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Ikea monkey owner sues to get custody back

OTTAWA — The owner of a stylishly-attired monkey — which became an instant Internet celebrity and was seized by authorities after it was found wandering in a Canadian car park — went to court Thursday to get it back. Canadian media said Yasmin Nakhuda’s lawyer told an Ontario Superior Court…

Study: Piranha bite force outsizes even T-Rex

Outsized jaw muscles allow the black piranha to exert bite force equivalent to 30 times its bodyweight, a feat unmatched in the natural world, according to results of a finger-risking study published Thursday. Other animals like the great white shark, the hyena and the alligator can deliver more forceful bites,…

Court rules Chagos Islanders gave up right to return during British expulsion in 1960s

Court in Strasbourg says islanders ‘renounced’ claims to island when they received compensation for resettlement Exiled Chagos Islanders living in Britain and Mauritius have said they are “dumbstruck” by a European court ruling that it has no jurisdiction to examine their forced expulsion by the British government in the 1960s.…

Paris’ Louvre is world’s most-visited museum

The Louvre said Thursday its new Islamic art wing helped cement its position as the world’s most-visited museum with nearly 10 million visitors in 2012, over a million more than last year. The exact figures will be released early next year, but in the meantime the Paris museum said there…

Queen of England to broadcast Christmas speech in 3D

Queen Elizabeth II will broadcast her annual Christmas message to Britain and the Commonwealth in 3D television for the first time, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday. Exactly 80 years after her grandfather king George V first started broadcasting a speech on December 25, the queen will embrace the new technology…

Economy grows faster than expected in third quarter at 3.1 percent

The US economy grew 3.1 percent in the third quarter, faster than previously estimated, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Gross domestic product growth in the July-September period was revised upward from prior estimates of 2.7 percent and 2.0 percent, the department said. The higher figure reflects upward revisions to consumer…

Pope puts Paul VI on path to sainthood

Pope Benedict XVI signed a decree on Thursday recognising the “heroic virtues” of late pope Paul VI, putting him on the first step towards beatification and eventual sainthood. Italian-born Giovanni Battista Montini, who was elected pope in 1963 and reigned until 1978, oversaw a complex series of reforms in the…

Dictator’s daughter Park Geun-hye elected South Korea’s first woman president

South Korea elects its first woman president, Park Geun-hye Park Geun-hye won a decisive victory Wednesday after a bitterly fought election for president of South Korea in which she overcame criticism of her legacy as the daughter of long-ruling dictator Park Chung-hee. So doing, she also overcame traditional barriers to…

‘Erin Brockovich’ toxin chromium-6 found at Japanese iron plant

THE toxic chemical made infamous by campaigning single mother Erin Brockovich has been found at up to 15,800 times safety limits in groundwater at a Japan iron plant, the factory’s operator said Thursday. Excessive amounts of hexavalent chromium were discovered at Nippon Denko’s plant in Tokushima in the country’s west…

Russia’s Putin denies propping up Syria’s Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday denied propping up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and stressed that Moscow was only seeking to avert a perpetual civil war. “What is our position? Not to leave Assad’s regime in power at any price, but to first (let the Syrians) agree among themselves how…

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