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Saudis to build major Islamic center in Afghanistan

Saudi Arabia will build a massive Islamic centre complete with a university and a mosque in Afghanistan, an Afghan minister said Monday, describing the project as “grand and unique”. Estimated to cost up to $100 million, the centre on a hilltop in central Kabul will house up to 5,000 students,…

Zookeepers hunt fugitive flamingo in Japan

Zookeepers in northern Japan are racing against nature to catch a fugitive flamingo before it freezes or migrates south for the winter. Bird experts have tried to net the escapee on the lake it has made home using captive flamingos as bait, and have even donned diving gear to sneak…

‘Satanic’ Halloween rituals alarm Polish Catholic church

Poland’s powerful Roman Catholic church has raised the alarm about the growing influence of what it brands satanic rituals during Halloween. “Halloween promotes the occult and magic,” the church said in a statement on its website ahead of the October 31 festival. “Under the guise of having fun, children, youngsters…

Canada sends electricians to U.S. to help in Sandy aftermath

OTTAWA — A Canadian utility company sent electricians to the neighboring US state of Vermont to help restore power after powerful storm Sandy whips through, Hydro-Quebec said Monday. Dozens of flights between eastern Canada and the United States were also canceled as weather forecasters told Canadians in Ontario, Quebec and…

Bank of England official: Occupy movement right about global recession

The Occupy Movement has found an unlikely ally in a senior Bank of England official, Andrew Haldane, who has praised protesters for their role in triggering an overhaul of the financial services sector. Haldane, who oversees the City for the central bank, said Occupy acted as a lever on policymakers…

Many views of the storm from Internet webcams

WASHINGTON — Americans got an unparalleled view of the unprecedented storm hitting the eastern United States from the dozens of live webcams set up in the region. Officials were urging people to avoid heading to the shore for pictures, but they could watch the storm’s impact in real time —…

Greek journalist detained for publishing list of Swiss bank account holders

Police detain magazine editor for breaching Greece’s privacy law A Greek journalist has been arrested for publishing the names of wealthy Greek citizens with deposits totalling €2bn (£1.bn) in Swiss bank accounts. Kostas Vaxevanis, editor of the Greek magazine Hot Doc, published the so-called “Lagarde list.” It’s an electronic file…

French judge orders release of breast implant founder

A French judge on Monday ordered the release of the founder of breast implant company PIP, which sparked a global health scare over potentially faulty products, after eight months in preventive detention. Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) boss Jean-Claude Mas, 73, was ordered released but will be “placed under judicial supervision,”…

Buddhist monk declared world’s happiest man

As he grins serenely and his burgundy robes billow in the fresh Himalayan wind, it is not difficult to see why scientists declared Matthieu Ricard the happiest man they had ever tested. The monk, molecular geneticist and confidant of the Dalai Lama, is passionately setting out why meditation can alter…

Early results put ruling party ahead in Ukrainian elections

Ukraine’s ruling party was set for victory in legislative polls, comfortably ahead of the party of ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko, whose jailing sparked Western concerns of foul play, early official results showed Monday. With ballots counted from 14.6 percent of polling booths following Sunday’s vote, the Regions Party of President Viktor…

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