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Famed riflemaker Kalashnikov in intensive care

Russia’s legendary rifle-designer Mikhail Kalashnikov has been hospitalised in intensive care after complaining of general weakness, his assistant was quoted by news agencies as saying Tuesday. The 93-year-old father of the AK-47 has been having heart problems and feeling poorly since March, when he stopped showing up for work, his…

Drunken Brit drives stolen car on Dutch runway

A drunken British man was arrested Tuesday after driving a stolen car on an Amsterdam airport runway “for a few minutes”, police said. The unnamed passenger headed home for Christmas had pushed an emergency exit button at one of Schiphol airport’s gates, stumbled onto the tarmac and stole a car…

Russia’s brutal early winter claims 123 lives

A bitter cold spell in Russia has claimed 123 lives in the past 10 days, an official said Tuesday, with the unseasonably early freeze testing authorities in a country used to notoriously tough winters. Temperatures have plunged to up to minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 34 degrees Farenheit) in the…

Mandela visited by family in hospital

Ailing Nelson Mandela was Tuesday visited in hospital by his wife Graca Machel and family as he spent Christmas Day on his sickbed, said President Jacob Zuma who joined the family. “We found him in good spirits,” said Zuma in a statement. “He was happy to have visitors on this…

Pakistani gallery defies dictators

It may not seem the most obvious setting, but a squat building overlooking a slum is home to one of Pakistan’s leading galleries, which for 30 years has defied dictatorships and fundamentalists to champion cutting-edge art. Rohtas Gallery was founded in 1981, at the height of military ruler General Zia-ul-Haq’s…

‘Odd Couple’ and ‘Quincy’ star Jack Klugman dead at 90

Jack Klugman, the television star who portrayed a slovenly sportswriter on “The Odd Couple” and a tough medical examiner on “Quincy, ME,” has died. He was 90. Klugman’s attorney Larry Larson said the actor died peacefully at his home in the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles with Peggy, his wife…

Female Afghan police attacker is Iranian national: government

The female Afghan police officer who shot dead a NATO adviser in Kabul is an Iranian national who wanted to kill senior security members, officials said Tuesday. On Monday an Afghan police officer opened fire on a NATO civilian adviser inside police headquarters, killing the adviser who sources said was…

Suicide underscores grim conditions at Guantanamo

The suicide of a Guantanamo inmate underscores the grim reality for detainees held there for nearly 11 years without charge or trial, with no end in sight to their imprisonment. Three months after Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif was found dead in his cell, the US Army formally declared his death…

Tsunami-hit Japanese town gets huge Christmas gift

A small Japanese town devastated by last year’s quake-sparked tsunami will receive a huge Christmas present after a ship arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday carrying a six-ton statue destined for the community. The giant present crossed the ocean from Chile which had pledged to supply a new statue — modelled…

Russia unveils $25 billion oil pipeline to the Pacific

Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the final extension of a new $25 billion oil pipeline to the Pacific that underscores the energy power’s gradual shift away from stagnant European markets. The East Siberia – Pacific Ocean (ESPO) link is also expected to expand sales to the United States and fulfil…

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