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Watch: China’s future leaders learn founding ideology at ‘Communism camp’

In the remote Jinggang mountains, China’s future communist elite are being trained in Mao Zedong’s former guerrilla base, an effort to buttress the revolutionary roots of a regime striving to maintain its legitimacy. The Communist Party’s embrace of state-directed capitalism has utterly transformed China since Mao died in 1976. But…

Greek Orthodox patriarch threatens to close Holy Sepulchre over water dispute

A dispute with an Israeli water company over unpaid bills has led to a Greek Orthodox threat to close Christianity’s holiest site, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Maariv newspaper reported on Friday that the Hagihon water company said it is was owed 9 million shekels ($2.1 million)…

Marijuana industry in Israel grows with government support

The medical marijuana industry in Israel is growing rapidly — with no organized government or religious opposition to be found, reported Fox News. Today, there are more than 10,000 Israelis who have the government’s go-ahead to use medical marijuana, a major jump from just a few hundred in 2005. Next…

British Foreign Ministry under fire for spending $16,000 to re-stuff a display anaconda

Britain’s foreign ministry has come under fire after it emerged that it paid £10,000 to re-stuff a giant anaconda named Albert. The 20-foot (six-metre) snake, which has been in the possession of the Foreign Office for at least 120 years, is believed to have been presented to colonial officials in…

Mexico’s Day of the Dead loses participants due to Protestant conversions

Isaac Carrasco and his two daughters dutifully adorned the graves of several relatives with beds of marigolds and crosses made of red flowers for Mexico’s Day of the Dead. But the nearby tombstones of his grandparents were bare and surrounded by metal bars, left this way by his aunts, who…

Prince Charles and Camilla to participate in sing-sings and Maori nose rubs

Britain’s Prince Charles and wife Camilla begin a tour of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand on Saturday with traditional sing-sings and Maori nose-rubbing welcomes awaiting them. The November 3-16 trip is the latest to the Commonwealth by senior royals to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee, a landmark…

Swiss environmentalists submit bill aimed at halting immigration

A group of Swiss environmentalists on Friday submitted a bill to the government aimed at reining in immigration in the name of curbing population growth and protecting the environment. The Ecology and Population (Ecopop) first circulated a petition that garnered 120,700 certified signatures, thus easily passing the 100,000-threshold needed for…

Cuba accuses U.S. of training dissidents over the Internet

Cuba accused the United States Friday of supplying opponents of the government with the technological means to access the Internet as part of an effort to “subvert the constitutional order.” The accusation, leveled in a foreign ministry statement, comes amid a simmering dispute over the jailing of American contractor Alan…

Man loses testicle in dog attack

A Toronto man suffered serious injuries to the face, neck and groin in an attack by his girlfriend’s dog. According to CTV Online, police, paramedics and Toronto animal control responded to the scene where they man lay injured. No reason has been given for the attack, but police sources said…

Iranian film challenges social conventions by focusing on trans people

Facing Mirrors brings transsexuality to the big screen for the first time, even though Khomeini fatwa legalised it in 1987 Adineh and Rana are women from very different sides of the track. Wealthy, modern and rebellious, Adineh has fled the family home, harbouring a secret desire to become a man.…

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