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Defiant N.Korea holds mass rally, promises more launches

Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans held a mass rally on Friday to celebrate the nuclear-armed state’s rocket launch, as its youthful leader vowed new launches in defiance of US-led outrage. Days before his first anniversary in charge of the isolated country, Kim Jong-Un upheld North Korea’s “unshakable stand” that…

Human rights court: CIA beat and sodomized wrongly detained German citizen

CIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomising, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on, the European court of human rights said in a historic judgment released on Thursday. In a unanimous ruling, it also found Macedonia guilty of torturing, abusing, and secretly imprisoning Khaled el-Masri, a German…

Report: France’s only hope to stop smoking is price hikes

France’s efforts to stub out smoking have been a complete failure, a spending watchdog said Thursday in a damning report that warned only sustained price hikes will curb the country’s love affair with Gauloises and Gitanes. “The risks of smoking are still gravely underestimated by the public,” said Didier Migaud,…

Nuclear power becomes a campaign issue in Japan

The future of nuclear power in Fukushima-scarred Japan has emerged as a major campaign issue for the first time in weekend polls, but experts warn little thought has gone into how to replace atomic energy. Environmental issues have rarely topped the agenda in Japanese elections, which tend to focus on…

Satire: Montreal bylaw requires dogs to be bilingual

Correction: This interview and proposed bilingual dog bylaw was from a CBC satire radio show and is fictional. “If the story seemed unbelievable, the fact that the original interview on the topic linked back to a CBC Radio Web page – and sounded very much like a CBC Radio interview…

UK government pays Libyan dissident’s family £2.2 million over MI6-aided rendition

Sami al-Saadi, wife and four children were secretly flown from Hong Kong to Tripoli where he was tortured by Gaddafi police Ministers have agree to pay more than £2m to the family of a prominent Libyan dissident abducted with the help of MI6 and secretly flown to Tripoli where he…

Russia says Assad regime losing control of Syria

A top Russian diplomat said on Thursday that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad is losing “more and more” control of Syria after 21 months of conflict and an opposition victory cannot be ruled out. “As for preparing for victory by the opposition, this, of course, cannot be excluded,” Deputy…

Christmas cruise turns into ‘holiday from hell’ after norovirus outbreak

Passengers say 400 travellers have had winter vomiting bug but cruiseliner claims just six had ‘mild gastrointestinal illness’ A dream Christmas cruise has turned into the holiday from hell, according to passengers who claim as many as 400 travellers have been struck down with the norovirus winter vomiting bug. One…

Great balls of China to defend against next week’s Mayan ‘apocalypse’

As people across the globe tremble in anticipation of next week’s supposed Mayan-predicted apocalypse, one Chinese villager says he may have just what humanity needs: tsunami-proof survival pods. Camouflage-clad former farmer and furniture maker Liu Qiyuan, 45, inspected his latest creation, a sphere several metres tall he calls “Noah’s Ark”,…

U.S. alleges Syria has used Scud missiles against rebels

The Syrian regime has fired Scud missiles at rebel forces trying to oust Bashar al-Assad, a US official said, after Arab and Western states recognised the opposition bloc as the sole representative there. “Scuds landed within Syria,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Earlier Wednesday an AFP journalist…

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