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First 3-D porn released in theatres beats ‘Avatar’ record in Hong Kong

HONG KONG (AFP) – A Hong Kong movie billed as the world’s first 3D porn film has broken the city’s first-day box office record previously set by Hollywood blockbuster Avatar. “3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy” took in HK$2.8 million ($360,000) on its first day last week, outpacing director James…

China cites WikiLeaks to mock U.S. human rights record

The United States has no grounds to criticize China’s handing of human rights issues while it struggles to keep its own people in the dark on secrets outlet WikiLeaks, the Chinese government said Monday in a lengthy document released to state-run newspapers. The document was issued as a response to…

Corn prices hit record highs in Chicago

NEW YORK — Corn prices surged to record peaks in the United States Thursday amid tight supply and fierce demand driven in part by rapid expansion of biofuels production. With demand outpacing supply despite a massive runup, and high oil prices adding to the pressure, analysts saw little respite in…

Gold price hits record high above $1,450 an ounce

LONDON – The price of gold hit a record high above $1,450 an ounce in trading here Tuesday as the ‘safe haven’ metal won support from geopolitical unrest and surging global inflation, traders said. Gold reached $1,450.65 an ounce at 1515 GMT on the London Bullion Market, beating the previous…

Ozone depletion over Arctic at record level: WMO

GENEVA (AFP) – Depletion of the ozone layer over the Arctic has reached record levels, the UN weather agency WMO said Tuesday, blaming harmful substances in the atmosphere and a very cold winter. The Arctic ozone layer suffered a loss of about 40 percent from the beginning of winter to…

Transocean gives bonuses for ‘best year in safety’ … that left 11 dead

It’s still too soon to say exactly who was to blame for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf last year, but already rig owner Transocean is congratulating itself for its safety record, and dishing out the bonuses. In federal filings revealed over the weekend by The Wall Street Journal,…

U.S. traffic fatalities hit record low in 2010

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. traffic deaths dropped by 3 percent to a record annual low of 32,788 for 2010 even as motorists drove more in an improving economy, projected government figures showed on Friday. Fatalities have dropped 25 percent over the past five years, which transportation officials and highway safety…

Housing starts see biggest drop since 1984

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Housing starts posted their biggest decline in 27 years in February while building permits dropped to their lowest level on record, suggesting the beleaguered real estate sector has yet to rebound from its deepest slump in modern history. Groundbreaking on new construction dropped 22.5 percent last month…

Poll: Support for Afghan war hits record low

As the war in Afghanistan approaches it’s eleventh year, nearly two-thirds of Americans are saying the conflict is not worth fighting, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll. The survey (.pdf) found that a record 64 percent do not support the war. Only 31 percent thought the war was…

Private contractors at record in Afghan war: US report

WASHINGTON – The number of private security personnel working for the US military in Afghanistan rose to 18,919 at the end of last year, the highest level used in any conflict by the United States, a congressional report said. The Congressional Research Service report said that the number of private…

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