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‘Compensation log’ obtained under Freedom of Information Act illustrates human cost of Afghan war

The killing of six members of a family, including a mother and her children, when a rocket overshot a target and hit the compound in which they were living are among the incidents in recent months for which the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has paid out compensation to Afghan civilians.…

Il Duce is back: New reverence for fascist dictator Benito Mussolini spreads across Italy

Pasquale Moretti pulls the latest Benito Mussolini calendar off the shelf at his Rome cafe and flips it open to a photo of the pouting, strutting dictator taking part in a grain harvest. “I was born in that era and he put bread on the table,” said the 78-year-old. “I…

Cannibalism suspected in India tea plantation worker uprising

Police in northeast India say they believe workers on a tea plantation who bludgeoned their boss and his wife to death last month also ate parts of their bodies. A crowd of 1000 workers at the privately-owned M.K.B. Tea Estate in the state of Assam surrounded the plantation owner’s bungalow…

New York Times reporter Chris Buckley forced to leave China after critical report on Premier Wen Jiabao

A New York Times reporter has been forced to leave China, two months after the newspaper carried a critical report on the wealth of the family of Premier Wen Jiabao. Mr Chris Buckley, who has worked in China as a journalist since 2000, left for Hong Kong on Monday after…

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner marries for third time at 86

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner has tied the knot for the third time, marrying a former Playmate 60 years his junior in an intimate New Year’s Eve ceremony at the Playboy Mansion. Hefner, 86, and Crystal Harris, 26, announced the nuptials on their Twitter feeds — @hughhefner and @crystalhefner —…

Sony stops making PlayStation 2 in Japan

Japanese electronics giant Sony said it has stopped producing its PlayStation 2 consoles in Japan, fueling online rumors a PlayStation 4 is in the pipeline. Since launching in 2000 the PlayStation 2 (PS2), which has a Blu-ray player, has sold more than 150 million units worldwide, making it the best selling console of all…

Fireproofing ‘inadequate’ at Japan nuclear reactors

Japanese regulators have found inadequate fireproofing at more than one fifth of the nuclear reactors that went offline after the 2011 Fukushima crisis, a major daily said on Tuesday. The finding could delay their restart by several years in some cases, the Mainichi Shimbun said. More than 10 of Japan’s…

Iraq December death toll down despite wave of unrest

Deadly violence in Iraq dropped to near its lowest levels of 2012 in December, figures compiled by AFP showed on Tuesday, despite a wave of attacks a day earlier which killed 23 people. Overall, 139 people were killed across the country last month, including 40 policemen and 15 soldiers, and…

Pope slams ‘unregulated financial capitalism’ in New Year’s message

Pope Benedict XVI prayed for world peace, condemning the inequality between rich and poor and “unregulated financial capitalism” at a New Year’s mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Tuesday. The pope spoke of “hotbeds of tension and confrontation caused by the growing inequality between rich and poor and the prevalence…

Pakistan suffers ‘record’ child measles deaths

More than 300 Pakistani children died of measles last year, a staggering increase on the previous 12 months and a result of three consecutive years of flooding, officials said Tuesday. The United Nations’ World Health Organization said 306 children died of the highly infectious illness last year, 210 of them…

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