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UK to double number of drones in Afghanistan

The UK is to double the number of armed RAF “drones” flying combat and surveillance operations in Afghanistan and, for the first time, the aircraft will be controlled from terminals and screens in Britain. In the new squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), five Reaper drones will be sent to…

Blind man to sue police over Taser incident

LONDON — A blind man is suing British police after he was tasered by an officer who mistook his white stick for a samurai sword, his lawyer said Monday. The incident happened in the market town of Chorley in Lancashire, northwest England, on Friday after police received reports of a…

Pakistanis make world’s largest human flag

LAHORE, Pakistan — More than 24,000 Pakistanis Monday formed the world’s largest “human national flag” in the eastern city of Lahore, smashing a five-year-old record set in Hong Kong, officials said. A total of 24,200 people stood up in the national hockey stadium to make the green and white Pakistani…

Poland funds in-vitro fertilization despite Catholic Church objections

Poland will begin funding in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) starting in July 2013, Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced on Monday, despite Church resistance in this deeply Catholic nation to what opponents see as artificial conception. “Couples will have the possibility to get reimbursement from the social security budget for three attempts at…

Cannes Film Festival high-end prostitution ring trial begins in France

Two men and a woman appeared in a French court Monday in a case over a Cannes Film Festival high-end prostitution ring that had ties to a son of slain Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi. Seven men and a woman went on trial in the southern port city of Marseille, though…

EU’s top health official investigated in a tobacco-linked fraud probe

A shady Maltese lobbyist, Sweden’s substitute for snuff, robberies against anti-smoking groups: the resignation of the EU’s top health official in a tobacco-linked “whodunnit” is shaking up Brussels. The EU’s executive pledged Monday that a fraud probe involving the outgoing health and consumer commissioner, John Dalli — who handed in…

Experts: Obesity rates among young people in Britain falling

Obesity rates in young people in Britain appear to be going into reverse, a top gathering of health officials heard Monday, as the message on the risks of being overweight seems to be getting through. Presenting research on obesity in Britain, Klim McPherson from Oxford University told the World Health…

Pippa Middleton receives ‘startling’ recognition for new book

Kate Middleton’s younger sister Pippa describes her stardom — and the attention paid to her behind — after last year’s royal wedding as “startling”, in a book to be released this month. “It is a bit startling to achieve global recognition (if that’s the right word) before the age of…

French police block adultery site from posting ads of politicos as womanizers

French police Monday blocked a Canadian adultery website from posting spoof ads casting presidents Francois Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande as womanisers, the site said. “What do all these men have in common? They should have thought of AshleyMadison.com,” runs the strapline of the cheeky ad, which…

Finnish prime minister unharmed after knife attack

A man wielding a knife tried to attack Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen in the south-western town of Turku on Monday, but was swiftly arrested by police, the prime minister’s office said in a statement. “Prime Minister Katainen’s security men have apprehended a person who had brought a sharp weapon…

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