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H&M denies ‘slave-like’ wages at Cambodian factory

Swedish fashion giant H&M denied on Wednesday accusations that it encouraged “slave-like” wages at a subcontractor’s factory in Cambodia. “It’s completely incorrect,” H&M chief executive Karl-Johan Persson told Swedish daily Expressen. A documentary to be broadcast on Swedish television channel TV4 on Wednesday alleges that Cambodian factory workers producing goods…

German chancellor to inaugurate Roma genocide memorial

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will on Wednesday inaugurate a sombre memorial to the estimated half million Roma and Sinti murdered by the Nazis, joined by survivors of the genocidal campaign. The long-delayed monument, consisting of a round pool of water and stele on which a single fresh flower will rest…

Bruce Lee’s Hong Kong home to go on sale

Kung fu legend Bruce Lee’s former residence in Hong Kong will be put up for sale after a plan to turn the property into a museum dedicated to the icon failed, a report said. Philanthropist Yu Panglin, who owns the mansion, which became a rundown ‘love hotel’, said he was…

Muslim pilgrims begin hajj rituals

More than two million Muslims began the main rituals of the annual hajj pilgrimage, heading from Mecca to Mina where they rest and pray for the night before moving on to Mount Arafat. The pilgrims, of whom nearly 1.7 million came to Saudi Arabia from abroad, started to travel by…

Sports stars shake up Ukrainian election

Ukraine’s best-known sports stars, boxing champion Vitali Klitschko and the footballer Andriy Shevchenko, are both vying for power in Sunday’s parliamentary elections in a bid to send a shockwave through Ukrainian politics. Heavyweight Klitschko, 41, who fought his last bout in September, leads his aptly named UDAR (punch) party which…

Peace envoy: Syria agrees to Eid ceasefire

The Syrian government has agreed to a ceasefire during the four-day Muslim Eid holiday starting this week, international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said in Cairo on Wednesday. Many rebel leaders he contacted had also agreed to a truce during the holiday, which begins on Friday, he told reporters in Cairo…

With 60,000 dead, Mexicans wonder why drug war doesn’t rate in presidential debate

With 60,000 dead, Mexicans wonder why drug war doesn't rate in presidential debate Mitt Romney’s single mention of Latin America last night, calling it a “huge opportunity” for the United States, generated immediate glee from Latin Americanists across Twitter – but the hemisphere got no nod from President Obama, and…

Space daredevil Felix Baumgartner is ‘officially retired’

UNITED NATIONS — Felix Baumgartner, the first man to break the sound barrier in freefall, says he is giving up being a daredevil but now aims to help others in trouble. “I am officially retired from the daredevil business now,” the 43-year-old Austrian told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in…

Irish boy finds Canadian message-in-bottle

DUBLIN — A nine year-old boy in Ireland has discovered a message sent in a bottle from Canada eight years ago, and has even managed to track down the two senders. Charlene Dalpe and Claudia Garneau, from Montreal, were 12 years old when they placed a message in a bottle…

Women still face global gender gap in wages: report

GENEVA — Women are closing the gender gap with men in health and education but struggle to get top jobs and salaries, data from a study of 135 countries showed on Wednesday. “Gaps in senior positions, wages and leadership levels still persist,” even in countries that promote equality in education…

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