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Global survey of Muslims reveal they differ widely in religious tolerance

The global Muslim community of 1.6 billion people agree on the core principles of their faith, but differ widely in religiosity and religious tolerance, according to a poll published Thursday. “Muslims are unified by core beliefs and in core practices” like faith in a single God, believe in the Prophet…

Experts: Philippine flood disaster that affected 2 million is man made

Deadly floods that have swamped nearly all of the Philippine capital are less a natural disaster and more the result of poor planning, lax enforcement and political self-interest, experts say. Damaged watersheds, massive squatter colonies living in danger zones and the neglect of drainage systems are some of the factors…

Mississippi looks to lure French tax dodgers

First Britain upset the French government by offering a home to any high earners seeking to flee a new top tax band, and now the US state of Mississippi is making a bid to recruit wealthy exiles. France’s new Socialist leader President Francois Hollande plans to slap a tax of…

Olympic Africa Village shutters due to debts

Africa Village, the continent’s shop window in London during the 2012 Games and its first joint hospitality venue at an Olympics, was closed permanently Thursday due to unpaid debts, organisers said. The hospitality house, set up in Kensington Gardens in central London, had laid on cultural, sporting and culinary festivities…

North Korea first lady spotted with designer-style handbag

North Korea’s young first lady has been pictured sporting what appears to be a Christian Dior handbag, in stark contrast to widespread shortages elsewhere in the impoverished nation. Ri Sol-Ju, the wife of leader Kim Jong-Un, was pictured accompanying him on a “field guidance trip” to an army unit. It…

NYC Mayor Bloomberg unveils new for-profit mass surveillance system

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has unveiled a new crime-fighting system developed with Microsoft — and revealed that the city will take a cut of the profits if it is sold to other administrations. The innovation, which bears a passing resemblance to the futuristic hologram data screens used by Tom…

Russian deputy prime minister calls Madonna a moralizing ‘former slut’ for Pussy Riot support

A senior Russian official has implied that Madonna is a moralising “slut” after the singer used a Moscow concert to state her support for the jailed feminist punk band Pussy Riot. “With age, every former s. tries to lecture everyone on morality,” Dmitry Rogozin, a deputy prime minister, wrote on…

Residents of former asbestos mining town die in droves as government dickers over remediation plan

Death knows the small town of Prieska all too well. A poisonous legacy of South Africa’s years as a global blue asbestos hub, the Grim Reaper has snaked through here for decades, wiping out families and striking down neighbours with deadly precision. “In most of the houses in our street,…

July hottest month on record in U.S.

July was the hottest month in the contiguous United States since record-keeping began in 1895, government scientists have said, a trend that meteorologists attribute to climate change. The searing July heat contributed to a widening of troubling drought conditions, now affecting 63 percent of the nation, the National Oceanic and…

Global food prices rise sharply in July: UN

Global food prices rose six percent in July after dropping for three months, largely because of a hike in the price of grains and sugar, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization said Thursday. The FAO’s Food Price Index, a monthly measure of changes in a basket of food commodities, was…

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