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Pakistan prepares to mark five years since PM Bhutto’s murder

Pakistan Thursday marks the fifth anniversary of the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, with her son expected to launch his political career with a speech in the family’s ancestral home town. Bhutto, twice elected prime minister, was killed in a gun and suicide attack after an election rally…

Unusually harsh winter hits Morocco’s mountain region

In a country on the doorstep of western Europe and popular for sunshine holidays, an unusually bitter winter has hit isolated mountain villages, causing hardship not usually associated with Morocco. On an icy morning in December, Salem Said trudges with his son along a snow-swept road to the only school…

Letter allegedly detailing Chinese forced labor camp found in Halloween kit

A note found in Halloween decorations purchased in Portland, Ore., over a year ago may have carried a letter from a forced labor camp in China, reported The Oregonian. Julie Keith was considering donating an unopened graveyard kit she bought at Kmart, but in October she opened it and discovered…

UN predicts 1.1 million Syrian refugees by June

The United Nations on Wednesday predicted the number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries will double to 1.1 million by June next year if the country’s war is not ended. There are now more than 540,000 registered refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt, according to the latest UN…

Iran grounds domestic flights during call to prayer

Iran has ordered domestic airlines to take off half an hour after pre-dawn Muslim prayers, the website of country’s civil aviation organisation quoted its chief as saying on Wednesday. “According to a directive we issued to the domestic airlines, from now on the airlines will be authorised to take off…

‘Thunderbirds’ creator Gerry Anderson dies at 83

Gerry Anderson, the British director and creator of the cult sci-fi animation series “Thunderbirds”, died on Wednesday aged 83, his son said on Wednesday. Anderson had been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease since 2010 and his health had deteriorated in the past six months, Jamie Anderson said on his personal website.…

Germany ‘exporting’ elderly to foreign retirement homes

Pensioners are being sent to care homes in eastern Europe and Asia in an austerity move dismissed as ‘inhumane deportation’ Growing numbers of elderly and sick Germans are being sent overseas for long-term care in retirement and rehabilitation centres because of rising costs and falling standards in Germany. The move,…

Lady Gaga shoe and Michael Jackson hat up for auction in Paris

A silver platform shoe tossed to the audience by Lady Gaga and a felt hat custom-made for Michael Jackson are among the items of celebrity memorabilia up for sale in Paris, an auction house said Wednesday. The February 11 sale at the Drouot auction house also features a leather ecritoire,…

Facial hair transplant tourism becomes a booming business in Turkey

By Constanze Letsch, The Guardian Transplant ‘tourism’ keeps Istanbul cosmetic surgeons and tour agencies busy providing means to manly beards and whiskers Turkey’s booming health tourism sector is getting hairier. Transplants have long been offered to those who are thin on top, but now facial hair implants are gaining in popularity,…

Mandela remains in hospital for recurring lung infection

South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela remained in hospital on Wednesday, a spokesman said, almost three weeks after he was admitted for treatment for a recurring lung infection. The 94-year-old former leader was visited on Christmas Day by his wife Graca and other family members along with President Jacob Zuma,…

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