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Swedish Internet sites unreachable after warning from Anonymous

Several Swedish government websites could not be accessed Friday after they had received a warning the evening before from a group claiming to be the Anonymous collective, which supports fugitive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Swedish branch of Anonymous denied it was behind the attacks. Assange is wanted by the…

South Korea probes toxic leak as impact worsens

South Korea on Friday launched a full inquiry into a toxic chemical leak in the southeastern city of Gumi, as officials considered designating the affected area a “disaster zone”. According to health officials, more than 600 people, including local residents and firefighters, have required treatment in the wake of the…

New black ‘Rooti’ dolls aim to foster African knowledge and pride

‘Rooti’ dolls designed to help western children of African parents stay in touch with their heritage First there was the golliwog, then there was black Barbie. Now the creators of a new talking doll say that after 140 years of racism and negative stereotyping, toys for black children have finally come of age…

Catholic theologian: Unseat pope and push ‘authoritarian’ church to radical reform

Hans Küng urges confrontation from the grassroots to unseat pope and force radical reform at Vatican One of the world’s most prominent Catholic theologians has called for a revolution from below to unseat the pope and force radical reform at the Vatican. Hans Küng is appealing to priests and churchgoers…

IMF: Global growth forecast slashed unless politicians restore confidence

The International Monetary Fund has cut its global growth forecasts for this year and 2013 and called on politicians in the eurozone and the US to take “decisive” steps to restore confidence, a German newspaper said Friday. Citing excerpts from the IMF’s World Economic Outlook to be released early next…

Dutch police hunt for sheep-stealing mafia

Dutch police are hot on the trail of a sheep-rustling ring responsible for the unprecedented theft of hundreds of ovines, with suspicions falling on a mutton Mafia with shepherding experience. “We are busy with an intensive investigation after hundreds of sheep disappeared in the region in the last few weeks,”…

Norway gives 14 weeks paid parental leave to dads

Norway is to extend the amount of parental leave reserved for dads to 14 weeks, bringing the period that can be claimed by both parents on full pay to 49 weeks, a coalition member party said on Friday. The Scandinavian country’s system is already one of the world’s most generous.…

Swimming the hard way in Japan: in samurai armor

Walking or running in a full suit of samurai armour is not the easiest thing in the world. Swimming in it is even harder, but that’s exactly what some in Japan are doing. For fun. “It’s heavy, and it’s hot in here… Fan me hard,” Mutsuo Koga, a 27-year-old doctor,…

Myanmar monks protest anti-Buddhist unrest

About 100 monks demonstrated in Myanmar’s main city Yangon on Friday against attacks by Muslim mobs targeting Buddhist temples and homes in neighboring Bangladesh. Holding signs with slogans including “The Earth Is for Everyone, Not Only for Muslims” and “Stop Insulting Buddhism”, the robed monks staged a short protest outside…

Eighteen children confirmed dead in China landslide

BEIJING (AFP) – The bodies of all 18 schoolchildren buried under a landslide in China have been recovered, media said Friday, as officials defended returning them to school following recent deadly earthquakes. The landslide, triggered by sustained rains, buried the school and three farmhouses on Thursday in the village of…

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