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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…

Oldest reproductive orangutan dies in France

A Sumatran orangutan believed to be the oldest reproductive specimen in captivity has died at a zoo in western France, a few weeks after celebrating his 50th birthday. Major, a 125-kilogramme (275-pound) father of 16 who celebrated his birthday in July, died overnight Tuesday at the zoo in La Boissiere-du-Dore…

Netanyahu draws actual red line on cartoon bomb during UN speech

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu feels so strongly about imposing a “red line” on Iran’s nuclear program that he demonstrated by using a magic marker to draw an actual red line on a bomb diagram during his speech to the United Nations on Thursday. “There’s only one way to peacefully…

Britain and Ecuador fail to reach decision on Assange extradition

Britain and Ecuador failed to reach agreement on the fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Thursday at a meeting of their foreign ministers here, officials said. “We see no immediate solution,” Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters after meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague on the sidelines of…

German woman admits to killing 5 infants over several years

A 28-year-old woman in Germany has admitted killing five of her own newborn infants over several years, police said Thursday, charging her with five counts of manslaughter. Authorities in the northern city of Flensburg said the woman, who was not named, had confessed to the killing of two babies whose…

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