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Myanmar prison art tells story of repression

Painted on scraps of clothing with carved soap, cigarette lighters and even syringes, Htein Lin’s artworks were his lifeline during years in Myanmar jails — and the spark for an extraordinary love story. “These paintings were really dangerous and also precious,” said the 46-year-old former student protest leader, who produced…

Netanyahu list losing ground to right-wing ‘Jewish Home’ ahead of January 22 election

The joint list being fielded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in this month’s snap elections is continuing to lose ground to the Jewish Home faction, a new poll showed on Wednesday. The survey, published in the daily Haaretz, still puts the list combining Netanyahu’s Likud party and the Israel…

Singapore arrests Indian boy over Facebook bomb threat

Singapore police on Tuesday arrested a 13-year-old Indian boy for posting a Facebook message in which he allegedly threatened to bomb a luxury casino resort in the city-state. The unnamed boy vowed to take “a big big revenge”, “spit everywhere” and “plant bombs on Marina Bay Sands”, a major tourist…

Record 40,000 people jump into North Sea for annual Dutch New Year’s dive

A record 40,000 people braved icy temperatures on the Netherlands’s North Sea coast Tuesday to take a cold plunge, setting a new record for the traditional New Year’s Day dip, organisers said. “There were around 10,000 swimmers in Scheveningen and a record number of 40,000 across the Netherlands,” spokeswoman Jiske…

British man killed in New Year’s gang shoot-out at Thai resort

A 22-year-old British tourist was shot dead as he danced at a New Year party on one of Thailand’s most famous islands after a fight between rival Thai gangs erupted on the beach, police said on Tuesday. Stephen Ashton was killed when a Thai man opened fire at a bar…

Africa’s energy consumption fastest growing in the world

As the sun sets over Africa each day, instead of flicking a light switch or heating up the oven, most people put a match to a kerosene lantern or a burning ember to a charcoal stove.  Africa, home to 15 percent of the world’s population, consumes just 3 percent of…

‘Compensation log’ obtained under Freedom of Information Act illustrates human cost of Afghan war

The killing of six members of a family, including a mother and her children, when a rocket overshot a target and hit the compound in which they were living are among the incidents in recent months for which the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has paid out compensation to Afghan civilians.…

Il Duce is back: New reverence for fascist dictator Benito Mussolini spreads across Italy

Pasquale Moretti pulls the latest Benito Mussolini calendar off the shelf at his Rome cafe and flips it open to a photo of the pouting, strutting dictator taking part in a grain harvest. “I was born in that era and he put bread on the table,” said the 78-year-old. “I…

Cannibalism suspected in India tea plantation worker uprising

Police in northeast India say they believe workers on a tea plantation who bludgeoned their boss and his wife to death last month also ate parts of their bodies. A crowd of 1000 workers at the privately-owned M.K.B. Tea Estate in the state of Assam surrounded the plantation owner’s bungalow…

Fireproofing ‘inadequate’ at Japan nuclear reactors

Japanese regulators have found inadequate fireproofing at more than one fifth of the nuclear reactors that went offline after the 2011 Fukushima crisis, a major daily said on Tuesday. The finding could delay their restart by several years in some cases, the Mainichi Shimbun said. More than 10 of Japan’s…

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