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Mona Lisa: the early years? Art world split over new Leonardo da Vinci ‘work’

Portrait claimed to be of younger version of painter’s muse to be unveiled in Geneva by art foundation For generations the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa has captured the imaginations of thousands of visitors to the Louvre. But now the mythology surrounding the world’s most famous painting is being…

Former Credit Suisse trader arrested in London, faces extradition to U.S.

A former Credit Suisse trader accused of inflating subprime mortgage-related bond prices faces extradition to the United States after being arrested in Britain, police said on Thursday. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Extradition Unit arrested Kareem Serageldin, 39, on Wednesday in connection with the alleged $540 million (419 million…

Mexico arrests senior leader of Zetas cartel

Mexico says it has arrested a senior leader in the Zetas drug cartel, potentially dealing a major blow to one of the country’s most powerful and violent drug gangs. “A person who is presumed to be and who says he is Ivan Velazquez Caballero, aka “Z-50″… one of the main…

New Zealand PM apologizes to Kim Dotcom for ‘unacceptable’ bungle that led to Megaupload founder’s arrest

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key apologised Thursday to Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom over an “unacceptable” bungle by government spies leading up to the arrest of the Megaupload boss. Key also ordered agents from the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) to review their cases over the past three years to…

Boy fights for life after lightning strike

An 11-year-old boy was fighting for his life after being struck by lightning in storms that have deluged Britain. The schoolboy, from Swindon in the southwest, went into cardiac arrest on Wednesday afternoon after being hit by lightning at Dorcan Academy, and received treatment from first-aiders until paramedics arrived. “The…

Over 300 die in bloodiest day of Syria revolt: NGO

More than 305 people were killed across Syria on Wednesday, making it the bloodiest single day of the 18-month revolt, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. “This is the highest toll in a single day since March 2011. And this is only counting those whose names have been documented.…

‘Harry Potter’ author JK Rowling’s dark new novel ‘The Casual Vacancy’ divides critics

First reviews of Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s novel for adults on Thursday praised its Dickensian scope and social message, but warned the gritty, even obscene tale was a far cry from Hogwarts. Shortly before the release of the hotly awaited “The Casual Vacancy”, several reviewers said they were taken…

High in the Himalayas, brothers share one wife

When Tashi Sangmo was 17 she married a 14-year-old neighbour in a remote Himalayan village in Nepal and, as part of the package, she also agreed to wed his younger brother. In ancient times, the sons of almost every family in the region of Upper Dolpa would jointly marry one…

Ecuador says they’re ready to shelter Assange for years

Ecuador said it is prepared to shelter Julian Assange inside its London embassy for years if necessary as it negotiates the WikiLeaks founder’s fate with Britain and Sweden. Assange meanwhile called on the United States to halt its “persecution” of WikiLeaks and its supporters in a video link message at…

Concern over increasingly sexual nature as high school hazing on the rise

Amid rise in high school hazing, concern over increasingly sexual nature Amid National Hazing Prevention Week, allegations of hazing on two high school sports teams – a football team in Dedham, Mass., and a soccer team in La Puente, Calif. – are focusing attention on the fact that high school…

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