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15-year-old Saudi girl granted divorce from 86-year-old man

A 15-year-old Saudi girl who was forced to marry an octogenarian has been granted a divorce after a local human rights group intervened, the watchdog said on Wednesday. The Saudi Human Rights Commission (SHRC) raised the case “after learning of the marriage of a minor girl to an 86-year-old man…

China becomes second-largest movie market

Moviegoers in China spent 17 billion yuan ($2.7 billion) on tickets last year, turning the country into the second-largest film market in the world, the state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday. Sales rose 30 percent from 2011, it said, citing the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT),…

Germany’s Catholic Church severs ties with criminologists who research sex abuse

Germany’s Roman Catholic Church said on Wednesday it had severed ties with criminologists commissioned to research sexual abuse by clergy in a row over the right to publish their findings. The Church announced in July 2011 it would open its archives, which date back to the end of World War…

Daughter accuses German filmmaker Klaus Kinski of years of sex abuse

The elder daughter of the late German film icon Klaus Kinski accused him Wednesday of sexually abusing her for several years from the time she was a small child. Pola Kinski said the diminutive fair-haired actor who died in 1991 had molested her repeatedly from the age of five until…

Berlin museum spotlights U.S. filmmaker Martin Scorsese

A Berlin museum will Wednesday open what it called the first exhibition worldwide dedicated to the work of veteran US film-maker Martin Scorsese, who opened his vast archive for the show. Featuring relics such as Robert De Niro’s shirt drenched in fake blood from “Cape Fear” and his battered boxing…

British men snagged ‘millions’ by smuggling Chinese garlic into Sweden

Two British men are believed to have made millions of euros in just over a year by smuggling Chinese garlic from Norway into Sweden, a prosecutor in Gothenburg said Wednesday. Something didn’t smell right for authorities in June 2010, when a truck full of garlic was intercepted in the Bohuslaen…

Volunteer firefighters complain new fire truck is too wide for narrow French streets

Volunteer firefighters in a southern French village are complaining after the new truck they received — at a cost of 250,000 euros ($326,000) — turned out too wide for its narrow streets. The firefighters have complained to local authorities in the town of Montcuq about the truck ordered by regional…

Third Delhi gang-rape suspect to plead not guilty

A third suspect accused of fatally gang-raping a 23-year-old student in a moving bus in New Delhi last month will plead not guilty to all charges, his lawyer said on Wednesday. Advocate M.L. Sharma said he would file the plea on behalf of Ram Singh, the driver of the bus…

Russia probes deadly ‘zorb ball’ accident

Russia has launched an investigation into the death of a 27-year-old man in an inflatable “zorb” ball that tumbled down a mountainside in a horrific accident that was caught on video, a spokesman said Wednesday. Denis Burakov, 27, died of his injuries after he and a friend, Vladimir Shcherbov, 33,…

French leader spurns appeal to save elephants on death row

French President Francois Hollande will not intervene in the case of two ailing zoo elephants whose death sentence led Brigitte Bardot to threaten to go into exile in Russia, his office said Wednesday. The two elephants named Baby and Nepal face being put down because they have been diagnosed with…

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