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Sting moves Philippine concert over disagreement about pine trees

MANILA — Rock superstar Sting has forced organisers to move his planned one-night show in the Philippines to another Manila venue amid a spat over pine trees involving the original hosts, it was announced Friday. The Manila leg of his “Back to Bass Tour” on December 9 will now be…

George Clooney to testify in Berlusconi’s sex trial in Milan

Hollywood star will dispute claim by Karima el-Mahroug that he attended former Italian leader’s ‘Bunga Bunga’ party George Clooney has been called as a witness in Silvio’s Berlusconi’s trial in Milan for paying an underage prostitute for sex. Berlusconi is accused of paying cash and jewels to Karima el-Mahroug, the…

Gay kiss on ‘Downton Abbey’ sparks outrage in Greece

A row has erupted in Greece’s state broadcaster ERT over a decision this week to cut a scene showing two men kissing from the evening broadcast of award-winning British period drama “Downton Abbey”. The company’s managing director criticised the move as censorship after it raised a wave of complaints over…

Starbucks launches first storefront in India

Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee chain, launched its first Indian outlet Friday in an upscale part of Mumbai, becoming the latest global firm to tap the urban youth’s growing taste for caffeine. The Seattle-based firm has finally entered the vast Indian market in a joint venture with the country’s giant…

Singapore student sex blog draws scandal

SINGAPORE — A young Malaysian couple have sparked a scandal in Singapore and Malaysia after posting a sexually explicit blog that challenges conservative values in both countries. Alvin Tan, 24, a law student at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and his Malaysian girlfriend Vivian Lee, 23, have been denounced…

Kuwait plunges into political turmoil amid crackdown

Kuwait plunged into political turmoil on Friday after the public prosecution ordered the detention of three former opposition MPs for three days with more arrests expected. The three — Falah al-Sawwagh, Bader al-Dahum and Khaled al-Tahus — were questioned for nine hours on accusations of undermining the status of Kuwait’s…

Berlusconi denies ‘Bunga Bunga’ sex charges in Milan

Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi denied at his trial on Friday that he hosted raunchy parties, had sex with a 17-year-old prostitute and abused his powers by pressuring police. Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with Moroccan exotic dancer Karima El-Mahroug, better known by her stage name as…

Banking giant HSBC websites hit by ‘large scale’ cyber attack

Banking giant HSBC said Friday some of its websites had been hit by a “large scale” cyber attack that disrupted online services, but it assured customers that their data were not compromised. The bank said in a statement that HSBC servers came under a “large scale denial of service attack”…

Former UN secretary general: Anti-drug policies have failed

WASHINGTON — Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan called Thursday for a discussion on decriminalization of drugs, criticizing the crackdown on traffickers in Mexico led by outgoing President Felipe Calderon. “When you look at the results of Calderon’s efforts, most people will tell you it has not worked. He’s got…

Police shut down U.S.-Australia gun network

SYDNEY — An illegal gun supply network from Nashville in the United States to Sydney, where there has been a spate of drive-by shootings, has been shut down, police said on Friday. In a joint operation by Australian and US law enforcement officers, three men were arrested in Nashville on…

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