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Australia’s WikiLeaks Party under fire because members met with Assad to ‘show solidarity’

Whistleblowing group WikiLeaks said Tuesday it had no knowledge of and did not approve a delegation to Syria which met President Bashar al-Assad and included members of Australia’s WikiLeaks Party. The delegation, aimed at showing solidarity with the Syrian people and opposing Western military intervention, reportedly included WikiLeaks founder Julian…

Evacuation in North Dakota town of Casselton after fiery oil-train explosion

A freight train loaded with crude oil derailed in the US state of North Dakota Monday, causing an explosion that sent a massive plume of toxic smoke skyward and forced the evacuation of part of a small town. The accident took place near Casselton, in Cass county, and no injuries…

Giant yellow duck explodes in Taiwan…again

A giant yellow duck on display in a northern Taiwan port exploded Tuesday, just hours before it was expected to attract a big crowd to count down the new year. The 18-metre-tall (59-feet) duck on show at Keelung burst around noon and deflated into a floating yellow disc, only 11…

Chinese officials set corpse ablaze in cremation controversy

Officials in a Chinese village dug up and set fire to a man’s corpse after his family ignored their demand that he be cremated rather than buried, state media reported Tuesday. The case is an extreme example of the country’s unevenly-enforced funeral policy, which tries to encourage cremation rather than…

Central America migrants flee turf wars and corrupt states for refuge in Mexico

Activists say Mexican authorities faced with most dramatic rise in refugees since 1980s era of right-wing dictatorships Extreme violence in Central America is sending a surge of refugees fleeing north to Mexico where they are caught between official indifference and yet more danger if they continue to the United States,…

The ‘little black dress’ is dead — thanks to Facebook and Instagram

Matchesfashion.com and Asos report rise in sales of bright dresses driven by attractiveness on Instagram or Facebook It was once the failsafe option for the party season, but the peerless status of the little black dress is now looking less certain. If sales of the LBD used to dwarf those…

Hawaiian woman with 36-character last name wins ID card battle

Janice ‘Lokelani’ Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele happy to get new driving licence after transport officials changed policy A woman from Hawaii whose last name is 36 characters long has finally managed to get the whole thing to fit on her driving license – after transport officials gave in and changed their policy. Janice…

Goldman Sachs senior staff received $4.5 million pay deal on average in 2012 — up 50 percent from 2011

Company reveals figures for 115 senior bankers under new European Union rules, as Brussels cap on bonuses begins Senior staff at Goldman Sachs in London received average pay deals of £2.7m in 2012 – a 50% rise on 2011 – the company disclosed on Monday, shedding fresh light on the…

Home Depot founder worries Pope Francis neither loves nor understands rich Americans

In an interview on CNBC on Monday, Home Depot founder and devout Catholic Ken Langone said that the Pope’s statements about capitalism have left many potential “capitalist benefactors” wary of donating to the Church or its fundraising projects. According to Langone, an anonymous, “potential seven-figure donor” for the Church’s restoration…

Judge temporarily prevents hospital from removing Jahi McMath from life support

On Monday night, mere hours before the hospital was to remove her from life support, a judge in California extended a temporary restraining order in the case of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead after routine tonsil surgery earlier this month. The hospital must now wait…

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