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Hong Kong tycoon’s lesbian daughter wants $65 million marriage bounty dropped

A gay Hong Kong woman on Friday implored her tycoon father to rescind a $65-million “marriage bounty” for any man who can win her heart, as applications poured in from around the globe. “For your family’s sanity’s sake, Daddy please rescind the notice!!!!” Gigi Chao, 33, wrote on her Facebook…

Putin gives Chavez ‘El Ruso’ the puppy

Vladimir Putin has sent a Black Russian Terrier puppy to his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, who joked the Russian strongman would receive a capybara, the world’s largest rodent, in return. The three-month-old puppy was given to Chavez by Igor Sechin, one of Putin’s most trusted lieutenants and chief executive of…

19 killed as Everest-bound plane crashes in Nepal

A plane flying 19 people towards Mount Everest went down in flames on the outskirts of the Nepalese capital Friday, killing everyone on board including seven Britons and five Chinese, police said. The twin-propeller Sita Air plane had just taken off from Kathmandu and was headed to the town of…

Renown novelist Murakami wades into Japan-China controversy: Beware of politicians offering the ‘cheap liquor’ of nationalism

Haruki Murakami, one of the world’s foremost novelists, waded into the territorial row between China and Japan on Friday, warning of the peril of politicians offering the “cheap liquor” of nationalism. His intervention came as Beijing launched a blistering attack on Tokyo at the United Nations, accusing Tokyo of theft,…

Spain tightens austerity screw in 2013 budget

Spain’s government unveiled a 2013 budget that tightens austerity even in the teeth of growing protests, easing the path to a widely expected sovereign bailout. The 2013 budget rakes in 39 billion euros ($50 billion) in spending cuts and tax increases so as to curb the public deficit despite a…

Britain’s Libor needs ‘complete overhaul’: watchdog

Britain’s Libor interest rate needs a “complete overhaul” in the wake of the Barclays rate-rigging scandal, the nation’s finance regulator will say Friday in an eagerly-awaited review. The Financial Services Authority will make the key recommendation in an independent report commissioned by British finance minister George Osborne in the wake…

JK Rowling: New novel is ‘the best I can do’

Harry Potter author JK Rowling spent the day “trying to avoid newspapers” as her first novel for grown-ups hit the bookshops, she told fans Thursday night. But she is confident the book is “the best I can do,” she added. “The book is what I wanted it to be,” she…

Rio 2016 official downplays stolen London files

The president of the Rio 2016 Olympic organizing committee downplayed Thursday the theft of computer files by Brazilian officials relating to the organization of the 2012 London Olympics. “The unauthorized copying of documents belonging to the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games did not result in any grave security…

Police bust major cheese smuggling ring in U.S. and Canada

Canadian and US authorities have busted a cross-border cheese smuggling ring that brought Can$200,000 worth of mozzarella into Canada undeclared and without paying duties. Four men, including two Canadian policemen, were foiled in the caper to also distribute the dairy products — as well as chicken wings and pickles —…

Vienna to use public defibrillators to fight heart attacks

Vienna will introduce 60 public defibrillators around the city over the coming months, in a bid to save lives by promoting quicker first aid in the event of a heart attack, authorities said Thursday. Over 10,000 people die every year in Austria following cardiac arrest. “There’s only one mistake you…

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