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Hugh Grant wins ‘substantial’ phone-hacking damages from Murdoch tabloid

Hugh Grant has accepted a “substantial sum” from Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloid publisher over phone hacking by the News of the World, the British actor’s lawyer said on Friday. The “Four Weddings and a Funeral” star will donate the damages to the Hacked Off campaign against press intrusion, solicitor Mark…

Drug war leaves 20,000 missing people in Mexico: report

More than 20,000 people have disappeared in Mexico over the past six years of a brutal crackdown on drugs during the government of former president Felipe Calderon, a civic group said. Propuesta Civica (Civic Proposal) released a database on its website Thursday listing 20,851 people who went missing from August…

Argentina disputes Britain renaming a part of Antarctica in honor of Queen Elizabeth II

Argentina summoned Britain’s ambassador Friday to complain about London’s decision to rename a disputed part of Antarctica in honor of Queen Elizabeth II. Buenos Aires expressed its “firm rejection” of Britain’s claim to the territory, which Argentina considers “an area in the Argentine Antarctic sector.” Foreign Minister William Hague last…

Britain’s ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher faces Christmas in the hospital

Britain’s former prime minister Margaret Thatcher was in hospital Saturday recovering from a minor operation to remove a growth in her bladder and may remain there over Christmas, friends said. The 87-year-old “Iron Lady”, Britain’s first and only female premier, was doing “absolutely fine” having been admitted to hospital on…

Obama calls for scaled-back ‘fiscal cliff’ package to ‘protect middle-class taxpayers’

Democrat and Republican lawmakers mulled their next move Saturday after leaving Washington for the Christmas holidays without an agreement on averting a year-end fiscal crisis that could lead to stiff tax hikes and drastic budget cuts. On Friday, US President Barack Obama urged lawmakers to pass a scaled-down tax package…

Racist Burger King spitting incident settled out of court

Burger King spitting suit: Racism in a Whopper Jr.? (+video) A Burger King franchise in Pennsylvania settled a lawsuit out of court with a black Ohio truck driver who claimed that his Whooper Jr. was served with spit. Glenn Goodwin settled the civil rights lawsuit with Fast Food  Enterprises #3,…

Queen’s chaplain says Church of England has racism problem

Queen Elizabeth II’s chaplain Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, tipped to become one of Britain’s first women bishops, said Saturday that the Church of England is struggling with “institutional racism”. Jamaican-born Hudson-Wilkin, a chaplain to the monarch and also to parliament’s lower House of Commons, told The Times newspaper that she had…

Syria regime firing ‘Scud-style missiles,’ says NATO

NATO has accused the Syrian regime of firing Scud-style missiles at rebels, amid Russian criticism that the West’s “dangerous” stance risks bringing chaos to the country and beyond. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Friday called the Syrian army’s use of missiles against rebels an act of…

Conservative federal judge: Reinstate assault weapons ban

The federal judge who sentenced Jared Loughner — the man responsible for killing six people and critically injured former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona last year — wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times that said the assault weapons ban, as well as a ban on high-capacity magazines, shoiuld…

Russian parliament finalizes U.S. adoption ban

Russia’s lower house of parliament has given final approval to a contentious bill that retaliates against a new US human rights measure by barring Americans from adopting the country’s children. Washington swiftly slammed the move saying Russian children would be harmed by the measure. The State Duma passed the bill…

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