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E.U. ‘regrets’ Israeli settlement plan

The European Union’s foreign policy chief has criticised Israel’s plan to build hundreds of homes in annexed east Jerusalem and called for it to hold fresh talks with the Palestinians. Catherine Ashton “deeply regrets” the Israeli interior ministry decision to back the expansion of the Gilo settlement by 797 units,…

Boom times upset calm in Buddhist retreat

Once the refuge of pious Tibetan monks and a few hippie travellers, Dharamshala in the Himalayan foothills is today a crowded and chaotic town where long-term residents fear for its future. More correctly known as McLeod Ganj, it suffers from the same traffic jams, wail of car horns, construction work…

Argentine threatens UN action against Ghana over ship seizure

Argentina threatened to take Ghana before the United Nations if it refuses to take responsibility for the seizure earlier this month of a warship belonging to Buenos Aires. “Argentina is keeping all its options open in terms of international justice and, if necessary, will turn to the United Nations,” Foreign…

Lagerfeld draws flak for calling French president an ‘idiot’

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was in hot water on Friday after calling French President Francois Hollande an “idiot” over his plans to impose huge taxes on the rich. Hollande’s former companion and a one-time presidential contender Segolene Royal led the charge, saying the Paris-based German designer must apologise immediately. “There…

Bosnian scrap metal thief steals iron bridge

A Bosnian scrap metal dealer raised his sights from stealing and illegally selling metal drain covers and made off with an entire iron bridge, local police in the northeast of the country said Friday. “A few hours after we were informed about this most unusual crime we detained a suspect,…

Family sues Monster Energy makers over teen’s death

The family of a 14-year-old Maryland girl is suing the California makers of Monster Energy, alleging Friday that too much caffeine in the popular energy drink led to her death. Lawyers said the two 24-ounce (0.7 liter) cans of Monster Energy consumed by Anais Fournier in the 24 hours prior…

Brazil’s emerging middle class stars in hit soap opera

Loud, coarse, but hard-working and supportive, the fictional denizens of a Rio suburb hold a mirror up to Brazil’s emerging middle class in a wildly popular soap opera. Brazilian telenovelas have traditionally depicted the melodramas of the elite, but Globo TV’s “Avenida Brasil” breaks new ground by turning the spotlight…

Nissan to add 810 jobs at U.S. factory

Japanese automaker Nissan announced plans Friday to add 810 jobs to its Tennessee factory to support a third shift as it expands local production of its core models. Nissan said it aims to have 85 percent of all Nissan and Infiniti products that are sold in the United States produced…

Spanish unions call general strike November 14

Spain’s labour unions Friday called a general strike for November 14, the second such blanket action this year against the government’s biting austerity measures. The UGT and CCOO unions said they had approved the multi-sector strike as part of a broader day of action called by the European Trade Union…

Meningitis death toll up to 21 as U.S. outbreak widens

The death toll in the United States from an unprecedented outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to a contaminated drug has climbed to 21 people, health officials said Friday. The number of infections tied to the tainted steroid rose to 271 in 16 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

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