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Divided European Union steps up to collect Nobel Peace Prize

Undermined by three years of economic crisis, the European Union steps up divided Monday to collect this year’s Nobel peace prize, awarded for turning Europe “from a continent of war to a continent of peace”. The Nobel medal, diploma and almost million-euro prize will be handed to the organisation’s top…

Chavez to leave for Cuba for more cancer surgery

Hugo Chavez was set to leave for Cuba early Monday to undergo new cancer surgery that the Venezuelan leftist president admitted was urgently needed to fight the deadly disease. It will be the fourth time the firebrand anti-American populist, re-elected only last October, has undergone surgery since being diagnosed last…

Oil giant says August cyber attack targeted whole Saudi kingdom

Oil giant Saudi Aramco said on Sunday that an August cyber attack on its computer network targeted not just the company but the kingdom’s economy as a whole. The interior ministry, which joined Aramco’s investigation into the attack that affected some 30,000 of the firm’s computers, said it was carried…

Controversial skyscraper alters Santiago skyline

The skyline of Chile’s capital has been altered over the past year by a skyscraper — the tallest in South America and one so towering it casts a shadow nearly two kilometers (more than a mile) long. The 70-story Gran Torre Costanera Center, a giant that dwarfs Santiago’s other skyscrapers,…

Monkey wearing coat and diapers found in Toronto Ikea parking lot

A monkey wearing a shearling coat and diapers was found wandering around an Ikea parking lot in Toronto, reported the CBC. The monkey’s owner, who was shopping at the home and furniture store, put the monkey in a crate inside her car, but it managed to escape. “It’s a smart…

Negotiations underway on Strauss-Kahn sexual assault settlement

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF chief and French presidential hopeful, wants to draw a line Monday under the New York sex scandal that destroyed his stellar career. Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn were due in Bronx Supreme Court to discuss a settlement of the civil suit brought by Nafissatou Diallo, who accuses…

Mass ceremony in Brazil’s Rio celebrates same-sex unions

Nearly a hundred same-sex couples in Rio de Janeiro legalized their unions — to a status just shy of marriage in the Latin American country — in a group ceremony Sunday, local media reported. The 92 couples pledged themselves to “stable unions,” though the G1 web site noted the ceremony…

Spree of Porsche headlight thefts blamed on cannabis growers

One would expect the high-power headlights of luxury car brand Porsche to be pretty good at startling deer and blinding other drivers. But according to rumours circulating in Amsterdam, their high-intensity discharge (HID) xenon lamps are good for cultivating cannabis too. At the last count, 35 sets of headlights have…

Man throws paint at Polish ‘miracle’ Virgin Mary icon

Polish police detained a 58-year-old man Sunday after he threw vials of black paint at the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, an ancient Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary believed to work miracles. A protective pane of glass over the painted protected it from any damage, local police spokeswoman Joanna Lazar…

IMF chief Christine Lagarde warns U.S. of worldwide effects of fiscal cliff

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has warned the US it has the potential to be its “own worst enemy” over the fragile economic recovery and that failure to reach a comprehensive settlement over the fiscal cliff could see growth plummet to zero. In forthright comments over the impending fiscal…

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