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Israel approves 1,500 more settlement homes in east Jerusalem

Israel on Monday gave the green light for developers to go ahead with controversial plans to build 1,500 settler homes in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, the interior ministry told AFP. Spokeswoman Efrat Orbach said that the ministry’s planning committee had told the applicants to trim their request to build 1,600 new…

Bangladesh factory fire ruled ‘an act of sabotage’

A fire that killed 111 workers at a Bangladesh garment factory last month was caused by sabotage and managers at the plant prevented victims from escaping, the head of an official inquiry said Monday. “We have found that the fire that gutted Tazreen Fashion factory in Ashulia was an act…

Star witness to testify in Berlusconi underage prostitute trial next month

The star witness in Silvio Berlusconi’s trial for paying for sex with an underage prostitute is to testify next month, lawyers said on Monday, as legal woes threaten his faltering re-election campaign. Moroccan-born pole-dancer Karima El-Mahroug — better known by her professional nickname of “Ruby the Heart Stealer” — is…

Two Russians lost in wilderness ate third companion’s corpse to survive

Two Russians who were rescued in November after four months lost in the taiga wilderness of the Far East ate the corpse of a companion in order to survive, reports said Monday. A group of four men had disappeared in August on a river-fishing expedition to the vast Yakutia region…

New inquiry into Winehouse’s cause of death after coroner ruled unqualified

A new inquest into the death of troubled British singer Amy Winehouse will be held in January after it emerged that the original coroner was not qualified for the job, an official said Monday. The Grammy award-winner was found dead at her north London home in July 2011 following years…

Anglican priest refuses promotion over decision to continue banning female bishops

Rev Philip North was due to become bishop of Whitby, despite parishoners’ opposition to his stance on women in church The Church of England‘s split over female bishops has deepened after an Anglo-Catholic clergyman announced that he was not taking up his post as a bishop because of his opposition to the idea.…

Court: Australian woman injured during sex on work trip is entitled to compensation

By Alison Rourke, The Guardian Australian court rules that woman, who was hurt when light fitting fell on her during sex in a motel, is entitled to compensation An Australian woman who was injured while having sex on an overnight work trip has won the right to compensation after a…

Tunisian president stoned by protesters

Protesters on Monday hurled rocks at Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki and parliamentary speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar in Sidi Bouzid, cradle of the revolution that erupted exactly two years ago. The incident began after a speech by Marzouki in the central Tunisian town, where celebrations are taking place to mark the…

North Korea mourns Kim Jong-Il at memorial service

North Korea on Monday mourned the death one year ago of leader Kim Jong-Il, with its rocket scientists taking pride of place at a special memorial ceremony led by his son and successor Kim Jong-Un. Kim Jong-Il died of a heart attack on December 17, 2011, although his death was…

Benghazi police station hit by two explosions

Two explosions rocked police stations in the Libyan city of Benghazi early on Monday and police foiled a third attack, a security official told AFP, adding that there were no casualties. Police in the eastern city had placed checkpoints and bolstered security around their stations following two Sunday attacks, blamed…

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