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Doctors remove dildo from Chinese man’s intestines

A Chinese man had to seek medical help to remove a sex toy lodged in his intestines for five days, according to a state media report Thursday that said such cases were on the rise amid loosening attitudes towards sex. Doctors at Shanghai’s Zhongshan Hospital removed the 23-centimetre (nine-inch) dildo…

Fidel Castro statement issued amid health rumors

The first public statement in almost four months from Fidel Castro appeared in Cuba’s state media on Wednesday, as rumors persist about the 86-year-old revolutionary icon’s health. Castro has not been seen in public since March 28, when Pope Benedict XVI paid a landmark visit, and briefly the following week…

Acclaimed Turkish pianist Fazil Say tried for blasphemy

World-renowned Turkish pianist Fazil Say went on trial Thursday before an Istanbul court on charges of insulting Islam and offending Muslims in comments he made on Twitter. Some 100 human rights activists, including artists and journalists, gathered outside the courthouse in support of the artist who has played with the…

Israeli airforce strikes in Gaza following rocket attack

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — The Israeli airforce carried out a sortie in the Gaza Strip early Thursday morning, sources on both sides said, hours after rockets from the enclave hit southern Israel. Palestinian medics and security sources said the strike targeted a Hamas security site south of Gaza City.…

UN demands inquiry after Darfur peacekeeper killed

UNITED NATIONS — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon demanded an investigation after one peacekeeper was killed and three others wounded on Wednesday in an ambush in Sudan’s North Darfur state. According to Ban’s spokesman, Martin Nesirky, all the victims, from the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), had South…

Russian protest leader placed under house arrest

MOSCOW — Russia placed a leader of mass protest rallies against President Vladimir Putin under house arrest on Wednesday after questioning him in a criminal probe into allegations he was plotting a violent uprising. The country’s Investigative Committee said Sergei Udaltsov, 35, had been “placed under the obligation not to…

Toxic gas leak from oil well sparks Kuwait alert

KUWAIT CITY — Health officials warned Kuwaitis to stay inside and seal doors and windows tightly on Wednesday after toxic gas leaked from an oil well north of Kuwait City. Residents in areas as far as 100 kilometres (60 miles) away reported smelling the rotten-egg odour of potentially poisonous hydrogen…

South Africa’s children still face apartheid-like inequality

CAPE TOWN — South Africa’s children still face apartheid-like inequalities with a black child 18 times more likely to grow up poor than his or her white counterpart, a report said Wednesday. The 2012 “South African Child Gauge,” which provides an annual snapshot of the state of children in Africa’s…

Stiglitz: Greece and Spain are ‘in depression’

Greece and Spain are in “depression, not recession”, Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on Wednesday, blaming tough austerity measures for their downward economic spiral. Stiglitz also maintained that the International Monetary Fund was “a little too optimistic” in its forecast last week that the eurozone economy would shrink by…

Uruguay legalizes abortion

Uruguay Wednesday became only the second country in mostly Catholic South America to legalize abortion. The Senate voted to allow women the right, under certain conditions, to end an unwanted pregnancy, and make access to the right part of its health care system. The tally in the 31-seat chamber was…

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