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British PM’s ex-aide charged with hacking, Angelina Jolie targeted

Police have charged Prime Minister David Cameron’s ex-media chief Andy Coulson with phone hacking as a long-running press scandal lapped at the door of Downing Street. Former tabloid editor Rebekah Brooks will also be charged at a later date, police confirmed. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said eight current or…

Canada says suspected spy may have sold U.S. secrets

A Canadian naval officer arrested this year for allegedly leaking secrets may also have compromised top level Australian, British and American intelligence, a report said Wednesday. Jeffrey Delisle, a naval intelligence officer, was charged in Canada in January with communicating over the past five years “with a foreign entity, information…

Olympics mascots made in ‘China sweatshops’: watchdog

A labour watchdog on Wednesday slammed the London Olympics organisers over alleged human rights abuses at Chinese “sweatshops” producing Games merchandise. The group said labourers at two Chinese factories producing merchandise including Olympics mascots Wenlock and Mandeville worked up to 120 hours of overtime a month, or nearly three times…

Chefs reveal eating secrets of world leaders

Barack Obama can’t stand beetroot, artichokes are off the menu at France’s presidential palace and Vladimir Putin does not take any chances with dishes that emerge from the Kremlin kitchens. Those were just a few of the culinary titbits to emerge from the latest reunion of the select club of…

German circumcision debate hits Austria

VIENNA — A furore over circumcision in Germany reached neighbouring Austria on Tuesday as a state governor advised doctors against performing the procedure, even when it is on religious grounds. Markus Wallner, centre-right state premier of Vorarlberg, said the instructions followed a controversial June ruling by a court in the…

Syria’s chemical weapons shrouded in secrecy

WASHINGTON — Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, which Damascus has acknowledged for the first time, is decades old and among the biggest in the Middle East, but experts are divided over its exact nature. President Bashar al-Assad’s regime caused a global uproar Monday when it vowed to use its chemical weapons…

Clinton urges greater political will to end genocide

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged greater political will to stop “the evil” of genocide Tuesday, as a poll found most Americans think global bodies are ineffective in halting atrocities. Speaking at an event organized by the Holocaust Memorial Museum, Clinton told the audience that “despite all…

Japan probes whether Fukushima workers’ radiation levels were under-reported

Japan’s labour minister on Tuesday ordered an investigation into claims that subcontractors at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant told workers to lie about their radiation exposure. Yoko Komiyama told a press briefing in Tokyo that she had launched a wide-ranging probe, including checks on a firm at the centre of…

Ghana president dies suddenly after falling ill

Ghana President John Atta Mills has died after being taken ill, the presidency announced on Tuesday, but details of his death remained unclear. “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sudden and untimely death of the president of the republic of Ghana,” the statement said, adding that…

Greek recession could be much worse than expected

The Greek recession this year could be much worse than expected, with the economy shrinking by “more than seven percent,” Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said Tuesday. The central bank has previously estimated that the economy, now in its fifth year of recession, would shrink by 4.5 percent in 2012. Samaras…

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