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Swimming the hard way in Japan: in samurai armor

Walking or running in a full suit of samurai armour is not the easiest thing in the world. Swimming in it is even harder, but that’s exactly what some in Japan are doing. For fun. “It’s heavy, and it’s hot in here… Fan me hard,” Mutsuo Koga, a 27-year-old doctor,…

Myanmar monks protest anti-Buddhist unrest

About 100 monks demonstrated in Myanmar’s main city Yangon on Friday against attacks by Muslim mobs targeting Buddhist temples and homes in neighboring Bangladesh. Holding signs with slogans including “The Earth Is for Everyone, Not Only for Muslims” and “Stop Insulting Buddhism”, the robed monks staged a short protest outside…

Eighteen children confirmed dead in China landslide

BEIJING (AFP) – The bodies of all 18 schoolchildren buried under a landslide in China have been recovered, media said Friday, as officials defended returning them to school following recent deadly earthquakes. The landslide, triggered by sustained rains, buried the school and three farmhouses on Thursday in the village of…

French fashion boss apologizes over China gaffe

The boss of French clothing firm Zadig & Voltaire has apologised for saying that Chinese tourists would not be welcome at an exclusive new hotel planned by the company in Paris. Company founder Thierry Gillier told fashion industry journal Women’s Wear Daily late last month: “We are going to select…

One killed as South African police and miners clash

One miner has been killed in clashes between police and striking workers at a South African platinum mine, witnesses said Friday, as President Jacob Zuma appealed for calm. “Yesterday (Thursday) the cops shot many people, but one of them is dead, even the dead body is still there where he…

U.S. gunman shot dead after killing one in Israel: police

JERUSALEM – A US tourist opened fire in the lobby of a hotel in the Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat on Friday killing one person, before being shot dead by the security forces, police said. The shooting, which broke out in the Leonardo Club hotel, came as the…

Church of England bishops urged to have honest discussion about gay clergy

Church of England bishops have been warned they must embark on an honest dialogue about gay clergy and laity if they are to avoid the church reaching “a tipping point where it is too morally discredited to be respected on any issue”. Before a meeting at which bishops are expected…

U.S. says Turkish shelling of Syria ‘appropriate’ and ‘proportional’

WASHINGTON — The United States said Thursday Turkey had taken “appropriate” and “proportional” action in firing back at Syria after a deadly cross-border shelling, but urged that tensions should not escalate. “From our perspective, the response that Turkey made was appropriate,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, adding Ankara had…

Moroccan navy blocks Dutch ‘abortion boat’

The Moroccan navy on Thursday blocked the Mediterranean harbour in which a controversial Dutch “abortion ship” was due to dock in the first such trip to a Muslim country, one of the organisers said. “They have blocked the harbour. We can see a big warship in front of the harbour,”…

German cabinet considers law to legalize circumcision in some circumstances

A draft law aimed at resolving a controversy in Germany over the circumcision of boys is due to be considered by the cabinet next week, a source close to the government said Thursday. The new legislation would permit circumcision under certain conditions and remove the legal uncertainty created when a…

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