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Iraq War contractor fined $75,000 for failing to file 30 death reports on time

By T. Christian Miller, ProPublica The U.S. Department of Labor has fined a private security contractor $75,000 for failing to file timely reports on the deaths of workers in Iraq as required by law. The Sandi Group, based in Washington D.C., delayed telling the Labor department that 30 of its…

Diet sodas linked to higher risk of Type-2 diabetes in women

Artificially-sweetened sodas have been linked to a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes for women than sodas sweetened with ordinary sugar, according to French research unveiled on Thursday. “Contrary to conventional thinking, the risk of diabetes is higher with ‘light’ beverages compared with ‘regular’ sweetened drinks,” the National Institute of…

Former backer says Assange has turned into ‘L. Ron Hubbard’ figure

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange risks turning from a popular hero into an L. Ron Hubbard figure, tolerating only “blinkered, cultish devotion”, said one his former backers Jemima Khan. Claiming Assange had alienated his supporters, Khan, associate editor of the New Statesman, wrote for the weekly British magazine that Assange’s anti-secrecy…

Pussy Riot files case with top European rights court

Two jailed members of punk band Pussy Riot have taken their case to Europe’s top rights court, arguing that their rights to freedom of speech and a fair trial have been violated, their lawyer said Thursday. “A complaint has been sent to the European Court of Human Rights over violations…

Tokyo says Russian fighter jets breached Japan airspace

Two Russian fighter jets violated Japanese airspace on Thursday, as Tokyo scrambled jets to chase off the planes, the defence ministry said. The Russian planes were detected off the coast of northernmost Hokkaido island for just over a minute, shortly after Japan’s new prime minister said he wants to find…

Guatemalan woman arrested with $31,000 in stomach

A Guatemalan woman was arrested at Panama’s international airport as she tried to enter the country with more than $31,000 in cash stashed inside her stomach, Panamanian police said Wednesday. The 44-year-old, whose identity was withheld, was arrested Monday after police conducted an X-ray of the woman who was exhibiting…

France seeks Mali exit, handover to UN peacekeepers

Nearly a month after launching an offensive in Mali to drive out Islamist extremists, France mulled the withdrawal of its troops Thursday after asking the UN to prepare a peacekeeping force to take the baton. France’s 28-day-old intervention has largely driven the Al-Qaeda-linked rebels, who controlled northern Mali for 10…

Baby-boomer motorcyclists face highest accident risk

Heading for retirement age and itching to buy that motorbike you always promised yourself? A study, published on Thursday in the specialist journal Injury Prevention, may prompt would-be petrolheads to think again. Older riders involved in a crash are up to three times likelier than younger bikers to suffer severe…

Dutch debate rights of three or more gay parents

“I think my friends are a little jealous because I’ve got two mummies and two daddies and they’ve only got two parents,” says Simon, 6, squirming with his brother Joaquin, 3, on the knees of their four gay parents. While Britain and France in the last week plodded ahead with…

New Guinea woman tortured, burned alive in ‘sorcery’ case

A young mother accused of sorcery was stripped naked, doused with petrol and burned alive in front of a crowd including schoolchildren in Papua New Guinea, reports said on Thursday. The woman, named by The National newspaper as Kepari Leniata, 20, was reportedly tortured with a branding iron and tied…

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