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Paris women allowed to wear pants after two hundred year-old ban is lifted

An archaic by-law banning Parisian women from wearing trousers has finally been repealed 214 years after it was originally introduced. The November 1799 decree stipulated that any woman wishing to wear men’s clothing in the French capital had to seek official permission from the city authorities. It was amended two…

Rising incomes fuel India’s growing appetite for meat

With German sausages, French duck breasts and homegrown chicken, Francis Menezes is cashing in on the growing appetite for meat among Indians — even in one of Mumbai’s most strictly vegetarian areas. In the upmarket neighbourhood of Malabar Hill, numerous shops, restaurants and even some apartment blocks remain meat-free. But…

Vietnam jails 22 activists for subversion

Vietnam has sentenced 22 activists to lengthy jail terms ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment, a defence lawyer said, after one of the country’s largest subversion trials for years. Vietnam has sentenced 22 activists to lengthy jail terms ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment, a defence lawyer said,…

To curb rape, Muslim group calls for end to co-ed schools in India

To curb rape, Muslim group calls for end to co-ed schools in India Following the violent gang rape of a young medical student on a Delhi bus last month, some top Muslim clerics say ending co-ed schools would prevent rapes. But the suggestion has found few takers: Even among Muslims, many…

Fidel Castro makes surprise appearance in Cuba

Ailing Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro made a surprise appearance in Havana Sunday to vote in parliamentary polls, expressing confidence in the revolution despite a decades-long US trade embargo. Castro’s visit to the voting precinct in Havana’s El Vedado neighborhood was the main event in Sunday’s elections, during which Cubans…

Scotland Yard stole dead children’s identities: report

London’s Metropolitan Police stole the identities of some 80 dead children and issued false documents in their names for use by undercover officers, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported on Sunday. The force authorised the practice over three decades for officers attempting to infiltrate protest groups, without informing the children’s parents, the…

China’s thick smog arrives in Japan

The suffocating smog that blanketed swathes of China is now hitting parts of Japan, sparking warnings Monday of health fears for the young and the sick. The environment ministry’s website has been overloaded as worried users log on to try to find out what is coming their way. “Access to…

Sequins and robberies at Rio’s pet Carnival

Hundreds of pets decked out with sequins, ruffles and hats paraded on Rio’s famed Copacabana beach Sunday in an annual pre-Carnival extravaganza briefly interrupted by a spate of robberies. The annual “blocao,” a play on the Portuguese words for “street party” and “dog,” brought together dogs and their owners on…

Kerry and Palestinian leader agree to meet and promote peace

Newly sworn-in US Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Sunday and said they should meet on peace efforts, a presidential spokesman said. Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa that the two discussed “the necessity to hold meetings in the…

French mosque vandalized with anti-Islam graffiti after 2012 sees increase in attacks

Vandals have targeted a French mosque in a graffiti attack, tagging the worship centre with swastikas and anti-Islam slogans, officials said Sunday. The attack was discovered by worshippers arriving for morning prayer at the mosque in Ozoir-La-Ferriere, a small town 35 kilometres (20 miles) east of Paris. Photographs of the…

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