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London mulls Rio-style Jesus statue for Olympics

London may erect a replica of Rio de Janeiro’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue to mark the passage of the Olympic torch to Brazil at the end of this year’s games, reports said. The 30-foot (10-metre) sculpture would sit atop Primrose Hill, one of the most popular viewing points in…

Senior Church of England cleric condemns British government’s same-sex marriage plans

The second most senior cleric in the Church of England, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, on Saturday condemned the British government’s plans to introduce same-sex civil marriages. “Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman,” the Ugandan-born archbishop told the Daily Telegraph newspaper, adding that only “dictators” tried…

Panetta believes Pakistan knew where bin Laden was hiding

WASHINGTON — US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta still believes someone in authority in Pakistan knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding before US forces went in to find him, he said in a TV interview to air Sunday. Intelligence reports found Pakistani military helicopters had passed over the compound in…

Suicide car bomb outside Baghdad hospital kills 31

A suicide bomber set off an explosives-packed car outside a Baghdad hospital on Friday, killing 31 people in the capital’s deadliest day in a month, amid a political crisis that has stoked tensions. The attack in a predominantly Shiite neighbourhood, which also left 60 people wounded, came days after Al-Qaeda…

Italian liner passengers to get 11,000 euros each

Passengers of a stricken Italian cruise liner will get at least 11,000 euros each from its Costa Crociere operator under a deal struck after the January 13 disaster, a consumer group said Friday. “This deal concerns some 3,000 passengers from 60 countries, including some 900 Italians,” Adoc, one of several…

Cocaine mistakenly sent to UN headquarters

UNITED NATIONS — A 16 kilo (35.5 pounds) consignment of cocaine that Mexican drug traffickers recently lost has turned up in an unlikely place — the United Nations in New York. Police and UN officials Thursday described how two fake UN bags containing the drugs — which experts said had…

Haiti should brace for more devastating quakes: study

WASHINGTON — The 2010 earthquake that devastated southern Haiti may have opened a new era of seismic activity and residents should brace for more massive temblors, said a US study on Thursday. The 7.0 quake that killed 250,000 people and leveled much of the capital Port-au-Prince, was of a magnitude…

Three dead, 16 missing in Rio high-rises collapse

Three people were confirmed dead and 16 were still missing early Thursday after three office buildings, one of them 20 stories high, collapsed in downtown Rio de Janeiro, authorities said. Officials in Brazil’s second largest city said the three bodies were retrieved as rescue teams with search dogs and heavy…

Key Darfur rebel group says new leader chosen

A key rebel group in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region said on Thursday it has chosen a one-time university professor to head the movement after his brother, the former leader, was killed last month. At a two-day meeting in South Kordofan state, the Justice and Equality Movement selected Gibril Ibrahim to…

Police ‘rescue’ Australian PM from Aboriginal rights protesters

Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Thursday had to be bundled out of a Canberra restaurant by security service agents after it was surrounded by furious Aboriginal rights protesters. Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott were stranded in The Lobby restaurant as dozens of demonstrators from a protest against Australia Day,…

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