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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…

Hidden casualties of Afghan war: Nomadic farmers adopt more settled life

Former nomad Gul Mohammad has not taken to a settled life. “I live in a jail now,” the 45-year-old said, gazing out despondently at a livestock market from a breeze-block shed that doubles as a rough tea house. With 11 children his tiny house feels crammed, and the large herd…

Yemen says U.S. drone strikes to continue

Yemen’s national security chief said on Tuesday that US drone strikes against Al-Qaeda targets will continue as the two governments keep up their counter-terrorism cooperation. “The Yemeni-American cooperation, including the use of friendly aircraft, will continue,” Ali Hassan al-Ahmadi told reporters in Sanaa. “Yemen is one of the countries that…

EU launches public consultation on artificial sweetener aspartame

The EU’s food safety agency on Tuesday launched a public consultation on its draft scientific opinion regarding the safety of the artificial sweetener aspartame. “All stakeholders and interested parties are invited to comment on the draft opinion through the online public consultation by 15 February 2013,” the European Food Safety…

Swiss court relieves farmer of 656-year-old debt to Catholic Church

A Swiss court has wiped the slate clean for a farmer and his family, relieving them of an annual debt to a Catholic church dating back to 1357, Swiss public broadcaster RTS reported Tuesday. The court in the northeastern canton of Glarus ruled that the farmer and his family no…

French budget minister under investigation for tax fraud

French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac is under investigation for tax fraud after a media report that he had an undeclared UBS account in Geneva which he then moved to Asia, prosecutors said Tuesday. Cahuzac, who is in charge of battling tax evasion, has denied the report by the respected Mediapart…

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