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French rocker Johnny Hallyday back in the hospital after health scare

Veteran French rocker Johnny Hallyday is back in hospital in Los Angeles after a health scare in the Caribbean and is due to be released on Friday, his manager said. “He has been undergoing medical examinations since Tuesday but he only slept last night,” Sebastien Farran said in a text…

FAO: Global food prices remained steady in August

Global food prices remained steady in August, the United Nations food agency said Thursday, but warned that “the game is not over” as it was only the beginning of the harvest season. An overall FAO index of food prices averaged 213 points last month, the same level as in July…

Brazil is world’s largest crack market: study

SAO PAULO (AFP) – Brazil is the world’s largest market for crack and the second for overall cocaine use, researchers from the Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP) said Wednesday. A survey by UNIFESP’s National Institute of Science and Technology for Public Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs found that…

Hong Kong goes to the polls amid China tensions

HONG KONG: Hong Kong goes to the polls on Sunday to elect a new legislature that will lay the ground rules for direct elections, amid growing disquiet over mainland China’s hold over the former British colony. The vote is taking place against a steady drumbeat of protests, fueled by resentment…

Australia PM cancels speech over ‘gay lifestyle’ controversy

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Thursday withdrew from speaking at a Christian lobby conference after its head suggested smoking was healthier than a gay and lesbian lifestyle. Gillard was due to address the Australian Christian Lobby’s meeting in October but pulled out over the “offensive” and “inappropriate” comments about…

Police arrest 6 after fireworks blaze kills 38 in India

Indian police arrested six people on Thursday and were hunting for the boss of a fireworks factory where 38 people were killed in a blaze that highlighted the industry’s lax safety standards. Firefighters battled for hours to control the fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon at Om Sivasakthi plant in…

Girl found alive under bodies of her slain family in France

The father of a family slain in the French Alps was identified Thursday as Saad al-Hilli, a 50-year-old born in Baghdad, a French police source said. The father, mother and grandmother from the same family were found dead on Wednesday following a shooting in which another man also died. Two…

Turkey ammunition depot blast kills 25

Twenty-five soldiers were killed and four others were lightly wounded in an explosion at a military arms depot in western Turkey which officials said Thursday was most probably an accident. The blast occurred around 1815 GMT late Wednesday at a section of the military ammunition site in Afyon province where…

Ancient Irish coronation stone Lia Fail vandalized by hammer

One of Ireland’s ancient monuments, the Lia Fail standing stone which according to legend served as the coronation stone for the high kings, has been vandalised, the government said Wednesday. Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan said the granite Lia Fail, which is Gaelic for Stone of Destiny, appeared to have been…

Palestinian man attempts self-immolation after denied money to visit sick daughter

A man upset over not being given money to visit his sick daughter in Jordan tried to immolate himself on Wednesday during one of several demonstrations against rising prices in the West Bank, Palestinian sources said. Gaza Strip resident Hussein Qahwaji, aged 37, was stopped from setting himself on fire…

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