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Argentina to slap steep taxes on luxury imports

The Argentine government said Friday it will slap stiff tax increases on luxury cars, boats and planes, in its latest bid to staunch a flight of hard currency. “We will send a bill to Congress to modify the tax code, with the goal of increasing taxes on luxury cars, boat…

Twitter toughens encryption to thwart online snooping

Twitter on Friday announced it has toughened the encryption of traffic at the globally popular one-to-many messaging service to thwart online snooping. Twitter followed in the footsteps of Google and Facebook, adding a layer of security called Perfect Forward Secrecy to protect data that users would like kept from prying…

Serbia’s financial crisis forces it out of Eurovision singing contest

Cash-strapped Serbia, winner of the 2007 Eurovision song contest, will abstain from next year’s glitzy competition because of the high costs involved, Serbian state television said Friday. “This decision was made because of financial reasons, notably the high costs necessary to participate in the contest,” the RTS channel said in…

United Nations: 1.5 million Filipino children face malnutrition after typhoon

The United Nations warned Friday that 1.5 million children are at risk of malnutrition in typhoon-ravaged areas of the Philippines and called for greater efforts to provide food and water. A UN appeal to cope with Typhoon Haiyan has been increased from $301 to $348 million as the extent of…

French prime minister puts wine up for auction

After a path-breaking wine auction by the French presidential palace of some of the best bottles from its cellar, the prime minister will follow suit in December, the Drouot auction house said Friday. A total of 1,400 bottles from the prime minister’s official Matignon residence in Paris will go under…

Jihadists cut down 150-year-old oak in Syria

Jihadists cut down a 150-year-old oak tree in Atme, on Syria’s border with Turkey, after they accused locals of worshipping it, a pro-jihadist source said. “Thank God almighty, the tree… aged more than 150 years has been removed, after people were worshipping it instead of God,” said the source on…

Charity sale of David and Victoria Beckhams’ clothes turns into shopping frenzy

Queues formed around the block outside a London charity shop on Friday after Victoria and David Beckham donated 20 boxes of clothes and shoes to raise money for victims of the Philippines typhoon. Designer shoes and suits belonging to the Spice Girls singer turned fashion designer and her football icon…

Despite threat of nicotine poisoning, federal law allows 12-year-olds to work in tobacco fields

A group that fights child labor has called on the U.S. Department of Labor to prohibit children from working in tobacco fields. “We don’t let 12-year-olds buy and smoke cigarettes,” said Sally Greenberg, co-chair of the Child Labor Coalition, in a statement released Friday. “Why would we let them perform…

Sen. Rand Paul to headline opening of GOP’s ‘African-American Engagement Center’ in Detroit

In recent months, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has sought to build stronger relationships with African-American communities by forming what it calls “African-American engagement offices.” “Developing relationships with black voters means having an active presence in their communities,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said after the North Carolina engagement office opened.…

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…

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