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Egypt court orders end to ‘virginity tests’ in army prisons

An Egyptian court ordered the Egyptian army on Tuesday to stop forced virginity tests on female detainees, months after the practice sparked a national outcry and stained the ruling military’s reputation. The Cairo Administrative Court ruled in favour of Samira Ibrahim, who sued the army over the practice, slammed by rights groups as torture and…

Obama names Federal Reserve Board nominees

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated a Harvard professor and a former Treasury official to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Professor Jeremy Stein is an expert in the movement of stock prices, risk management and banking, while Jerome Powell was a former undersecretary for finance under the first president George Bush. “Their distinguished backgrounds and experience…

U.S. to hit debt limit early January: Treasury

WASHINGTON — The US government will hit its debt limit in the first week of January, the Treasury Department said on Tuesday, as it pointed to an imminent request for $1.2 trillion increase. The government is expected to come within $100 billion of the current $15.2 trillion ceiling by the…

China ‘to face more Wukan-style protests’

A senior Communist official who helped defuse a rare revolt by villagers in southern China said the country should be ready for more protests as people demand their rights, state media reported Tuesday. Zhu Mingguo compared the situation in the village of Wukan, where residents angered by years of illegal land grabs drove…

Iran signs fuel deal with Afghanistan: media

Iran has signed a deal with Afghanistan to supply its neighbour with a million tons of fuel oil, petrol and aviation fuel a year, Iranian media reported without putting a value on the agreement. The accord was signed Monday by the Afghan trade and industry minister, Anwar Ul-Haq Ahady, and Iran’s deputy oil minister, Alireza Zeyghami. Two-thirds…

Philippine flood toll rises to 1,249

The death toll from killer floods in the Philippines rose to 1,249 on Tuesday, more than a week after the disaster struck, with officials expecting more corpses to be found. The civil defence office initially said the confirmed number of fatalities had surged by more than 200 to 1,453, before…

Prince Philip leaves hospital after heart scare

Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip left hospital Tuesday, four days after being rushed in for emergency heart surgery and missing the royal family’s Christmas celebrations. The outspoken 90-year-old prince smiled and waved as he was driven away in a dark Range Rover vehicle from Papworth hospitalnear Cambridge, eastern England, an AFP photographer witnessed.…

French breast implant maker faced U.S. lawsuits

NEW YORK — Breast implants made by troubled French firm PIP have been at the heart of multiple lawsuits in the United States, where they were sold up until 2000, documents filed with the US government show. Tens of thousands of women worldwide have been fitted with the implants, which…

U.S. shoppers to carry on, post-Christmas

Christmas may be over, but US shoppers will fill stores this week to use their new gift cards, look for post-holiday bargains — and to exchange some unwanted presents, industry trackers say. Fifty-seven percent of Americans planned to shop on Monday, the day after Christmas, as compared with 43 percent who…

Italy fines Apple for misleading consumers

Italy’s anti-trust authority said Tuesday it was imposing a 900,000-euro ($1.2-million) fine on US tech giant Apple for misleading consumers on assistance services and guarantees for its products. “Sanctions of a total of 900,000 euros have been imposed on the Apple group after it was found responsible for bad commercial practices that harmed consumers,” the agency…

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