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Greek HIV cases reaching ‘epidemic’ proportions, experts say

HIV infection among crisis-hit Greece’s drug users is reaching “epidemic” proportions with recorded cases marking a 35-fold increase from 2010, health experts warned Friday. A Greek study found 487 HIV-positive cases among intravenous drug users in the first ten months of the year compared with 206 in 2011 and 10…

Japanese mayor tweets during campaign despite official ban

A maverick hoping to upset Japan’s political scene has vowed to continue using Twitter throughout a general election, despite a strict ban on all forms of Internet campaigning. Under Japanese election law, candidates and their supporters are not permitted to Tweet, use Facebook, update their websites or even send emails…

Sen. Shaheen: military women deserve reproductive health equality

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) spoke on the Senate floor on Nov. 30 about a provision in the National Defense Reauthorization Act (NDAA) that would allow women serving in the military to have coverage for abortion services in the case of rape or incest — which is currently covered in federal…

Mechanic husband and unemployed wife win Powerball lottery

A Missouri mechanic and his unemployed wife came forward Friday as holders of one of two winning tickets in the second largest lottery in US history: a $587.5 million Powerball jackpot. Mark and Cindy Hill vowed to stay grounded and not let the massive windfall go to their heads after…

Cuba to punish musicians producing ‘vulgar’ songs

Musicians that perform songs deemed vulgar or that “violate ethical standards” will now be punished in Cuba, the state-run Institute of Music said Friday. In communist Cuba, most everything — especially the airwaves — belongs to the government. Aside from hotels that cater to foreigners, there is no MTV, VH1…

Senate approves increased sanctions against Iran

The US Senate unanimously approved new economic sanctions Friday aimed at further crippling Iran’s energy, shipping and port sectors, a year after Congress passed tough restrictions against Tehran. The amendment, tacked on to a sweeping defense spending bill being debated by the chamber, passed 94-0, and should sail through the…

Israel to build 3,000 settlements after Palestinian U.N. recognition

Israel is to build 3,000 new settler homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank after the Palestinians won recognition as a non-member state at the United Nations, an Israeli official told AFP on Friday. Asked if he could confirm a report that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had decided…

Three more babies die of whooping cough outbreak in UK

Three babies died of whooping cough in England and Wales in October in the biggest outbreak for 20 years, health officials said Friday. The resurgence of the highly contagious bacterial infection has surprised doctors, a report on the issue from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said. There are concerns the…

‘Holy Grail’ producer sues Monty Python stars over musical royalties

The producer of the cult film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” took its comedy stars to court on Friday in a bid for royalties from a hit spin-off musical, Spamalot. Three of the six Pythons — Eric Idle and Michael Palin, both 69, and Terry Jones, 70 — are…

China and U.S. military hold joint disaster exercise

The Chinese and US militaries held joint disaster response exercises Friday, as Beijing increases its global reach and Washington continues its “pivot” to the Pacific. The joint drill, which saw officers from both nations express hopes for closer ties, came amid rising concerns in Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam over…

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