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Qatar-based company to make $1 billion 7-film Prophet Mohammed biopic

Qatar-based company Alnoor Holding has said it will raise the budget for a planned movie series on the life of Prophet Mohammed to $1 billion dollars from the $1.5 million announced three years ago. The biopics will be produced as a series of “seven films — instead of three films…

2012 likely to be one of the deadliest years for journalists

The year 2012 is likely to be one of the deadliest for journalists around the world, with at least 67 killed while doing their jobs, a US-based media rights group said Tuesday. The Committee to Protect Journalists said the number of deaths is up 42 percent from last year, due…

UN: Increasingly hard to provide food aid in Syria

The UN’s World Food Programme warned Tuesday that the spiralling violence in Syria was making it increasingly difficult to distribute food in the war-torn country. “Food needs are growing in Syria,” said WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs, whose organisation distributes most of its aid in Syria through the Syrian Arab Red…

Ministers name chunk of Antarctic in Queen Elizabeth II’s honor

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II attended her first-ever cabinet meeting on Tuesday, where ministers marked her diamond jubilee by naming a chunk of the Antarctic in her honour and giving her 60 placemats. In the only visit by a British monarch to a cabinet meeting for more than 200 years, the…

UBS Libor-fixing fine may reach $1.5 billion

Swiss banking giant UBS may be slapped with a combined fine of $1.5 billion (1.1 billion euros) to settle allegations that it manipulated Libor interest rates, the Financial Times reported Tuesday. “UBS is close to finalising a deal with UK, US and Swiss authorities in which the bank will pay…

Care system ‘failing’ 3,000 vulnerable UK kids

Up to 3,000 of the most vulnerable children in care are being failed by the system according to a damning report published Tuesday which said youngsters were being placed 100 miles from home and insufficiently protected from harm. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP) looked at 60 cases across six…

2.2 billion followers makes ‘Christian’ most populous of world’s religions

Christians are the world’s biggest religious group, numbering some 2.2 billion people, according to a study released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Pew assembled data on the size and geographic distribution of eight major religious groups, including non-believers. It found that Christians make up about…

Commuters stranded as Sudan economy nears ‘collapse’

Khartoum’s decaying fleet of public buses is leaving commuters stranded as surging inflation and a sinking Sudanese currency drive maintenance costs out of control, bus operators say. The transport woes are the latest burden inflicted upon Sudanese by an economy which one think-tank said is on the brink of collapse…

Queen Elizabeth II attends first ever cabinet meeting to mark diamond jubilee

Queen Elizabeth II attended a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to mark her diamond jubilee, in the first such visit by a monarch in more than a century. Prime Minister David Cameron greeted the 86-year-old sovereign on the steps of 10 Downing Street as she arrived for the gathering of senior…

UN sending chemical weapons kits to Syria monitors

The United Nations is sending chemical weapons kits to UN troops in the Golan Heights because of growing fears over Syria’s deadly non-conventional arsenal, officials said Monday. UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous briefed the UN Security Council on efforts to bolster the safety of the UN force, which monitors a…

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