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France evicts 800 Roma immigrants from campground

French authorities on Wednesday cleared one of the country’s largest Roma camps, evicting some 800 migrants from a shantytown north of Paris. France has in recent years pursued a controversial policy of evicting Roma migrants from camps outside major cities, often paying them to return to their countries of origin,…

Judge refuses to hold kidnapping retrial for O.J. Simpson

A US judge rejected Tuesday a request by jailed former sports star O.J. Simpson for a retrial over his conviction for a 2007 casino robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas. A lawyer for the disgraced ex-American footballer and actor, who was infamously acquitted of murdering his ex wife in 1994,…

Kentucky officials ask DEA to clarify its position on industrial hemp

Kentucky officials want the federal Drug Enforcement Agency to explain whether it is opposed to allowing farmers grow industrial hemp. “It would defy common sense to allow states to move forward with marijuana activity, but ignore states that have passed laws allowing for the production of industrial hemp,” states a…

Water shortages could doom the fracking industry in England

Fracking may be impractical in parts of the UK due to the scarcity of local water supplies, and in other areas will have an impact on local water resources, the water industry has admitted, in a deal struck with the oil and gas industry. The controversial process of shale gas…

Egypt’s highest-profile secular activists threatened with arrest

Arrest warrants were issued for two of Egypt’s highest-profile activists on Wednesday, a day after 79 other secular campaigners were detained in Cairo in the largest crackdown on non-Islamist dissent since the fall of Mohamed Morsi. It was the first use of a draconian new protest law that was enacted…

European Union: Massive spying on our citizens, companies and leaders is unacceptable

The EU on Wednesday laid down steps Washington must take to restore trust after a huge spying scandal, including giving EU citizens the right to US legal redress to protect personal data. “Massive spying on our citizens, companies and leaders is unacceptable,” EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said, adding there…

Belgium close to agreeing euthanasia for children

Belgium, one of only a few countries to allow euthanasia, on Wednesday moved a step closer to extending mercy-killing to terminally-ill children. A proposed draft bill to extend the practice some experts say already takes place outside the law was approved by the Senate’s justice and social affairs committee after…

John Kerry returning to Israel to discuss Iran nuclear deal

US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Israel next week for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeking to calm tensions with the Jewish state over the Iran nuclear deal. Kerry will also travel to Ramallah for talks with the Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas as he tries to keep…

Anti-Islam activist Pam Geller says Pope Francis ‘sanctions savagery’

Anti-Islam activist and blogger Pamela Geller lashed out at Pope Francis on Tuesday, claiming he condoned violence against Christians. “At a time when Christianity worldwide is under siege by Islamic jihadists, the leader of the Catholic Church claims that the quran teaches non-violence. As Christians across the Muslim world live…

New Zealand looks to uncork ‘lifestyle’ wine niche

New Zealand winegrowers launched a $14 million research project Wednesday aimed at capitalising on growth in demand for so-called “lifestyle” wines, with low calories and less alcohol. The Lifestyle Wines initiative, jointly funded by industry and government, is the country’s largest ever wine research project, reflecting the belief that it…

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