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Bangladesh arrests three factory managers over blaze

Bangladesh police have arrested three managers of a factory where a blaze killed 110 people, following claims they stopped workers from leaving the plant saying an alarm was just a routine fire drill. Dhaka police chief Habibur Rahman told AFP Wednesday the managers were arrested overnight after charges that they…

China paper backpedals after falling for Kim spoof

The Chinese Communist Party’s official mouthpiece on Wednesday deleted a story that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un had been named 2012′s “Sexiest Man Alive”, after it fell for a spoof by US website The Onion. The People’s Daily had run the US satirical site’s gushing quotes about the “Pyongyang-bred heartthrob”…

Bob Dole hospitalized, but aide says he is due out soon

WASHINGTON — Former Republican presidential candidate and ex-Senate leader Bob Dole has been hospitalized for something that goes beyond a mere checkup, the current Senate leader Harry Reid said Tuesday. Dole, 89, is at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital outside Washington but “not for a checkup. He is there because…

U.S. again says China not currency manipulator

WASHINGTON — The US Treasury on Tuesday again stopped short of labeling China a currency manipulator, noting gains in the value of the yuan, but said the currency remains “significantly undervalued.” In a twice-yearly finding to answer congressional critics of China’s overwhelming bilateral trade advantage, the Treasury declined to slap…

Tourists flood New Zealand for The Hobbit debut

WELLINGTON — Huge crowds swarmed into central Wellington for the world premiere of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit”, an event that has sparked Middle Earth mania in New Zealand. Presenters on national radio greeted listeners in the fictional language elvish on Wednesday morning, while newspapers came with complimentary Hobbit posters, and…

TMZ denies obtaining permission to fly drone

On Tuesday, the celebrity and entertainment news website TMZ denied reports that it had obtained permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly a drone within the United States. TMZ insisted it had no plans of getting into the “drone business” and did not own any unmanned aerial vehicles “despite…

Senate Republicans ‘disturbed’ by Susan Rice’s Benghazi account

Republican senators opened the way for a new showdown with Barack Obama on Tuesday, after an apparently disastrous meeting with UN ambassador Susan Rice that had been intended to smooth her path to nomination as US secretary of state. The meeting on Capitol Hill had been widely expected to end…

U.S. clashes with France over Palestinians status at UN

WASHINGTON — The United States publicly disagreed with France, one of its closest allies, on Tuesday, after Paris said it would back a Palestinian bid for enhanced status at the United Nations. “We obviously disagree with our oldest ally on this issue. They know that we disagree with them,” State…

Google hits back against German copyright law

BERLIN — Google launched an Internet campaign in Germany on Tuesday aiming to drum up public support against a proposed law that would force the search engine to pay publishers for content offered on the site. The one-minute Internet video, entitled “defend your net”, shows consumers using the search engine…

Syrian rebels down helicopter for first time

ATME, Syria — Syrian rebels downed an army helicopter for the first time Tuesday with a ground-to-air missile from newly acquired stocks in what a watchdog said could be a turning point in the 20-month conflict. Meanwhile Russia, which has blocked UN resolutions critical of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, said it…

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