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Olympic badminton players ‘threw’ matches

Eight women badminton players at the Olympics were charged by the sport’s governing body on Wednesday with ‘throwing’ matches to secure an easier draw in the next round. Four pairs in the women’s doubles competition – one from China, one from Indonesia and two from South Korea – could be…

U.S. keeps Cuba on its terror black list

The United States kept Cuba on a black list of alleged state sponsors of terrorism for the 30th year running, the State Department said in an annual report. Cuba angrily denounced the action as another US attempt to justify its 50-year-old trade embargo on the communist-ruled island. “Cuba’s foreign ministry…

UK police arrest Sun journalist in ‘stolen cellphone plot’

LONDON — British police arrested Tuesday a journalist from Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid The Sun in relation to the alleged gathering of data from stolen mobile phones, police and News International said. The 37-year-old man, bailed later on Tuesday, is the third journalist from Britain’s best-selling newspaper to have been arrested…

Air China no longer transporting lab monkeys: PETA

WASHINGTON — Air China is no longer transporting monkeys for laboratory experiments on its flights, animal rights group PETA said Tuesday, citing an email from the airline. “We are notified by headquarters that we have stopped conducting this business,” said a one-line email from Jason Wang, Air China’s New York…

JK Rowling’s new novel withheld from foreign publishers over piracy fears

Fears that pirated editions of JK Rowling‘s upcoming novel The Casual Vacancy could leak out mean that some foreign publishers will not receive a copy of the manuscript until it is published in English, forcing them to rush their translations or miss out on sales. Rowling’s literary agency, the Blair Partnership, is withholding advance…

Israeli draft loophole could force Orthodox Jews into service

A controversial Israeli law which allowed ultra-Orthodox Jews to defer military service, is to expire on Tuesday, leaving a legislative hole which could technically see them called up en masse. When the 2002 Tal Law expires at midnight, conscription will be guided by previous legislation, meaning that all 18-year-old Israelis,…

Street artists take satirical aim at Olympics

An javelin thrower stands poised to make his throw – but in place of a spear, he holds a missile. The striking image, stenciled in black onto a dirty wall, is one of two new works recently unveiled on the website of British satirical street artist Banksy to coincide with…

Losses send BP into a tailspin

British energy giant BP said Tuesday that it plunged into a second-quarter net loss, hit by lower output, falling oil prices and a near $5.0-billion (4.1-billion-euro) write-down on the value of assets. BP made a loss after tax of $1.39 billion in the three months to June, compared with net…

Colombian authorities seize drug submarine

BOGOTA — A semi-submersible ship, ready to be loaded with six tons of cocaine, was seized by Colombian military near the northern coast of the South American nation, the Navy reported Monday. The watercraft, roughly 66 feet (20 meters) long, was kept in a workshop, part of a four-building complex…

New Zealand man hospitalized after lighting fireworks in butt

A 23-year-old man in New Zealand suffered serious injuries on Saturday after he set off a firework between his buttocks. “It appears a party was in full progress when a young male decided to place a firework between the cheeks of his bottom and light it,” Senior Sergeant Garry Smith…

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