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U.K. pays Iraqi torture victims millions in compensation

Lawyers and human rights groups say 400 settlements show ‘systemic’ abuse The Ministry of Defence has paid out £14m in compensation and costs to hundreds of Iraqis who complained that they were illegally detained and tortured by British forces during the five-year occupation of the south-east of the country. Hundreds…

Nations urge environmental activists to steer clear of Japanese whaling vessel

Anti-whaling nations on Thursday urged environmental activists not to take any action endangering human life as Japan’s fleet prepared to set sail for its controversial annual hunt. Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States said in a joint statement that they respected the right to peaceful protests but…

Argentine woman to marry her sister’s convicted killer

An Argentine woman plans to marry the convicted killer of her twin sister. Victor Cingolani is serving a 13-year sentence for murdering girlfriend Johana Casas, a fashion model, in August 2010 but insists he is innocent and plans to marry her twin on Friday in his prison in Santa Cruz…

Foie gras removed from menu in Britain’s House of Lords

Britain’s House of Lords has taken foie gras off the menu after animal rights activists complained it was being served in its restaurants, a spokesman for the upper house of parliament said Thursday. Catering chiefs in the Lords, which broke up for Christmas on Wednesday, have decided not to serve…

Anti-LGBT Ugandan pastor uses fruit to demonstrate gay sex on live TV

A Ugandan pastor who opposes LGBT rights recently explained why he thought homosexuality was dangerous by giving a bizarre demonstration of gay sex with the assistance of fruits and vegetables. In an appearance on the NBS talk show Morning Breeze, Reverend Martin Ssempa warned that gay men and lesbians “have…

12 congressional Democrats pledge to take up Bangladesh factory conditions

US lawmakers on Thursday urged a quick review of the duty-free access granted to many products from Bangladesh, voicing alarm over labor conditions after a factory fire killed 111 workers. The 12 Democratic lawmakers, many of whom serve on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, said that Bangladesh appeared…

Record 111 countries vote against death penalty at UN

A record 111 countries voted Thursday for a moratorium on capital punishment at a keynote UN General Assembly human rights meeting. Although not legally binding, campaigners say the vote held every two years sends a strong signal to the slowly shrinking number of nations — including China, Iran and the…

Pyramid-shaped mountain in Serbia attracts Mayan doomsday believers

A pyramid-shaped mountain in Serbia, believed by some to be a source of unusual electromagnetic waves that could shield it from catastrophe, was attracting record numbers of visitors ahead of the predicted Mayan apocalypse on Friday. All the hotels around the Rtanj mountain in southeastern Serbia have been booked up…

Dutch Christian readies escape ark in anticipation of Mayan apocalypse

A Dutch Christian has painstakingly prepared a lifeboat in his garden capable of saving 50 people ahead of biblical floods he expects to accompany Friday’s Mayan-foretold ‘doomsday.’ “The Mayans weren’t crazy, and if you also look at biblical prophecies, the mountains will melt like wax,” Pieter Frank van der Meer…

Court rules Chagos Islanders gave up right to return during British expulsion in 1960s

Court in Strasbourg says islanders ‘renounced’ claims to island when they received compensation for resettlement Exiled Chagos Islanders living in Britain and Mauritius have said they are “dumbstruck” by a European court ruling that it has no jurisdiction to examine their forced expulsion by the British government in the 1960s.…

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