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German Pirate Party website censored by schools for questioning marijuana laws

Germany’s Pirate Party has moved beyond its seemingly humorous origins to become a serious political force. Since last year, it has received over 7% of the vote in three different regional elections, enabling it to claim seats in the local parliaments. However, in Germany’s largest state, North Rhine-Westphalia, which is…

Canada’s ‘Globe and Mail’ rolls out paywall and asks staff to take unpaid leave

Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper has announced plans for an online paywall to generate extra revenue and has also asked staff to take unpaid leave amid an ongoing slide in advertising revenues. The publisher of the Toronto-based newspaper told staff Thursday that the new system would begin later this year,…

Nearly 5 million children died of preventable diseases worldwide in 2010

Preventable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria claimed the lives of nearly five million children younger than five in 2010, a paper in The Lancet medical journal said Friday. A total 7.6 million children died in the first five years of their life that year, the authors said, and warned…

UK police call on social media users to ‘self-regulate’ bullying

Police chiefs are calling on users of online social networking sites to be the “eyes and ears” of officers to help combat the menace of ‘trolls’ who bully or abuse via the web. Police forces across the UK are investing more funds into making sure they are plugged into sites…

Afghan soldier fires on NATO troops, kills American soldier

An Afghan soldier opened fire on NATO troops in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, killing an American and leaving two others wounded, officials said. The death brings to 20 the number of NATO soldiers killed by Afghan colleagues in at least 15 separate attacks so far this year. The shootings have…

Pulitzer Prize-winning Vietnam War photographer Horst Fass dies at 79

Two-time Pulitzer-prize winning German photographer Horst Faas, known for his haunting pictures of the Vietnam war, died on Thursday, his employer for 50 years the Associated Press said. Faas, who was 79, covered the Vietnam war from 1962 to 1974 — longer than any other photographer — and won a…

Mount Fuji could collapse if fault line shifts

Parts of Japan’s Mount Fuji, a national symbol and key tourist attraction, could collapse if a newly-discovered faultline under the mountain shifts, a government-commissioned report has warned. A three-year study by seismologists discovered a previously unknown active fault underneath the mountain, which sits around 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of…

Planned NATO nuclear weapons upgrade is ‘expensive and unnecessary’: Report

Nato’s plans to upgrade the US’s estimated 180 tactical nuclear weapons in western Europe are unnecessary, expensive and likely to exacerbate already difficult relations with Russia, according to a report. The alliance is preparing to replace “dumb” free-fall nuclear bombs and ageing delivery aircraft with precision-guided weapons that would be…

Inequality threatens Africa’s astonishing growth: Report

Africa’s impressive growth during the financial and economic crisis of the last five years will be put at risk unless action is taken to combat rising inequality, according to the annual health check on the continent from a panel led by the former UN secretary general Kofi Annan. The report…

France’s ‘President Normal’ declares modest assets

PARIS, May 11, 2012 (AFP) – France’s president-elect Francois Hollande — who campaigned as a “Mr Normal” figure — declared a very modest collection of assets as he prepared for his swearing-in ceremony next Tuesday. Hollande, a 57-year-old career politician with four children, owns three properties in the south —…

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