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‘White Student Union’ tests college’s boundaries

An American university student is working to create the country’s first white student union, triggering debate over the limits of free speech. “White culture is dying,” Matthew Heimbach, 21, lamented as he distributed flyers on campus denouncing the building of a mosque near Towson University, where he is in his…

Six dead as Typhoon Bopha lashes Philippines

Typhoon Bopha killed at least six people in the Philippines on Tuesday as the strongest storm to hit the country this year forced more than 50,000 to seek refuge in emergency shelters, officials said. Bopha made landfall on the island of Mindanao in the south of the country at dawn,…

Iran ‘captures’ US drone over Gulf waters: Guards

Iran has “captured” an unmanned US drone over Gulf waters after it entered Iranian airspace, the Revolutionary Guards said in a statement on Tuesday. “The unmanned US drone patrolling Persian Gulf waters, performing reconnaissance and gathering intel, was captured as soon as it entered Iranian airspace,” the elite unit’s naval…

Obamas congratulate British royals on pregnancy

US President Barack Obama sent his congratulations to Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine Monday, on news they were expecting a baby and a future heir to the throne. “On behalf of everyone here in the White House, beginning with the president and the first lady, we extend our…

Obama calls on Russia to update nuclear arms treaty

US President Barack Obama on Monday called on Russia to join him as an equal partner in updating a nuclear non-proliferation deal, after Moscow opted not to extend it earlier this year. Russian officials said in October that they had notified Washington that the Nunn-Lugar program, which disposed of thousands…

Britain’s Scouts consider accepting atheist members

Britain’s Scouts could welcome atheists into their ranks for the first time in 105 years as they seek to increase diversity, the association said Tuesday. The movement, led by British TV adventurer Bear Grylls, is launching a consultation to find out if its members would support an alternative version of…

Norwegian princess intervenes incognito on behalf of gay couple adopting baby in India

Norway’s Crown Princess Mette-Marit rushed to India on her own dime in October to help care, incognito, for twins delivered by a surrogate until their parents, a Norwegian gay couple, could arrive, the palace said Monday. Mette-Marit flew to New Delhi to help care for the babies until their parents…

Starbucks to slash paid lunch breaks and sick leave in UK

Coffee chain sparks fresh concern over business practices amid fears low-paid staff will bear cost of potentially increased tax bill Starbucks is cutting paid lunch breaks, sick leave and maternity benefits for thousands of British workers, sparking fresh anger over its business practices. On the day the House of Commons’…

Syrian foreign ministry spokesperson quits

Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi, a well-known advocate of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, has resigned and is headed for London, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday. “Makdisi was pressured by people inside the presidential palace, but not the president himself, to resign. He is now on…

IKEA founder determined to keep company private

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad is determined to keep the Swedish furniture giant off the stock exchange, he told AFP ahead of the inauguration Monday of a fellowship in honour of his late wife. Kamprad, 86, told AFP in an email he had “always believed that keeping (Ikea) in private hands…

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