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‘Flipping’ used cars a thriving industry in Venezuela

With the world’s largest oil reserves and the cheapest gas anywhere, you’d think Venezuela is a driver’s paradise. Wrong. New cars are scarce and sellers of used ones — even clunkers — make a killing. The counter-intuitive economics stem from rules imposed in 2003 by populist President Hugo Chavez that…

10 people shot dead in 24 hours in Sao Paolo

At least 10 people, including a suspected drug trafficker, were shot dead in the Sao Paulo metropolitan area in the past 24 hours in a worsening wave of violence in which military police have been targeted, officials said Saturday. The latest victims were among some 20 people shot in Sao…

Chinese traders strike in Spain over crackdown

Chinese businesses in a major trading estate in Madrid staged a rare strike Saturday to protest a police crackdown on alleged money-laundering which they said had stigmatized them. Hundreds of warehouses in the Cobo Calleja industrial zone, considered the biggest Chinese wholesale hub in Europe, shut down for the day…

Exodus from Nigerian city after execution style killings

Fear gripped Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri on Saturday with many men fleeing after the alleged execution style killings of around 40 young men, mostly teenagers, who residents said were rounded up and shot. “All male residents have left the neighbourhood…. Those that remain are women, children and elderly men,”…

Japan refuses to register trans man as father on birth certificate

A person who had a sex-change to become a man has complained of discrimination after a Japanese court refused to register him as the father of his wife’s child, according to reports Saturday. The 30-year-old, who was born female, had sought to be registered as the father after his wife…

Blindfolded boy will choose Coptic Christians next pope in Egypt

A blindfolded boy will on Sunday select the new pope for millions of Coptic Christians in Egypt, becoming his mother’s pride and joy in the process. Nearly 2,500 eligible voters made up of Coptic public officials, MPs, journalists and local councillors have already pre-selected three candidates to succeed pope Shenuda…

Watch: China’s future leaders learn founding ideology at ‘Communism camp’

In the remote Jinggang mountains, China’s future communist elite are being trained in Mao Zedong’s former guerrilla base, an effort to buttress the revolutionary roots of a regime striving to maintain its legitimacy. The Communist Party’s embrace of state-directed capitalism has utterly transformed China since Mao died in 1976. But…

Greek Orthodox patriarch threatens to close Holy Sepulchre over water dispute

A dispute with an Israeli water company over unpaid bills has led to a Greek Orthodox threat to close Christianity’s holiest site, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Maariv newspaper reported on Friday that the Hagihon water company said it is was owed 9 million shekels ($2.1 million)…

Marijuana industry in Israel grows with government support

The medical marijuana industry in Israel is growing rapidly — with no organized government or religious opposition to be found, reported Fox News. Today, there are more than 10,000 Israelis who have the government’s go-ahead to use medical marijuana, a major jump from just a few hundred in 2005. Next…

British Foreign Ministry under fire for spending $16,000 to re-stuff a display anaconda

Britain’s foreign ministry has come under fire after it emerged that it paid £10,000 to re-stuff a giant anaconda named Albert. The 20-foot (six-metre) snake, which has been in the possession of the Foreign Office for at least 120 years, is believed to have been presented to colonial officials in…

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