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South Korea’s ‘battle of the singles’ flooded by men

South Korea’s “battle of the singles” — a highly-anticipated mass dating event organised on Facebook — fizzled out Monday, with thousands of lovelorn men at the venue but few women in sight. The event was triggered last month after two young men jokingly floated the idea on the social networking…

Hundreds of anguished notes found at new Colombian ‘Wailing Wall’

Hundreds of visitors have tucked handwritten notes into the enormous stone slab at the new center adjacent to Bogota’s main cemetery, which many think of as Colombia’s “Wailing Wall.” The structure is the centerpiece of Colombia’s new Center for Remembrance, Peace and Reconciliation where visitors can pay their respects to…

Swaziland bans ‘rape-provoking’ miniskirts

Police in Africa’s last absolute monarchy Swaziland have banned women from wearing miniskirts and midriff-revealing tops saying they provoke rape, local media reported on Monday. Offenders face a six-month jail term under the ban, which invokes a colonial criminal act dating back to 1889. “The act of the rapist is…

Top Australian Catholic cleric apologizes for abuse

Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric on Monday apologised to those who “suffered at the hands” of priests and religious teachers after a turbulent year for the Church. Sydney Archbishop George Pell said he was shocked and ashamed, following a series of paedophile allegations against priests and claims that they were…

Chile issues top-level red alert for volcano

Chile issued a top-level red alert Sunday for its Copahue volcano, in the south on the Andean border with Argentina, as it rumbled to register a greater potential threat. The National Emergency Office issued a red alert but did not order evacuations as no towns are in the current risk…

Mayan temple damaged in tourist ‘apocalypse’ frenzy

Tourists flocking to Guatemala for “end of the world” parties have damaged an ancient stone temple at Tikal, the largest archeological site and urban center of the Mayan civilization. “Sadly, many tourists climbed Temple II and caused damage,” said Osvaldo Gomez, a technical adviser at the site, which is located…

Mexican police official resigns ahead of shake-up

One of Mexico’s top federal police officials has announced his resignation, rejecting charges of corruption and promising to elaborate on his motivation after he steps down in January. The move by Luis Cardenas Palomino, the top cop in charge of regional security, comes as President Enrique Pena Nieto seeks to…

Mandela may spend Christmas in hospital

South Africa’s ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela may have to stay in hospital over Christmas, a presidential aide suggested on Sunday, although he declined to give any update on his current state of health. The frail 94-year-old former president was admitted to hospital in the capital Pretoria on December 8.…

India rocked by deadly protests over sex attacks

Police shot dead a journalist Sunday during a protest over a sex assault on an actress in northeast India as security forces in New Delhi fired tear gas at new demonstrations over a student’s gang-rape. After the victim of last Sunday’s gang-rape in Delhi began recounting her ordeal to police,…

Japan’s incoming premier ‘to review Fukushima’ atomic crisis

Japan’s incoming pro-nuclear premier Shinzo Abe said Sunday his government will again investigate the Fukushima atomic crisis, after which the country’s reactors could be restarted, reports said. His comments will add to speculation that plans to ditch atomic power in disaster-scarred Japan will be shelved by his Liberal Democratic Party…

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