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Indian organizers ‘prepared’ for world’s largest religious festival

Organisers of the world’s biggest religious festival, which starts on the banks of the river Ganges on Monday, said they were ready for the tens of millions of pilgrims expected to attend. The Kumbh Mela, which takes place on a 12-year cycle and will last 55 days, is being held…

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez not in coma, responding to treatment: brother

The brother of Hugo Chavez has denied that the ailing Venezuelan president is in coma, saying the Venezuelan leader is responding well to cancer treatment in Cuba and making progress on a daily basis. “Reports that the president is in a coma and that the family is discussing ending life…

New York declares flu emergency amid national epidemic

New York’s governor declared a health emergency over a flu epidemic that has sickened more than 19,000 people, allowing pharmacists to immunize infants and children. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s move comes amid a nationwide epidemic expected to last several weeks. There have been at least 28,747 cases reported across the country…

Style mavens converge on Milan for ‘Men’s Fashion Week’

Dolce&Gabbana kicked off Milan menswear fashion week on Saturday with their winter-autumn 2014 collections, as 10,000 fashionistas descended on the Italian commercial hub for the shows. Jil Sander, Ermenegildo Zegna, Costume National, Frankie Morello and Burberry also showed off their collections on Saturday. The Dolce&Gabbana collection drew religious and nostalgic…

Ex-Egyptian leader Mubarak questioned over newspaper’s gifts

Egypt’s ousted president Hosni Mubarak was on Saturday questioned over gifts worth millions of Egyptian pounds allegedly received from the country’s flagship state newspaper, a judicial source said. Mubarak, who is already serving a life sentence for his involvement in the death of protesters during the 2011 uprising that toppled…

Italian consul in Libya escapes gun attack

Italy’s consul to Benghazi in eastern Libya escaped unscathed after an attack on his bullet-proof car in the city on Saturday, Italian news agency ANSA and local security sources said. The car in which the consul, Guido De Sanctis, was travelling was shot at when it stopped at a crossroads,…

NHL season scheduled for Jan. 19 start

The NHL Players Association said its members had voted to ratify a new contract, clearing the way for the league to proceed with a shortened season. “The members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) have voted to ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NHLPA and…

Belgian PM vows to cut queen’s stipend immediately

Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said Saturday that elderly Queen Fabiola’s yearly allowance will be cut immediately, after a public uproar over a scheme to avoid death duties. “The reduction of Queen Fabiola’s stipend will be effective right from 2013,” Di Rupo’s spokesman said in a statement, referring to…

Tech firms pitching smartphones as the ‘remote for your life’

It can talk to your car, your refrigerator, water your plants and help you stay fit and healthy: the smartphone is become the consumer’s remote control for life. That was the message delivered by dozens of firms at the International Consumer Electronics Show, where terms like “appification” were tossed around…

Triumphant Detroit automakers set to shine at Monday exhibition

The Detroit Three carmakers return triumphantly to their hometown auto show Monday flush with profits from popular vehicles and the rewards of successful — though painful — restructuring. But the competition is not standing still, and with the United States one of the few bright spots in the automotive market,…

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