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Singapore student sex blog draws scandal

SINGAPORE — A young Malaysian couple have sparked a scandal in Singapore and Malaysia after posting a sexually explicit blog that challenges conservative values in both countries. Alvin Tan, 24, a law student at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and his Malaysian girlfriend Vivian Lee, 23, have been denounced…

Kuwait plunges into political turmoil amid crackdown

Kuwait plunged into political turmoil on Friday after the public prosecution ordered the detention of three former opposition MPs for three days with more arrests expected. The three — Falah al-Sawwagh, Bader al-Dahum and Khaled al-Tahus — were questioned for nine hours on accusations of undermining the status of Kuwait’s…

Berlusconi denies ‘Bunga Bunga’ sex charges in Milan

Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi denied at his trial on Friday that he hosted raunchy parties, had sex with a 17-year-old prostitute and abused his powers by pressuring police. Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with Moroccan exotic dancer Karima El-Mahroug, better known by her stage name as…

Banking giant HSBC websites hit by ‘large scale’ cyber attack

Banking giant HSBC said Friday some of its websites had been hit by a “large scale” cyber attack that disrupted online services, but it assured customers that their data were not compromised. The bank said in a statement that HSBC servers came under a “large scale denial of service attack”…

Former UN secretary general: Anti-drug policies have failed

WASHINGTON — Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan called Thursday for a discussion on decriminalization of drugs, criticizing the crackdown on traffickers in Mexico led by outgoing President Felipe Calderon. “When you look at the results of Calderon’s efforts, most people will tell you it has not worked. He’s got…

Police shut down U.S.-Australia gun network

SYDNEY — An illegal gun supply network from Nashville in the United States to Sydney, where there has been a spate of drive-by shootings, has been shut down, police said on Friday. In a joint operation by Australian and US law enforcement officers, three men were arrested in Nashville on…

Noam Chomsky makes first visit to Gaza

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Jewish-American scholar and activist Noam Chomsky reportedly called for an end to Israel’s siege of Gaza, on his first ever visit to the Hamas-ruled enclave on Thursday. Chomsky, who was in the Gaza Strip for a conference at the Islamic University, called “to end the…

Canadian city declares three-pound chihuahua a ‘dangerous dog’

A Canadian city has declared Molly, a three-pound (1,361-gram) teacup chihuahua a “dangerous dog” and ordered her muzzled after the dog bit a postal worker, local media said Thursday. “I don’t even know if they have muzzles that size. I just think it’s kind of silly, to the extreme,” Molly’s…

European lawmakers look to foie gras ban

A group of European lawmakers has joined animal rights campaigners in a bid to ban the production and sale of foie gras across the 27-nation European Union to halt the “torture” of ducks and geese. Animal Equity, part of an international campaign to “raise awareness on the torture of thousands…

Russia hints plans to quit environmental Kyoto Protocol

Russia on Thursday hinted that it may refuse to sign up to a new round of targeted carbon cuts that could see the Kyoto environmental protection treaty extended beyond its end of 2012 expiry date. “One has to admit that we never got any real commercial gain from the Kyoto…

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