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Dennis Rodman sings birthday tribute to Kim Jong-Un before basketball game

Former US basketball star Dennis Rodman sang “Happy birthday to you!” to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in Pyongyang Wednesday, before joining a game with fellow players to mark the event. In a video circulating online, the eccentric former NBA player can be seen walking onto an indoor basketball court…

The Guardian says its website is now blocked in China

The Guardian newspaper said Wednesday that China had partially blocked access to its website. The site was first blocked on Tuesday, the broadsheet said, although Chinese netizens were still able to access its mobile and iPad apps. “Obviously we are dismayed that theguardian.com has been blocked in China,” a spokeswoman…

Space weather delays launch of Orbital Sciences unmanned Cygnus spacecraft

Turbulent space weather forced Orbital Sciences on Wednesday to postpone the launch of its unmanned Cygnus spacecraft on a supply mission the International Space Station. The company said it is now aiming for Thursday to launch its cargo ship atop an Antares rocket, carrying 2,780 pounds (1,260 kilograms) of gear…

Success of ‘Downton Abbey’ proves TV dramas are alive and well: producer

The global success of “Downton Abbey” is vivid proof that romance and drama are alive and well and thriving on the small screen, its executive producer said Tuesday. In a telephone interview from London, two days after season four of the post-Edwardian soap opera premiered on US public television, Gareth…

‘Businesses are growing more confident’: U.S. job growth robust in December

US private-sector job growth surged in December, topping November for the strongest pace of the year with a net new 238,000 jobs added, payrolls firm ADP said Wednesday. The number came in well above the consensus estimate of 203,000, and suggested possibly strong job growth numbers to come in Friday’s…

Married pastor at Arizona megachurch resigns after admitting to multiple affairs

The lead pastor at an Arizona megachurch that draws about 6,000 people to its services has resigned after admitting to multiple extramarital affairs, church officials confirmed. Church members were told Saturday and Sunday at worship services that Pastor Mark Connelly had resigned Dec. 30 from Mission Community Church in Gilbert.…

2022 World Cup may be held in winter to avoid Qatar’s summer heat

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will not be held in June-July and would best be held in the winter time, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said on Wednesday. The scheduling of the tournament has been hotly debated ever since it was controversially awarded to Qatar in December 2010, especially…

North Korea parliamentary elections could offer glimpse at possible power shift

North Korea will hold elections to its rubber-stamp parliament in March, opening a rare window on possible power shifts in Pyongyang following the recent execution of leader Kim Jong-un’s uncle. The presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) decided the election, held every five years, would take place on March…

Arctic blast compels escaped Kentucky inmate to ask for return to prison

An Arctic chill kept the United States and Canada in the deep freeze on Tuesday as a record-breaking cold front saw temperatures drop lower than those recorded on the surface of Mars. All of Canada and every U.S. state – except tropical Hawaii in the Pacific – recorded temperatures below…

China’s largest online marketplace bans Bitcoin and other virtual currencies

China’s largest online marketplace, Alibaba Group’s Taobao, said Wednesday that it would ban the trading of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies from Jan. 14, after a government crackdown on the units. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, in December ordered financial institutions to halt Bitcoin-related services…

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