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Famous smoking orangutan gives birth in Indonesia

An orangutan famous for puffing on cigarettes gave birth this week at an Indonesian zoo, an official said on Friday, in a rare event giving a boon to the critically endangered species. Tori, 15, gave birth on Wednesday in the central Javanese city of Solo, Taru Jurug Zoo director Lilik…

Wall Street Journal accused of concealing writers’ Mitt Romney links

Veteran journalists attack Murdoch paper for failure to disclose writers’ political sympathies The Wall Street Journal has been criticised by senior US journalists for failing to disclose that 10 of its op-ed writers are Mitt Romney advisers. According to an inquiry by Media Matters, 23 pieces in the WSJ’s op-ed…

Bradley Manning lawyer alleges slow trial is ‘an absolute mockery’ of rights

Civilian lawyer calls for dismissal of all charges against soldier, who has been in held military custody for more than two years By the time Bradley Manning goes to trial next February for the alleged transmission of state secrets to WikiLeaks he will has spent as much time in military…

World’s smallest state, Vatican holds one-of-a-kind trial of Pope’s former butler

The trial of Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler and a Vatican computer technician for leaking secret papers starting on Saturday has no precedent since the Holy See became a sovereign state in 1929. The 19th-century courtroom where the trial takes place is tucked away behind the apse of St. Peter’s…

Hong Kong tycoon’s lesbian daughter wants $65 million marriage bounty dropped

A gay Hong Kong woman on Friday implored her tycoon father to rescind a $65-million “marriage bounty” for any man who can win her heart, as applications poured in from around the globe. “For your family’s sanity’s sake, Daddy please rescind the notice!!!!” Gigi Chao, 33, wrote on her Facebook…

Los Angeles chef guilty of cooking dead wife for four days

A US chef was convicted of second degree murder after he admitted to slow-cooking his wife’s body for four days to get rid of the evidence, while claiming she had died accidentally. During a grisly six-day trial David Viens, 49, told police he had bound his 39-year-old wife Dawn with…

India’s leopard population at risk of decimation: study

India’s leopard population is at risk of being decimated as a result of rampant poaching fuelled by a thriving black market for its skins, a study by animal conservationists said on Friday. The report by a network of wildlife groups known as TRAFFIC said at least four leopards have been…

New mystery virus not easily spread: WHO

A new mysterious respiratory virus that has killed at least one person and left another in critical condition does not appear very contagious, the World Health Organisation said Friday. “From the information available thus far, it appears that the novel coronavirus cannot be easily transmitted from person to person,” the…

Putin gives Chavez ‘El Ruso’ the puppy

Vladimir Putin has sent a Black Russian Terrier puppy to his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, who joked the Russian strongman would receive a capybara, the world’s largest rodent, in return. The three-month-old puppy was given to Chavez by Igor Sechin, one of Putin’s most trusted lieutenants and chief executive of…

19 killed as Everest-bound plane crashes in Nepal

A plane flying 19 people towards Mount Everest went down in flames on the outskirts of the Nepalese capital Friday, killing everyone on board including seven Britons and five Chinese, police said. The twin-propeller Sita Air plane had just taken off from Kathmandu and was headed to the town of…

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