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Toronto mayor ousted over conflict of interest

OTTAWA — A court ordered the mayor of Toronto, Canada’s largest city, to be removed from office for violating conflict of interest rules when soliciting donations for his football charity. Mayor Rob Ford got into legal trouble when he spoke out at a city council vote in February against a…

UN: Migrants send double the amount of foreign aid back but little of it benefits the country

Migrant workers from the world’s poorest countries sent home $27 billion (21 billion euros) in 2011 despite the global financial slowdown, but developing nations are failing to benefit fully from the cash, the UN said Monday. Remittances “could prove particularly valuable for capital-scarce developing countries,” by helping to reduce poverty,…

UN: HIV infections in Arab countries have more than doubled in 8 years

The United Nations said on Monday that the number of people in Arab countries infected with HIV more than doubled to 470,000 in the eight years to 2009. “The number of adults and children living with HIV has more than doubled between 2001 and 2009 from 180,000 to 470,000,” according…

Germany moves to toughen bestiality laws

BERLIN — Germany is set to tighten its laws against bestiality in a bid to improve animal welfare, a lawmaker involved in drafting the legislation said on Monday. Bestiality was removed from Germany’s penal code in 1969 and since then has only been against the law if “significant harm” is…

Catalonia independence movement reels after sovereignty vote fails

Catalonia’s fight for statehood and a historic divorce from Spain floundered Monday after a snap election left no single party in command. Pro-sovereignty parties from right and left emerged with a clear combined majority, but the prospects of them joining in battle for a new nation were deeply uncertain. That…

Winehouse play in Copenhagen blocked by father

A Copenhagen play on the life of late British singer Amy Winehouse has been blocked by the singer’s father, the Danish copyright collecting society said Monday. The show, titled “Amy”, was due to open at the Royal Danish Theatre in January but was cancelled because KODA, a society that administers…

New bizarre youth trend: ‘milking’

By Patrick Kingsley, The Guardian First came planking, swiftly followed by Batmanning and owling. Now students are ‘milking’ – pouring milk over themselves in public places. Patrick Kingsley reports Last week, many students travelled to London to protest against being milked by the government. Back on campus, other students were busy milking…

Russian PM ‘does not rule out’ Kremlin comeback

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he is not ruling out a return to the Kremlin after his 2008-2012 single term as Russian head of state but was happy working as premier under his mentor Vladimir Putin. “If I have sufficient strength and health, if our people trust me in the…

Taiwan nixes ‘Jeremy Lin Party’

Taiwanese authorities have rejected an application to set up a new political party named after Asian-American basketball hero Jeremy Lin, officials said Monday. The “Jeremy Lin Party”, jointly endorsed by 30 people as required by Taiwan law, was turned down by the interior ministry’s Department of Civil Affairs. “According to…

Elton John dedicates Beijing show to Chinese dissident

Pop-rock balladeer Elton John dedicated his Beijing show to Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei — a controversial move the artist said Monday was unlikely to make the nation’s cultural minders happy. After the Icelandic singer Bjork chanted “Tibet, Tibet” at a 2008 concert in Shanghai, authorities refused numerous Western acts permits…

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