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Hong Kong LGBT activists blast government’s stalling on anti-discrimination laws

Hong Kong’s gay community on Wednesday blasted the government for refusing to carry out a public consultation on the implementation of anti-discrimination laws to protect sexual minorities. Rights groups hoped chief executive Leung Chun-ying would use his maiden policy speech to launch a debate on the issue, with a view…

Court denies Pussy Riot member request to defer prison time for her 5-year-old son

A Russian court on Wednesday turned down a request by a jailed member of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot to defer serving her jail sentence until her five-year-old son is older. “The court has ruled not to satisfy the petition,” the judge said at Berezniki city court in the…

Estonian president’s Twitter fight with Paul Krugman becomes an opera

A Twitter feud in June between the Estonian president and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman who questioned the impact of Estonia’s austerity measures, is being turned into an opera, US composer Eugene Birman told AFP on Wednesday. “Our short opera will be first performed by Iris Oja and the…

Spanish city names town square after Clash singer

The Spanish city of Granada plans to name a square after the late British punk star Joe Strummer who sang of the town in one of his band The Clash’s classic tunes, an official said Wednesday. The driving rock anthem “Spanish Bombs” on the band’s 1979 album “London Calling” recalled…

Helicopter crashes in ball of flames in London

A helicopter crashed in central London and plunged to the ground in a ball of flames on Wednesday, with police saying it had hit a crane on top of a building. Fire engines and police were at the scene of the crash near the River Thames at Vauxhall, where a…

Russian mafia boss shot dead in Moscow

A man believed to be one of Russia’s biggest mafia bosses was shot dead in the centre of Moscow on Wednesday as he was leaving a restaurant after lunch, the interior ministry said. Aslan Usoyan, known by his nickname of “Grandpa Hassan”, was killed by a shot from a sniper’s…

Taiwan confiscates 435 dog penises

Animal disease officials in Taiwan have confiscated more than 400 dried dog penises, testicles and various internal organs in a raid on an illegal slaughterhouse. A total of 435 penises were discovered in a fridge along with the other body parts, while 12 fresh dog corpses were also found in…

Pakistan’s foreign minister accuses India of ‘warmongering’

India is “warmongering” over deadly clashes in the disputed Kashmir region, Pakistan’s foreign minister said while calling for talks to end the new hostilities. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar spoke out after Pakistan reported another of its troops had been killed in Kashmir while India’s prime minister has warned there…

Aussie outlaw Ned Kelly to be buried beside mother

Legendary Australian outlaw Ned Kelly will finally be laid to rest beside his mother on Sunday in line with his final wishes at a plot not far from the site of his last stand, reports said. Descendants of the infamous bushranger, who was hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol in 1880…

Study: Democracy in decline around the world

Democracy around the world was in decline in 2012 for the seventh year in a row as the Arab Spring led nervous autocratic leaders to clamp down on any stirrings of dissent, a study said Wednesday. The annual report by the Freedom House non-governmental organization found 90 countries now enjoyed…

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