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China bloggers expose more corruption: reports

AFP - Chinese officials have launched a probe after microbloggers said they had uncovered another allegedly corrupt leader who owns millions of dollars worth of property, state press said on Thursday. Southern Guangzhou city will investigate urban management official Cai Bin, 56, who has 21 homes valued at 40 million yuan…

French Islamic group ‘biggest terror threat since 90s’

 A French prosecutor said Thursday he would pursue charges of attempted murder and terrorism against seven of the 12 suspected Islamist extremists arrested at the weekend. Francois Molins, the Paris prosecutor, said the seven had been part of an “active terrorist cell” that posed the biggest threat of its kind…

Dalai Lama warns against generalizing Islam

WASHINGTON — Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, warned Wednesday not to generalize Islam as a negative force and called on believers of different faiths to reach out to one another. On a lecture tour of the United States, the world’s best-known Buddhist monk said that every religion including…

James Bond auction raises $2.6 million for charity

LONDON — A London sale of James Bond souvenirs to mark the secret agent’s 50th silver-screen anniversary has raised over $2.6 million (two million euros), Christie’s auction house said Wednesday. Buyers from 42 countries took part in the auction with all proceeds going to to charity. The auction took place…

French first lady threatens to sue over ‘malicious rumors’ in biography

French first lady Valerie Trierweiler plans to sue the authors of the latest book about her because it spreads malicious rumours, her lawyer said Wednesday. Trierweiler, a 47-year-old journalist and partner of President Francois Hollande, is suing the authors of “La Frondeuse” (The Rebel) — a biography due to be…

Archaeologists claim to find spot where Julius Caesar was stabbed

Archaeologists said Wednesday they believe they have found the exact spot in Rome where Julius Caesar was stabbed to death on March 15, 44 BC. The stabbing of the dictator by Roman senators was recorded by ancient historians and dramatised by William Shakespeare who gave Caesar the last words: “Et…

France sets marriage equality draft law date

France on Wednesday named October 31 as the date when a draft law authorising gay marriage will be approved by government ministers, amid mounting opposition to the proposed legislation. More than 1,200 French mayors or deputy mayors have signed a petition opposing the government’s plans, with many of them warning…

Australian restaurant agrees to remove urinals shaped like women’s mouths

A sumptuous new French restaurant in Sydney said Wednesday it would remove two urinals designed to resemble a woman’s lipsticked mouth, apologising for any offence they have caused. The Ananas Bar and Brasserie said the bright red-lipped urinals shaped like an open mouth were “a commonly used European design piece…

Brazil Supreme Court gets first black president: official

Joaquim Barbosa, the tough justice overseeing Brazil’s high-profile corruption trial, was officially nominated president of the Supreme Court, the first black to assume the post. In a plenary session, the court’s 10 justices picked the 58-year-old Barbosa, the most senior member, to assume the rotating presidency for a two-year term.…

Putin’s stunt to encourage bird migration fails spectacularly as public learns birds taken back to reserve by plane

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bid to encourage a group of endangered cranes on their winter migration appeared to have failed spectacularly Wednesday when it emerged the birds had been taken back to a wildlife reserve by plane. The 60-year-old president already earned mockery last month when he took to a…

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