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The Philippines’ mortician to the stars

Before dictator Ferdinand Marcos and a host of other famous Philippine figures met their Maker, they met Frank Malabed. An assassinated democracy hero, a soft-porn star, high-profile socialites and political statesmen are others to have been sent to the afterlife by the country’s most prominent — and arguably passionate —…

Egypt’s Morsi hopes Obama win boosts ‘friendship’

Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday hailed his US counterpart Barack Obama re-election and said he hoped it would strengthen the “friendship” between their two countries. Morsi hoped for a “strengthening of the friendship between the two countries to serve their common interests, namely justice, freedom and peace,” in…

Palestinian president welcomes Obama win

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday congratulated US President Barack Obama on his re-election and called on him to pursue Middle East peace efforts. Abbas “congratulated US President Barak Obama on his re-election as US president for a second term,” said a statement carried by official news agency WAFA. “The…

Fiji leader says constitution boss wants to hijack reforms

Fiji’s military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama has accused the academic charged with drafting the Pacific nation’s new constitution of “hijacking” the reform process and overstepping his role. But Bainimarama, who seized power in a 2006 coup, denied harassing Constitutional Commission chairman Yash Ghai and called on the Kenyan scholar to consider…

Europe and Asia leaders praise Australia PM for sexism speech

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Wednesday that world leaders congratulated her at the Asia-Europe Meeting in Laos on her now famous misogyny speech, which went viral on the Internet. Gillard, the nation’s first woman leader, made an aggressive speech in parliament last month accusing opposition leader Tony Abbott of…

British police arrest hacker for cyber attack

British police on Tuesday arrested a man over an alleged cyber-attack on the websites of Home Secretary Theresa May and her interior ministry. The 41-year-old was arrested at his home in Stoke-on-Trent, central England, on suspicion of encouraging a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, Scotland Yard said. He is…

Spain upholds same sex marriage after challenge

Spain’s constitutional court upheld Tuesday a 2005 law allowing homosexual marriage and adoption after an appeal, a court official said. Spain’s ruling conservative Popular Party had appealed the law, passed seven years ago by a Socialist government. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his party objected to use of the word…

Wage gap remains in Sweden despite equality efforts

The wage gap between men and women persists in Sweden despite efforts to eradicate it in a country that prides itself on promoting gender equality, according to a report released on Tuesday. “The total income in all age groups is lower for women than for men,” Statistics Sweden (SCB) said…

Anthrax outbreak kills 30 hippos in South Africa

An outbreak of anthrax has killed at least 30 hippopotamus in South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park wildlife reserve, the country’s parks authority said on Tuesday. Officials believe the deaths are linked to a flare-up of the highly infectious disease in the giant park which has killed 45 roan antelope…

‘Sorcerer’ who believed his tattoos made him invincible arrested in Thailand

A “sorcerer” tattooist has been arrested in northeastern Thailand after several brawls involving his disciples who believed his body art made them invincible, police said Tuesday. Boonyong Luangjumpol was held for possession of guns after officers raided his home following a spate of fights in the province of Kalasin, local…

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