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Both major parties are WASP-free for the first time

US government and politics no longer run by WASPs. Does it matter? (via The Christian Science Monitor) No matter how it turns out, the 2012 presidential election will have made history. For the first time since the founding of the Republic, none of the major party candidates for president or…

Ecuador’s London embassy provides Assange with computer and treadmill

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is keeping busy inside Ecuador’s London embassy by working on his computer, exercising on a treadmill and cooking food in his microwave, according to friends. Vaughan Smith, a former army officer who hosted 41-year-old Assange at his English mansion for more than a year while the…

Police replaced at Mexico City airport after deaths

Mexico’s federal police have replaced all 348 officers responsible for security at the capital’s biggest airport after three agents were killed by corrupt colleagues smuggling drugs from Peru. The Ministry of Public Security said the officers had been reassigned to different states. One of the three police agents sought in…

Somali parliament will hold first meeting in ‘safe haven’

Somalia’s newly selected parliament will convene for its inauguration Monday under the protection of African Union troops at Mogadishu airport, the UN said, after lawmakers appealed for protection. The parliament’s interim speaker Musa Hassan Abdallah issued an urgent request Monday to the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) requesting an…

Dictator’s daughter will run for South Korean presidency

South Korea’s ruling party overwhelmingly voted for the daughter of an assassinated dictator to be its presidential candidate Monday, the first time a major party has chosen a woman to run for the post. Veteran politician Park Geun-Hye – whose mother was killed by a pro-North Korean agent – secured…

Chinese politician’s wife gets suspended death sentence

A Chinese court on Monday handed the wife of disgraced political leader Bo Xilai a suspended death sentence for murder in a case that has rocked the Communist party ahead of a 10-yearly power handover. Gu Kailai was found guilty of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood, a crime she had…

UN’s Syria observer mission ends amid bloodshed

The United Nation’s troubled observer mission to Syria has officially ended after being recalled amid escalating violence as world powers fail to agree how to end months of bloodshed in the country. The mandate of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) expired at midnight Sunday after a roughly four-month…

Myanmar says it ends decades of media censorship

Myanmar said it had abolished media censorship on Monday in the latest in a series of rapid democratic reforms, delighting journalists who lived for decades under the shadow of the censors’ marker pen. Draconian pre-publication checks – applied in the past to everything from newspapers to song lyrics and even…

Pakistan mobile networks suspended on security fears

Pakistan shut down mobile phone networks overnight in major cities to prevent Taliban and Al-Qaeda attacks as celebrations began for the biggest Muslim festival of the year. The draconian security measure kicked in on Sunday at 8:00 pm (1500 GMT), at a time when millions ordinarily telephone friends and relatives…

‘Top Gun’ director Tony Scott commits suicide: report

Prominent Hollywood film director Tony Scott, whose works included “Top Gun,” has committed suicide by jumping off a bridge in San Pedro, California, The Los Angeles Times reported late Sunday. Citing unnamed Los Angeles police sources, the newspaper said Scott’s body was pulled out of the water near the Vincent…

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