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Dubai to build giant replica of Taj Mahal to be ‘world’s greatest wedding venue’

A replica of India’s world-famous Taj Mahal, four times the size of the original, is to be built in Dubai as what is to be billed as the world’s grandest wedding venue, one of its developers said. It took the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan 22 years to build the marble…

Bosnia national museum closes due to lack of funding after staying open through civil war

Bosnia’s National Museum, founded in the 19th century and home to a famed 600-year old Jewish manuscript known as the Sarajevo Haggadah, closed its doors indefinitely Thursday due to political disputes and a lack of funding. “Such a complex institution cannot function by improvisations. The authorities must provide the funds…

Man steals iPhone from 20-month-old girl watching ‘Barney the Dinosaur’

A thief in Lancashire, England has been caught on video stealing an iPhone from a 20-month-old girl who was watching a “Barney the Friendly Dinosaur” children’s program. Danielle Hinnigan, 26, was browsing clothes at a local shop when surveillance cameras captured a middle-aged man with glasses snatch the Apple smartphone…

Volkswagen announces selling $6,500 car ‘within two years’

Europe’s biggest carmaker, Volkswagen, said on Thursday it was considering selling “budget cars” for as little as 5,000 euros ($6,500) in emerging markets “within two years”. “We need a cheap car for the emerging markets … that would cost between 5,000 and 10,000 euros,” the head of the works council…

Paris mayor says marriage equality would open door to incest and polygamy

A Parisian mayor has stirred up a row over France’s plan to legalise gay marriage by announcing he will refuse to preside over same-sex marriages on the grounds they could open the door to the approval of polygamous or incestuous unions. Francois Lebel, the mayor of the capital’s 8th district…

Oxfam: Land snapped up by corporations could have fed nearly 1 billion

International land investors and biofuel producers have taken over land around the world that could feed nearly 1bn people. Analysis by Oxfam of several thousand land deals completed in the last decade shows that an area eight times the size of the UK has been left idle by speculators or…

German customs seize Stradivarius violin, demand $1.5 million

An acclaimed concert violinist has been told to pay $1.5 million in duty to German customs, who confiscated her Stradivarius saying she may plan to sell it, the instrument’s Japanese owner said Thursday. German-based Yuki Manuela Janke, 26, was returning home through Frankfurt airport on September 28 when customs officers…

Three men in Japan arrested for dismembering victim, making curry stew out of remains

Three men suspected of dismembering and barbecuing the remains of their victim were being held by authorities in Japan, police and reports said Thursday. Police said the trio used a hammer to cut up Kazuyuki Kobayashi, before grilling parts of his body and getting rid of it in mountains in…

British woman could face death in Indonesia for smuggling cocaine to Bali

A British woman was indicted in an Indonesian court Thursday on multiple drug charges including smuggling cocaine to the resort island of Bali, which could see her face the death penalty. Lindsay Sandiford was arrested in May upon arrival at Bali’s Denpasar airport on a flight from Bangkok after customs…

Climate change skepticism highest in U.S. and Britain

Awareness of climate change is high in many countries, especially the tropics, but in Britain, Japan and the United States many are doubtful about the cause, a poll published on Thursday said. A survey of 13,492 adults in 13 countries who were questioned by Internet found that 88 percent believed…

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