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‘Sorcerer’ who believed his tattoos made him invincible arrested in Thailand

A “sorcerer” tattooist has been arrested in northeastern Thailand after several brawls involving his disciples who believed his body art made them invincible, police said Tuesday. Boonyong Luangjumpol was held for possession of guns after officers raided his home following a spate of fights in the province of Kalasin, local…

Montreal mayor resigns amid corruption allegations

Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay resigned Monday after witnesses linked him to illegal party financing skimmed from city construction contracts as part of an alleged mafia scheme. Tremblay, 70, led Canada’s second-largest city since 2001 and would not have faced reelection until the end of his latest mandate in 2013. “After…

Murdered Briton Neil Heywood was MI6 informant: WSJ

A British businessman murdered by the wife of top Chinese politician Bo Xilai had informed on the couple for over a year to his country’s spy agency, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Neil Heywood shared details derived from his unusually close access to the powerful couple, the paper said,…

Taliban dimisses UN global sanctions against Haqqani network

The UN Security Council ordered global sanctions against the Haqqani militant network in Afghanistan, a move welcomed by Kabul but dismissed as meaningless by the Taliban. The Haqqani group, whose leaders are based in Pakistan, is accused of carrying out a string of major attacks in Afghanistan including strikes against…

Vladimir Putin fires Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov in corruption scandal

Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday fired defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov over a corruption scandal, the most dramatic change to the government since he returned to the Kremlin for a third term. Putin replaced Serdyukov, who had been implementing an unpopular but Kremlin-backed military reform, with Moscow region governor and long-standing…

Israel to build 1,213 new settlement homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank

Israel on Tuesday published tenders for 1,213 new homes in settlement neighbourhoods of east Jerusalem, and re-offered tenders for another 72 homes in a West Bank settlement, an Israeli NGO said. Peace Now, citing tenders published by the Israeli housing ministry, said tenders for 607 units in Pisgat Zeev and…

Anti-capitalist protesters criticize war spending outside British parliament

Around 200 anti-capitalist protestors, many affiliated to the Occupy movement, gathered outside parliament late Monday in a demonstration against government cuts. There was brief unrest when police moved in to move the demonstrators — many of whom were wearing Guy Fawkes masks — back from the main parliament gates and…

Google chairman Eric Schmidt hopes for billion dollar tax deal with France

Google chairman Eric Schmidt said Monday he hopes his firm will reach a settlement “by the end of the year” with authorities in France in a billion-dollar dispute over taxes. “We had some good discussions, and I would expect that we will reach some kind of agreement by the end…

Greek workers stage mass anti-austerity walkout

Greek workers began a two-day mass walkout on Tuesday, bringing public transport in Athens to a halt, as public anger mounts over a new government austerity bill aimed at securing international aid needed to prevent the debt-crippled nation from defaulting. Public bus workers in the capital joined taxi drivers as…

Pulitzer prize-winning avant-garde composer Elliott Carter dead at 103

Avant-garde composer Elliott Carter, who won the Pulitzer Prize twice in a career spanning nearly eight decades, has died in New York at the age of 103, a music publisher said. Carter had composed 158 works, from early pieces like Symphony No. 1 (1942) and Holiday Overture (1944) to this…

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