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Mali’s Islamist rebels threaten to ‘punish’ any attempt at foreign intervention

BAMAKO — An Islamist militant group in lawless northern Mali, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), Friday threatened countries who would join a military intervention force. Mali has been gripped by chaos since disgruntled troops swarmed the capital Bamako in the south in March and ousted…

Colombia court: Personal drug use is not a crime

The Constitutional Court of Colombia approved a plan that will drop all criminal penalties for individuals caught with small amounts of marijuana or cocaine, according to Spanish-language media reports. That means anyone caught with less than 22 grams of marijuana, or one gram of cocaine, will no longer be subject…

Sri Lankan police shut down opposition news sites for ‘false and vulgar reports’

Sri Lankan police Friday shut down opposition news websites, accusing them of carrying “false and vulgar reports”, months after imposing censorship on news alerts issued by mobile phone companies. Seven media organisations, including the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association, condemned the closure of the Lanka Mirror and Lanka X News…

Greeks launch ‘Everything is OK’ website amid economic crisis

Greeks fed up with stories of austerity and gloom can now turn to a new website aptly named Everything is OK (ola kala, OK in Greek) which aims to bring only happy news stories to the population. Describing itself as an “online health wellbeing portal”, the site www.olakala.gr tells users:…

Scientists puzzle over dozens of dead green turtles

Scientists were at a loss Friday to explain the mysterious deaths of more than 70 green turtles that have washed up on beaches in northeast Australia over the last week. Queensland state authorities said 62 of the vulnerable species were confirmed dead and another 10 were spotted floating at sea…

Australian winery sells rare vintage for $170,000

An Australian winery Friday unveiled 12 bottles of a rare vintage for sale at an eye-watering price of Aus$168,000 (US$170,350) each, which can only be opened by a specially-trained wine expert. The wine is held in a unique hand-blown glass “ampoule” designed to provide the ideal environment for the liquor,…

Tens of thousands protest Japanese nuclear reactor restart

Tens of thousands of people rallied outside the Japanese prime minister’s residence in Tokyo Friday in one of the largest demonstrations held against the restart of nuclear reactors. The protesters, carrying placards which read “Rise up against the restart” and “The nuclear era is over,” lined the streets aroundPrime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence…

DSK and wife sue French magazine for claiming they’ve separated

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife Anne Sinclair said Friday they would sue French celebrity magazine Closer for invading their privacy with a story claiming they had separated. “Having taken note of the cover and content of celebrity magazineCloser, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Anne Sinclair have decided to sue this publication for invasion of…

Japanese mother ignored dead child for a day while she chatted online

A woman whose baby boy lay dead for nearly a day while she chatted on Internet forums has been arrested in Japan, media and police said Friday. Yumiko Takahashi knew that 19-month-old Neo was running a high fever when she checked on him on the afternoon of June 24 last…

Assange stays at embassy despite police order to turn himself in

Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks website, remains at the Ecuadorean embassy in London after failing to present himself at a police station to begin the process of extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape and indecency. Assange, who said he would remain at the embassy because he feared…

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