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At least two killed in bomb blast outside U.S. embassy in Turkey

Two security guards were killed and several other people were wounded in a blast outside the US embassy in Ankara on Friday, local television reported. It was not immediately known what caused the explosion but some media speculated it could have been a suicide bombing. The force of the blast…

‘Rent-a-boyfriend’ services popping up on some Chinese websites

Selling a kiss online, accompanying a stranger overnight for a fee — none of the “rent-a-boyfriend” services popping up on some Chinese websites sound at all family-friendly. Yet the budding market aims to help young singles address the most traditional of values: respecting their elders, meeting their demand to find…

Renowned atheist Richard Dawkins cracks penis joke in debate with retired Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams

Britain’s most ardent atheist lost the encounter with former archbishop on paper – but he got laughs for his penis joke Despite serving as Oxford university’s professor for the public understanding of science for 13 distinguished years, his work as an ethologist and evolutionary biologist, not to mention his many…

Explosion at Mexico oil giant kills at least 14 people

An explosion rocked the Mexico City headquarters of Mexican oil giant Pemex on Thursday, killing at least 14 people and wounding 80 more as rescuers sifted through debris for survivors. People were carted away on stretchers and office chairs, as a huge plume of smoke billowed toward the sky. Heavy…

Norway mass shooter files complaint over ‘aggravated torture’

Rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who is serving a 21-year jail sentence for killing 77 people, has complained to the Norwegian government over prison conditions akin to “aggravated torture”, his lawyer said Thursday. In his complaint to Justice Minister Grete Faremo and the governor of the Ila high security prison,…

Human Rights Watch: Arab Spring must respect basic rights

The Arab Spring has given way to new governments that are failing to respect basic rights such as freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch warned as it published its annual report Thursday. The US-based group urged the young Islamist regimes of countries such as Egypt, Libya and Tunisia to build…

HIV-positive teacher wins landmark discrimination case in China

HIV-positive teaching applicant received damages from Jinxian county educational bureau for being refused post over condition An aspiring teacher in south-east China has become the country’s first person to win compensation for an HIV-related employment discrimination, according to state media reports. The ruling presents a milestone in the country’s long-running effort to…

Israel silent over Syria strike claims

Israel was on Thursday tightlipped over Syrian claims it had bombed a military site near Damascus, while stressing that any transfer of advanced weaponry to Lebanon’s Hezbollah would cross a red line. Israeli officials and the military refused to confirm or deny any involvement in the alleged attack and had…

Iran to install new nuclear equipment at Natanz site

Iran intends to install more modern equipment at Natanz, one of its main nuclear sites, according to a document seen by AFP on Thursday. The UN atomic agency document said that Iran informed it in a letter dated January 23 that “centrifuge machines type IR2m will be used in Unit…

HRW condemns Russia’s ‘worst post-Soviet crackdown’

Human Rights Watch on Thursday condemned the Russian authorities under President Vladimir Putin for unleashing the toughest crackdown against civil society since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. “The Kremlin in 2012 unleashed the worst political crackdown in Russia’s post-Soviet history,” the New-York based rights watchdog said in…

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