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Assange lawyer has ‘surprising’ key info on rape claims: report

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s lawyer Thursday said he had key information relating to the rape claims his client was facing which would be surprising when revealed, a report said. Baltasar Garzon, who spent hours in a briefing with Assange on Sunday discussing his legal strategy, said the defence had requested…

Quebec students protest tuition hikes

Thousands of protesters marched against planned tuition hikes in Montreal, opposing the Liberal government of Premier Jean Charest, two weeks before parliamentary elections. “The people will vote to elect a new government and that new government will feel pressure from the students,” CEGEP college philosophy professor Martin Godon told AFP.…

Still time for diplomacy on Iran weapons: U.S.

WASHINGTON — Diplomacy can still solve the crisis over Iran’s suspect nuclear program, the United States said Wednesday, adding that it had relayed the message to close ally Israel. Tensions are taut between Israel and Iran amid threats by the Jewish state to attack nuclear facilities in the Islamic republic…

Spain sees record tourism spike fueled by German tourists

Holidaymakers headed to recession-hit Spain in record numbers in July, official data showed Wednesday, propelled in particular by a boom in the number of German tourists. Foreign tourist numbers surged by 328,000, or 4.4 percent, from last year to an unprecedented 7.7 million in July, said a tourism survey released by the…

Farmworker who killed white supremacist in South Africa given life sentence

A black farmworker was jailed for life Wednesday for killing South African white supremacist Eugene Terre’Blanche, two years after the murder sparked fears of violence that never materialised. Chris Mahlangu was convicted of bludgeoning Terre’Blanche to death in April 2010 on the rightwing extremist’s rural farm, where he had long faded from…

Cape Town residents told to look for renegade hippo

Residents in South Africa’s city of Cape Town have been asked to keep a look-out for a renagade young hippopotamus which is popping up in gardens and roads after moving into a suburban lake. City officials are hoping the two-year-old calf will return back to its pod after appearing in an unfenced reserve following…

French prison garden program found to contain pot

Warders in a French jail where prisoners are allowed to grow their own produce have been left red-faced after the discovery of cannabis plants among the flowers and vegetables. The plants, which had reached a height of around 80cm (two and a half feet) before being spotted at the weekend,…

Kiss rockers back ‘pretty’ Pussy Riot’s rights, but not their music

Members of veteran rock band Kiss said Tuesday they back Russia’s punk rockers Pussy Riot even if they don’t think much of their music. “They’re very pretty girls. It is not a good band, but they have the right to do whatever they want to do,” Kiss bassist and singer-songwriter…

German customs demands $500,000 from Japanese player for violin

German customs seized a $1.2 million violin from a Japanese professional musician and are demanding she pay almost $500,000 to get it back, reports said on Wednesday. Belgium-based Yuzuko Horigome was transiting through Frankfurt Airport last week after performing in Japan, the top-selling Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said. When she tried…

Ikea to build entire district in German city

Swedish furniture giant Ikea announced plans on Wednesday to build a brand-new district with shops, flats and office space for thousands of people in the northern German city of Hamburg. “We want to build a new city district for the benefit of Hamburg,” Harald Mueller, head of the firm’s property…

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