inspired protest movements worldwide, has died at the age of 95, his wife announced Wednesday. The German-born Hessel, who became a naturalised French citizen in 1939 and was a prominent Resistance figure during World War II, died…

Kerry meets French president Hollande to discuss Mali crisis, Syria

US Secretary of State John Kerry met French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Wednesday to discuss the crisis in Mali on the third leg of a European tour so far dominated by the Syrian conflict. Kerry, who has hailed France’s “successful” mission in Mali, will also hold talks with…

North Korea says its nuclear weapons can reach the U.S.

North Korea warned Wednesday that the US mainland was “well within” the range of its nuclear weapons, as Pyongyang continued to ramp up the bellicose rhetoric after its recent nuclear test. In an article posted on the official Uriminzokkiri website, a member of the Korean National Peace Committee — a…

Supreme Court to decide if unauthorized DNA collection is ‘unreasonable search’ under Fourth Amendment

< The US Supreme Court heard argument Tuesday in a case testing whether government officials can routinely collect a person’s DNA at the time he or she is arrested and then use that DNA sample to try to link the individual to unsolved crimes. At issue in the case, Maryland…

Gov. Rick Snyder’s expected move to name ‘emergency manager’ of Detroit draws charges of racism

Residents of Detroit, a US city which has long been a poster child for urban decay, may lose the ability to govern themselves if their city council is replaced by a state-appointed technocrat. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is expected to name an emergency manager in the coming days in an…

Maldives court orders flogging of 15-year-old girl allegedly raped by stepfather

A Maldives court has sentenced a 15-year-old alleged rape victim to 100 lashes and eight months under house arrest after she admitted having had premarital sex in a separate incident, an official said Wednesday. During a police probe into allegations that the girl had been raped by her stepfather, investigators…

White House mulling ‘non-lethal’ aid to Syrian rebels: Washington Post

The White House is mulling a major shift in policy on war-torn Syria and could supply rebels with “non-lethal” aid such as body armor, armored vehicles and perhaps even military training, according to the Washington Post. Citing unidentified US and European officials, the newspaper also reported Tuesday that Washington could…

Nobel laureates urge China to release Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo

More than 140 Nobel laureates led by archbishop Desmond Tutu urged China on Wednesday to release Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, a rights activist jailed for subversion since 2009. In a letter also signed by 400,000 people from more than 130 countries, the laureates called on China’s president-in-waiting Xi…

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