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World’s oldest person dies in Iowa at 115

The world’s oldest person — an Iowa woman who scrubbed floors until she turned 90 — died Monday at age 115, less than two weeks after earning her venerable distinction. Dina Manfredini, a native of Italy, died at the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center outside Des Moines, Iowa, said its director,…

Charges of necrophilia dismissed against Swedish woman who kept human bones

A Swedish woman who kept human skulls and bones in her apartment was sentenced Monday to probation and ordered to undergo psychiatric care after being convicted of “disturbing the peace of the dead.” The prosecution had argued that the 37 year-old woman, who has a history of unemployment and substance…

Swedish military finds wreck of Soviet sub sunk during World War II

The wreck of a Soviet submarine that was sunk during World War II has been found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea off the Swedish island of Oeland, Sweden’s military said on Monday. The wreck is believed to be that of the S-6, which disappeared in September 1941. “In…

WHO: Slowed fight against malaria threatens to undo progress

The fight against malaria has slowed in the past two years, threatening to reverse progress in combatting one of the world’s biggest killers, the World Health Organisation warned Monday. Funding for efforts to prevent the deadly mosquito-borne disease increased sharply between 2004 and 2009, part of an ongoing drive that…

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.…

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