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New sex scandal hits Australian defence force

SYDNEY — The Australian military was rocked Thursday by a new sex scandal, including allegations of assault, child porn, rape and drug-dealing within its ranks. Documents obtained by Channel Seven News under the Freedom of Information Act detail what it called “ongoing, often major, breaches of discipline in Australia’s armed…

North Korea says Kim’s body to lie in state

SEOUL — North Korea Thursday announced plans to honour late leader Kim Jong-Il, saying his body would lie in state in a Pyongyang palace and memorial towers would be built nationwide. Kim died on December 17 of a heart attack at age 69 after 17 years in charge of the…

In Cuba, Iran leader says capitalism ‘in decay’

HAVANA — Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad slammed capitalism as bankrupt and called for a new world order Wednesday on a visit to Cuba, steering clear of the controversy over his country’s nuclear program. The Iranian leader arrived in Cuba for talks with his counterpart Raul Castro as the Islamic republic…

U.S. denies blame in killing of Iranian scientist

WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday denied that it was to blame for the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist by a car bomb, after Tehran said Washington and Israel were responsible for the attack. “I want to categorically deny any United States involvement in any kind of act…

Marines to probe video of soldiers urinating on corpses

Military officials said Wednesday that they’re investigating a video published online showing four men in U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) uniforms urinating on several lifeless bodies purported to be dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. “While we have not yet verified the origin or authenticity of this video, the actions portrayed are not…

Joran Van der Sloot apologizes for murder in Peru trial

LIMA (Reuters) – Dutch citizen Joran Van der Sloot apologized in court on Wednesday for killing a young Peruvian woman in 2010 and accepted murder charges against him in a plea that could lighten his sentence. Van der Sloot, who was arrested but never charged in the 2005 disappearance of 18-year-old Alabama native Natalee…

Skyscrapers have ‘unhealthy’ link to financial crises

The construction of enormous skyscrapers has an “unhealthy” link with looming financial crises and investors should therefore keep a close eye on China and India, Barclays Capital said on Wednesday. China is currently the biggest builder of skyscrapers, while booming India is constructing the second largest tower in the world, the investment bank said in its latest…

China launches operation to free pandas into wild

China on Wednesday released six young captive pandas into semi-wild enclosures as part of a project aimed at helping the endangered bears adapt to the wild and eventually go free. Previous attempts by Chinese authorities to release pandas into the wild have proved unsuccessful. The last bear that was set free in…

U.S. diplomat to meet Egypt Muslim Brotherhood

The US State Department’s number two is to meet Wednesday with leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood’s party after it claimed a crushing victory in the first parliamentary polls since a popular uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak. William Burns ”will meet leaders of the Freedom and Justice Partyat their headquarters in Cairo,” FJP spokesman Ahmed Sobea told AFP. “It will…

Iran nuclear scientist killed in car bomb blast

An Iranian nuclear scientist was killed on Wednesday in a Tehran car bomb assassination blamed onIsrael that threatens to ignite a dangerously tense international standoff over Iran’s atomic programme. An Iranian official immediately blamed “the Zionist regime” for the explosion, saying the method — two men on a motorbike attaching a magnetic…

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