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Hundreds of self-proclaimed ‘pilgrims’ travel to Sandy Hook

'Pilgrims' pour into Sandy Hook Village after massacre (+video) (via The Christian Science Monitor) As church bells pealed and Sandy Hook residents on Sunday retreated to private church services to seek solace in the wake of the nation’s worst-ever primary school shooting, hundreds of self-proclaimed “pilgrims” trudged stunned and red-eyed…

Anglican priest refuses promotion over decision to continue banning female bishops

Rev Philip North was due to become bishop of Whitby, despite parishoners’ opposition to his stance on women in church The Church of England‘s split over female bishops has deepened after an Anglo-Catholic clergyman announced that he was not taking up his post as a bishop because of his opposition to the idea.…

Tunisian president stoned by protesters

Protesters on Monday hurled rocks at Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki and parliamentary speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar in Sidi Bouzid, cradle of the revolution that erupted exactly two years ago. The incident began after a speech by Marzouki in the central Tunisian town, where celebrations are taking place to mark the…

North Korea mourns Kim Jong-Il at memorial service

North Korea on Monday mourned the death one year ago of leader Kim Jong-Il, with its rocket scientists taking pride of place at a special memorial ceremony led by his son and successor Kim Jong-Un. Kim Jong-Il died of a heart attack on December 17, 2011, although his death was…

Benghazi police station hit by two explosions

Two explosions rocked police stations in the Libyan city of Benghazi early on Monday and police foiled a third attack, a security official told AFP, adding that there were no casualties. Police in the eastern city had placed checkpoints and bolstered security around their stations following two Sunday attacks, blamed…

Venezuelan president’s rival re-elected as opposition loses ground

President Hugo Chavez’s top rival survived a tough test Sunday, winning re-election as governor, but he allowed that losses in other state-level races were a “tough moment” for Venezuela’s opposition. Henrique Capriles, the prominent opposition leader whose political life was on the line after losing his presidential bid to Chavez…

French toy stores pushing dolls for boys, drills for girls

With firefighter kits for girls and baby dolls for boys, toys are breaking down decades-old gender barriers this Christmas thanks to retailers willing to brush aside some hard-to-shift stereotypes. The latest to chip away at old cliches is French supermarket Super-U, which has printed a holiday season catalogue showing boys…

Nurse taken in by radio hoax laid to rest in India

Family and friends of the nurse who was found hanged after taking a hoax call to the hospital treating Prince William’s wife prepared for her funeral on Monday in a small town in southwest India. Indian-born Jacintha Saldanha, 46, apparently committed suicide after answering the prank telephone call from two…

China cracks down on doomsday rumors

China has detained dozens of people, some of whom it terms doomsday cult members, as part of a nationwide crackdown on rumours about a supposed forthcoming apocalypse, state media said. Authorities in five different areas have detained 52 people for spreading predictions of a December 21 “doomsday” linked to the…

Sweden’s small Arctic town of Kiruna plans to offer commercial space flights

Sweden’s small Arctic town of Kiruna has a surprisingly international airport with regular flights to London and Tokyo, but it has even bigger plans: to offer commercial space flights. Spaceport Sweden, a company founded in 2007, hopes to be able to provide the first flights within a decade from Kiruna’s…

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