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North Korean shoots officers, defects: South Korea

A North Korean soldier defected to the South on Saturday through the heavily militarised border, saying he shot dead two superior officers in the process, the South Korean military said. It is only the fourth such defection reported in the last 10 years, with none of the previous incidents involving…

Cleric Abu Hamza to arrive in U.S. after extradition

Radical Islamist preacher Abu Hamza and four other terror suspects were on their way from Britain to the United States on Saturday after a court rejected their last-ditch court bid to block their extradition. A legal saga that has dragged on for more than a decade in the courts of…

French cops in Marseille locked up for corruption

Twelve police officers in France’s crime-ridden Marseille appeared in court Friday on suspicion of corruption, extortion and drug dealing, with a prosecutor claiming there was “overwhelming” proof of guilt. Seven were locked up and five granted provisional release while French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced he was suspending them and…

Swedish Internet sites unreachable after warning from Anonymous

Several Swedish government websites could not be accessed Friday after they had received a warning the evening before from a group claiming to be the Anonymous collective, which supports fugitive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Swedish branch of Anonymous denied it was behind the attacks. Assange is wanted by the…

South Korea probes toxic leak as impact worsens

South Korea on Friday launched a full inquiry into a toxic chemical leak in the southeastern city of Gumi, as officials considered designating the affected area a “disaster zone”. According to health officials, more than 600 people, including local residents and firefighters, have required treatment in the wake of the…

New black ‘Rooti’ dolls aim to foster African knowledge and pride

‘Rooti’ dolls designed to help western children of African parents stay in touch with their heritage First there was the golliwog, then there was black Barbie. Now the creators of a new talking doll say that after 140 years of racism and negative stereotyping, toys for black children have finally come of age…

Catholic theologian: Unseat pope and push ‘authoritarian’ church to radical reform

Hans Küng urges confrontation from the grassroots to unseat pope and force radical reform at Vatican One of the world’s most prominent Catholic theologians has called for a revolution from below to unseat the pope and force radical reform at the Vatican. Hans Küng is appealing to priests and churchgoers…

IMF: Global growth forecast slashed unless politicians restore confidence

The International Monetary Fund has cut its global growth forecasts for this year and 2013 and called on politicians in the eurozone and the US to take “decisive” steps to restore confidence, a German newspaper said Friday. Citing excerpts from the IMF’s World Economic Outlook to be released early next…

Dutch police hunt for sheep-stealing mafia

Dutch police are hot on the trail of a sheep-rustling ring responsible for the unprecedented theft of hundreds of ovines, with suspicions falling on a mutton Mafia with shepherding experience. “We are busy with an intensive investigation after hundreds of sheep disappeared in the region in the last few weeks,”…

Norway gives 14 weeks paid parental leave to dads

Norway is to extend the amount of parental leave reserved for dads to 14 weeks, bringing the period that can be claimed by both parents on full pay to 49 weeks, a coalition member party said on Friday. The Scandinavian country’s system is already one of the world’s most generous.…

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