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French woman astonished at trillion euro phone bill

A Frenchwoman who received a telephone bill for an amount equivalent to nearly 6,000 times the country’s annual economic output has had the real amount she owed waived — after finally convincing the company they must have made a mistake. Solenne San Jose, from Pessac in the Bordeaux region of…

German cabinet approves law allowing circumcision

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet Wednesday passed a draft law to allow circumcision in Germany after a court said the rite amounted to grievous bodily harm, a ruling that caused international uproar. The new legislation, which must now be passed by the German parliament, “makes clear that circumcision is possible in…

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: ‘Leave me alone!’

Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has pleaded to be left alone and says he is facing a “media assault” in an interview with French weekly Le Point. “I have never been convicted, not in (France) nor in any other country,” he said in the interview, due to appear on…

Pope prays in Arabic for first time

Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday pronounced a blessing in Arabic at his weekly audience in front of 20,000 pilgrims on St Peter’s Square — the first time the language has been used at such an event. “The pope prays for all Arabic speakers. May God bless you all!” the pope…

European book publishers fear future with Eurozone crisis

Faced with tumbling sales, publishers from crisis-battered eurozone countries gathered at the world’s biggest book fair Wednesday determined to weather the storm for a brighter future. Greece, in the midst of painful reforms and cuts to stave off bankruptcy, is in fighting mode and has boosted the number of publishers…

Canadian shock psychiatrist stands trial for sexually abusing male patients in South Africa

Aubrey Levin, accused of human rights abuses in apartheid-era South Africa, charged with sexually assaulting male patients A Canadian psychiatrist accused of human rights abuses in apartheid South Africa for subjecting gay soldiers and conscientious objectors to electric shock “cures”, will stand trial in Calgary on Wednesday for allegedly sexually…

Europe rejects Arctic oil drilling ban

STANDFIRST: EurActiv: Moratorium on offshore drilling in the Arctic rejected by European parliament vote amid intense lobbying by oil industry The European parliament’s industry committee has rejected attempts to introduce a moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, overruling a contrary vote by its environment committee last…

Bullet removed from the brain of 14-year-old activist shot by Taliban in Pakistan

Relatives say 14-year-old Pakistani peace activist appears to be doing well after three-hour operation Pakistani surgeons have removed a bullet from the head of Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old schoolgirl and peace activist who was shot by a Taliban gunman on Tuesday. Relatives of the girl, who rose to fame for…

Russia frees one Pussy Riot member, keeps two in jail

A Russian appeals court Wednesday ordered the release of one member of punk band Pussy Riot after turning her two-year prison sentence into a suspended term but kept two others in jail with unchanged verdicts. The judge at the Moscow city court ordered the release of Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, after…

Blonde beauty queen swaps curlers for corners

In 2008, Tihana Nemcic was a finalist in Croatia’s Miss Sport beauty competition. Four years on, she’s breaking new ground as the first female coach of a Croatian men’s football league side. The bubbly 24-year-old blonde took over the reins at fifth-tier regional side Viktorija Vojakovac last month, scoring a…

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