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Kennedy assassination: Memory and myth refuse to die after 50 years

These days, it is only the world’s grandparents who can tell you where they were when they heard John F Kennedy was dead. For decades that was a staple of the global collective memory, a question that could be asked in Berlin or London as readily as New York or…

Washington State GOP chair claims ‘war on women’ responsible for pay-reduction

Washington State Republican chairwoman Susan Hutchison claims that the $20,000 reduction of her salary from that of her male predecessor “play[s] into the ‘war on women’ narrative [used] against Republicans.” According to a memo she sent to the state GOP executive board, when she tried to convince the state party…

Toronto crack mayor gets laughs with self-deprecating speech

Disgraced Toronto Mayor Rob Ford drew laughs with self-deprecation late Thursday in his first public speech since he was stripped of most powers over headline-grabbing misconduct. Ford, who was sanctioned at the beginning of the week following his admissions of smoking crack and binge drinking, was promoting his administration’s fiscal…

Internet founder Tim Berners-Lee warns growing surveillance ‘threatens democracy’

The growing surveillance and censorship of the Internet “threatens the future of democracy”, the inventor of the world wide web said on Friday. Tim Berners-Lee was speaking at the launch of his World Wide Web Foundation’s second annual index measuring the Internet’s contribution to social, economic and political development and…

14-year-old allegedly raped popular math teacher with an object before killing her

Fourteen-year-old Philip Chism, who was arrested for the murder of 24-year-old math teacher Colleen Ritzer last month, was indicted in a Massachusetts court today on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated rape and armed robbery. According to a statement by Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, “[t]he indictments returned today detail horrific…

Conservative groups plan prayer vigil against pornography

A coalition of conservative groups plans to hold a “National Day of Prayer” against smut. Morality in Media announced Friday that Alliance Defending Freedom, American Family Association, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Movieguide and “many more” groups would participate in the event on December 10. “The war on…

Louisiana Attorney General’s Office officially declares ‘roosters’ to be ‘chickens’

The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office has declared that, for the purposes of the 2008 statute banning cockfighting, a fighting rooster is technically a chicken. The anti-cockfighting statute defines a “chicken” as “any bird which is of the species Gallus gallus, whether domestic or feral.” An Assistant District Attorney in Evangeline…

Hundreds of thousands evacuated as Cyclone Helen hits India

Hundreds of thousands were evacuated as a severe cyclone slammed into southeastern India Friday, packing strong winds and torrential rains and killing at least two people, according to officials. “Cyclone Helen has made landfall,” an official with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) told AFP, as rains lashed Andhra Pradesh,…

Afghanistan rebuffs U.S. demand to sign security pact

Afghanistan on Friday rebuffed a US demand to sign a highly anticipated security pact as soon as possible, insisting the document must wait until after next year’s presidential election. Washington warned Kabul on Thursday to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) as soon as possible, with senior officials hinting that…

Philippine typhoon death toll passes 5,200

The number of people confirmed killed when a super typhoon devastated the Philippines surpassed 5,200 on Friday, the government said, making it one of the country’s deadliest natural disasters. The official death toll from the storm jumped by nearly 1,200 to 5,209, with another 1,611 people still missing, the spokesman…

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