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Michigan prepares for mass protests against right-to-work legislation

Union leaders in Michigan have been training members in “peaceful civil disobedience” methods in preparation for a protest on Tuesday against controversial right-to-work legislation. Supporters of the law, which among other measures would prohibit unions from collecting fees from non-union workers, are also expected to demonstrate at the state capitol…

Ecuador says asylum for Syria’s Assad not ruled out

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, in an interview published Monday, said his country would consider granting asylum to his embattled Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad. “Any person that requests asylum in Ecuador, obviously we are going to consider as a human being whose basic rights we have to respect,” he told the…

Supreme Court to take up generic drug case

The US Supreme Court has decided to take up a case over whether pharmaceutical companies can pay makers of generic drugs to delay release of out of patent drugs. The case centers on the maker of a hormonal treatment called Androgel by Solvay, which is owned by US drug maker…

Obama ‘willing to compromise’ on ‘tough spending cuts’

US President Barack Obama said Monday he was ready to compromise “a little bit” to head off a tax and austerity crisis, but warned he would not budge on making the rich pay more. Obama took his campaign to hike rates on the wealthy to a factory floor in Michigan,…

Northern Ireland protesters hit police with petrol bombs

Rioters in Belfast pelted police with petrol bombs on Monday in the latest violence to flare up in Northern Ireland over a decision by the city’s council not to fly the British flag all year round. Officers were targeted on the Upper Newtownards Road near the offices of the east…

Zurich struggling to find more than 5,000 misplaced works of art

Switzerland’s largest city Zurich acknowledged Monday it had lost trace of 5,176 works of art, including an original painting by Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier. The city had carried out its first full inventory of its vast collection of 35,000 pieces in nearly a century, only to discover that nearly 15…

Stylish IKEA monkey triggers Internet meme frenzy

A stylishly-attired monkey became an instant Internet celebrity, and triggered an animal welfare investigation, when it was found wandering in a Canadian furniture store car park. The months-old rhesus macaque, named Darwin, spent the night at an animal shelter in Toronto after he was found wandering around an IKEA lot…

Ada Lovelace: Enchantress of Numbers gets honored with Google doodle

Ada Lovelace: 'The Enchantress of Numbers' (via The Christian Science Monitor) Ada Lovelace is honored today by Google for her contribution to computer science. She is variously described as the “first computer programmer” and the inventor of the algorithm. But Ada Lovelace might have become an historical footnote – the…

Race group slams ‘white as snow’ Miss France as unrepresentative

A black rights group on Monday slammed the latest Miss France competition for producing a “white as snow” winner from a field it claimed was unrepresentative of the country’s ethnic make-up. Marine Lorphelin, 19, a brunette medical student from Burgundy, was on Saturday crowned Miss France 2013, having edged out…

Greenpeace sues South Korea over denying nuclear activists entry

Greenpeace said Monday it had filed a lawsuit against the South Korean government for denying entry to half a dozen key campaigners and seeking to “silence” criticism of its nuclear policies. The environmental group said it wanted recognition from the court that Seoul’s decision to bar six Greenpeace staff was…

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