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North Korean rocket launch plan sparks global fury

Global fury over North Korea’s long-range rocket launch heightened pressure Wednesday for tougher sanctions against its regime, as the UN Security Council held urgent talks. The 15-member council was to hold closed formal consultations on North Korea, with western nations looking for signs of China’s willingness to punish its neighbor,…

Pippa Middleton defends ‘glaringly obvious’ party planning book

Pippa Middleton, the younger sister of Prince William’s wife Kate, spoke out Wednesday in defence of her book on party planning after critics accused her of offering “glaringly obvious” advice. Middleton, 29, reportedly secured an advance worth £400,000 ($650,000, 500,000 euros) for the book from publishers keen to cash in…

Norwegian boy celebrates his 12th birthday on 12/12/12

By the magic of numbers a Norwegian boy celebrated a very special occasion on Wednesday, feting his 12th birthday on December 12, 2012 — 12/12/12 — at 12:12 pm, a newspaper reported. Joergen Svendsen Killi was born on December 12, 2000 at 12:12 pm, according to his birth certificate, a…

German parliament passes law allowing religious circumcision

Germany’s parliament passed a law on Wednesday to allow religious circumcision, clarifying the legal situation after a court said the rite amounted to grievous bodily harm in a ruling that caused international uproar. Members of the Bundestag or lower house of parliament passed the cross-party motion by 434 votes to…

WWF: Illegal wildlife poaching ‘threatens national security’

Poaching and illegal trade in protected species like elephants, rhinos and tigers has boomed into a $19-billion-a-year industry that threatens security and stability in many countries, the World Wildlife Fund warned Wednesday. “Besides driving many endangered species towards extinction, illegal wildlife trade strengthens criminal networks (and) undermines national security,” the…

Dead nurse who received hoax call found hanged

By Caroline Davies, The Guardian Jacintha Saldanha was discovered at flat near King Edward VII hospital where Duchess of Cambridge was being treated The nurse found dead after a hoax call to the hospital treating the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was found hanged, the Guardian understands. Jacintha Saldanha, 46, a…

UN: Three-quarters of Pakistani girls aren’t enrolled in school

ISLAMABAD — Nearly three quarters of young Pakistani girls are not enrolled in primary school and the number finishing five years in education has declined, a new UN and government report showed Wednesday. The findings expose the miserable state of education for millions in Pakistan, where the Taliban shot 15-year-old…

UN to vote in favor of universal health care

UN general assembly vote could put access to quality and affordable healthcare for all on new development agenda The UN general assembly is expected to vote in favour of a resolution for universal health coverage on Wednesday, reflecting a growing international consensus on the importance of affordable access to healthcare. The UN…

Topless activists stage anti-corruption protest as fight erupts in Ukraine’s new parliament

Activists from Ukraine’s feminist group Femen staged a topless anti-corruption protest on Wednesday outside the ex-Soviet country’s newly-elected parliament as a fight erupted between lawmakers inside. The opening session of the Verkhkovna Rada began in a typically raucous fashion, after the October 28 parliamentary elections which were condemned by the…

Uruguayan congress moves to legalize same sex marriage

Uruguayan lawmakers approved a bill early Wednesday to legalize same-sex marriage and sent it on to the Senate. The Chamber of Deputies approved the measure after eight hours of debate, with 81 votes in favor out of 87 legislators present. The result was greeted with thunderous applause from around 200…

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