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Istanbul becomes a destination in quest for dream mustache

Already known the world over for its baths, coffee and sweet Turkish delights, Turkey is on the road to adding another item to its roster of specialities: the moustache. Lip whiskers remain a highly sought-after mark of manliness in Turkey and the Middle East to the point that the naturally…

Japanese Olympic judo coaches accused of beating their players

Japan’s Olympic female judokas were beaten with bamboo swords and slapped by their coaches, officials said, weeks after a schoolboy suicide sparked debate over corporal punishment. A 15-strong group of judokas complained to the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) last month that they had been subjected to physical punishment by the…

Bills Gates: ‘We will eradicate polio within six years’

Microsoft founder Bill Gates said the battle to eradicate polio was one of the toughest the world has faced, but said it could be conquered by 2018. Delivering the annual Richard Dimbleby lecture in London on Tuesday, Gates, the United States’ richest man, said ridding the world of polio would…

Vietnam attempts to address ‘long illness’ of public sector

Opaque, corrupt, inefficient — Vietnam’s state-run companies are used to criticism, but now they stand accused of creating a systemic economic crisis which the communist regime cannot fix. More than 25 years after it started a transition towards a market economy, the government is trying to unpick a web of…

Blackberry phone maker faces make-or-break launch

It’s the moment of truth for BlackBerry maker Research in Motion. The Canadian company Wednesday will officially launch the BlackBerry 10, an effort that some see as the company’s last, best chance to remain a player in a smartphone market it once dominated. RIM burst on the scene with the…

Band massacre in Mexico: 17 bodies found in a well

Mexican authorities are investigating why a band that performed love songs was kidnapped and killed by gunmen, who dumped their bodies in a well in the drug cartel-infested north. The killings underscored yet again the pervasiveness of Mexico’s grisly drug violence, which has claimed more than 70,000 lives since the…

Two Iraqis living in U.S. sentenced in terrorism case

A US judge sentenced two Iraqi men living in Kentucky to federal prison for their role in a plot to ship weapons to Iraqi insurgents and raise money for the Al-Qaeda terror network. Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 25, was sentenced to life in federal prison while his accomplice Waad Ramadan Alwan,…

Brazilian police say flare sparked deadly nightclub fire

Police said they believe a nightclub blaze that killed 234 people and left scores fighting for their lives was triggered by a cheap flare that musicians lit as part of an indoor light show. Police also believe that key evidence — including security footage that would have documented the early…

Wall Street optimism gives economy a break from the doom and gloom

For the first time since last April, Wall Street bond investors are seeing the economic glass as half-full. Interest rates on Treasury bonds have been rising slowly and subtly over the past week – and that may indicate that Wall Street believes the economy is finally going in the right…

U.S. ranked 32nd in press freedom index

Reporters Without Borders on Wednesday launched a new indicator measuring global press freedom by aggregating the scores of its annual index, from perennial table-topping Finland to worst offenders Eritrea. “In view of the emergence of new technologies and the interdependence of governments and peoples, the freedom to produce and circulate…

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