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Brazil pledges to clean up decades of pollution for Olympics

Near Rio’s future 2016 Olympic village the Marapendi lagoon emits a foul stench from waters that have been turned into a cesspool by unfiltered sewage from surrounding upscale condominiums. Brazil has pledged the athletes will see a much different sight when they descend on the country for the Summer Games…

GOP backs off Social Security in fiscal cliff talks

Republicans have decided to take a proposal to alter Social Security off the table in an attempt to reach an agreement on the fiscal cliff, reported the Huffington Post. Many Republicans in Congress want to change Social Security so that it is tied to a chained consumer price index (CPI)…

German weekly publishes Bush Sr.’s obit by mistake

The Germany weekly Der Spiegel published an obituary for George H. W. Bush by mistake, reported the AP/CBS New York. The former president was hospitalized on Nov. 23. He was temporarily put in an intensive care unit but is now in a regular unit. The weekly tweeted, “All newsrooms prepare…

Sen. Mitch McConnell: ‘I need a dance partner’ to solve fiscal cliff

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) ended a speech with a unique metaphor on Sunday, as he lamented the fact that his office sent in a fiscal cliff offer Saturday evening in an attempt to avoid the end of the Bush tax cuts. By 2 p.m. Sunday, he claims, he…

Israel court overturns ban on Arab politician

Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday overturned a decision by the Central Elections Committee banning Arab-Israeli politician Haneen Zuabi from standing in next month’s snap general election. “Following a hearing on 27/12/2012, it was decided unanimously to reject the Central Elections Committee’s decision… to prevent representative Haneen Zuabi from standing for…

Harris-Perry holds ‘Was that racist?’ lightning round

Melissa Harris-Perry held a “Was that racist?” lightning round on her show with a panel of comedians, in a look back at some of the more questionable moments of 2012. The panelists started with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who said in January that she “felt a little bit threatened” in…

Afghans angry at US soldiers who drove away in the night leaving rent unpaid

Only sign of huge US base is pile of rubbish and broken vehicles – and a festering land dispute in a volatile province US forces left behind piles of equipment, an unpaid rent bill and a festering land dispute that threatens to undermine the Afghan government when they moved out…

Former GOP candidate in jail after accusations he slashed rival’s tires

A man who ran for the Republican nomination for a U.S. House seat is now in jail after accusations that he slashed the tires of at least one former rival, reported KOB Dec. 28. A police detective in Albuquerque told the news outlet that a surveillance video of a man…

Swedish lawmaker resigns after racist antics caught on film

A Swedish lawmaker once seen as a future leader of the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party announced Sunday he was quitting parliament and the party after a racist scandal. Erik Almqvist, 31, was one of three party officials caught on film hurling racist abuse at two men, arming themselves with iron…

Nobel medicine laureate Levi-Montalcini dies aged 103

Nobel medicine laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini, a neurologist and developmental biologist, died on Sunday at her home in Rome aged 103. She was the oldest living Nobel laureate at the time of her death. Levi-Montalcini shared the prize with colleague Stanley Cohen in 1986 for their ground-breaking discovery of growth factors.…

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