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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…

UK government lifts ban on gas ‘fracking’ despite suspicion it causes earthquakes

The government said on Thursday that a controversial shale gas extraction method known as fracking should resume in Britain, despite the fact that it is suspected of having triggered earthquakes. Exploratory fracking can restart under tight controls to “mitigate the risks of seismic activity”, Energy Secretary Edward Davey said in…

John McAfee expelled to U.S. after three weeks on the run

US computer anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee escaped immediate deportation to Belize on Wednesday as Guatemala expelled the colorful American back to the United States instead. Wearing a blue suit and white shirt, McAfee, who is wanted in next-door Belize for questioning over his neighbor’s murder, got out of a…

Swedish artist allowed to use self-portrait on driver’s license

A Swedish artist has been given the go-ahead to use a painted self-portrait as the photo on his driving licence after authorities thought the super-realistic picture came from a camera, not a brush. Fredrik Saeker, 29, wanted to see if his work was good enough to pass for a snapshot,…

Spanish police arrest woman with cocaine breast implants

Spanish police arrested a Panamanian woman when she landed in Spain on a flight from Bogata, Colombia with cocaine-filled breast implants. According to Reuters, Spain’s Interior Ministry reported that border control officials became suspicious of the woman’s vague answers as to why she was in the country. Spanish authorities conduct…

Chavez recovering from surgery in Cuba

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was recovering in a Cuban hospital Wednesday after six hours of surgery to treat a cancerous lesion in an operation his vice president said ended “successfully.” Chavez would soon begin a “post-operative phase” that would last several days, Nicolas Maduro said in a late Tuesday address…

Spice Girls musical panned by British critics

British critics delivered scathing reviews of the Spice Girls musical “Viva Forever!” which opened Tuesday night in London in the presence of the girl band. The show was overseen by Judy Craymer, the producer who masterminded the worldwide smash hit Abba jukebox show “Mamma Mia”, but one critic warned Spice…

German police raid Deutsche Bank for tax dodging

German prosecutors and tax police have raided the offices of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest lender said on Wednesday. “As part of an ongoing investigation against individuals suspected of tax fraud connected with trading in carbon emissions certificates, prosecutors searched the premises of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt,” a bank spokesman said.…

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