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American music industry reports ‘flat’ 2012 sales

US music industry sales held nearly steady in 2012 as gains from digital subscription services offset further declines in physical disc sales, an industry survey showed Wednesday. Overall recorded music sales revenues for 2012 were $7.1 billion, down 0.9 percent, after a slight increase in 2011, according to data from…

Russia already stockpiling snow to ensure ‘white’ 2014 Winter Olympics

Russia has started to stockpile hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of snow to ensure the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi is not hit by unpredictable weather conditions. The Sochi 2014 Olympics Organising Committee has constructed a huge snow storage facility at the Rosa Khutor ski resort, which will host…

UK judges rule to keep ban on Abu Qatada deportation to Jordan as government vows to fight on

The British government on Wednesday vowed not to give up its fight to deport radical cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan after losing its latest court challenge to have him expelled. Lawyers for Home Secretary Theresa May had appealed a decision by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in November allowing…

Jordan charges students with ‘devil worship’

A Jordanian military prosecutor on Wednesday charged five university students with incitement for allegedly desecrating the Koran and engaging in “devil worship.” “A state security court prosecutor charged the five students today with doctrinal and sectarian incitement,” a court official told AFP without elaborating. The students face up to three…

Bangladesh widens crackdown on ‘blasphemous’ atheist bloggers

Bangladesh has widened a crackdown on allegedly blasphemous blogs after a threat by Islamic groups to march to the capital demanding the prosecution of atheist bloggers, an official said Wednesday. The telecommunications regulator ordered two leading Internet sites to remove hundreds of posts by seven bloggers whose writings it said…

India celebrates Holi –festival of colors

From soldiers in the north to teenagers in the south, Indians of all hues threw water-filled balloons and smeared coloured powder on each other to celebrate the festival of Holi on Wednesday. The revelry began in the early hours with children engaging in water fights, using plastic guns and balloons…

George W. Bush the costliest former U.S. President at $1.3 million a year

George W. Bush is costing taxpayers $1.3 million a year, the most of any ex-President, according to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. Freya Petersen George W. Bush is costing taxpayers $1.3 million a year, the most of any ex-President, according to a report by the nonpartisan…  …

Man forced to listen to ‘It’s A Small World’ theme song while stuck on Disneyland ride awarded $8,000 in damages

A disabled man who was stuck on Disneyland’s ‘It’s A Small World’ ride for 30 minutes – while the theme song played on – has won a lawsuit against the Anaheim theme park.  …

Bank of Cyprus head fired under bailout deal

The chief executive of the Bank of Cyprus, the island’s biggest lender, has been sacked by the central bank governor as part of an international bailout deal, state media said on Wednesday. Yiannis Kypri was fired on the instructions of the so-called troika of the European Union, European Central Bank…

Supreme Court to hear Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case on Wednesday

The rights of married same-sex couples will come under scrutiny at the US Supreme Court on Wednesday in the second of two landmark cases being considered by the top judicial panel. After the nine justices mulled arguments on a California law that outlawed gay marriage on Tuesday, they will take…

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