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International News

INTERNATIONAL: Donald Trump sworn in as 45th President of USA


INDEPENDENT (UK) – Donald Trump has been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Mr Trump and his team will now embark on his avowed mission to undo many of the achievements of Barack Obama, including the monumental health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act. “The movement continues – the work begins!” President Trump tweeted hours before ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Woman hiding $70K worth of cocaine in box of Jamaican beef patties busted at JFK


NY DAILY NEWS – This box of beef patties was a different kind of flaky. A Jamaican woman was busted after Customs agents found four pounds of cocaine hidden in a box of the golden-crusted meat-filled treats at Kennedy Airport, officials said Thursday. Federal Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials said agents got suspicious when they found the box of ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Dozens feared dead in Italian avalanche

A member of Lazio's Alpine and Speleological Rescue Team stands in front of the Hotel Rigopiano in Farindola, central Italy, hit by an avalanche, in this January 19, 2017 handout picture provided by Lazio's Alpine and Speleological Rescue Team. Soccorso Alpino Speleologico Lazio/Handout via REUTERS

REUTERS – A huge avalanche swallowed up a luxury mountain hotel in central Italy after a series of strong earthquakes rocked the area, burying up to 30 people under tonnes of snow and debris, officials said on Thursday. Italian media said three bodies had been retrieved from the site. Rescue workers declined to comment on the reports, but said they ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Wanted, £45-an-hour cleaners – must work naked (and only women may apply)


TELEGRAPH(UK) – A cleaning company is offering £45 an hour for women who are prepared to work naked. London-based Naturist Cleaners is recruiting female staff “of all ages and figures” to clean private houses across the UK while wearing just slippers and gloves. Clients – the majority of whom are nudists, according to the agency – are charged £65 for the first ...

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INTERNATIONAL: American woman allergic to her husband


BBC – Twenty-nine-year-old Johanna Watkins from Minnesota cannot kiss her husband Scott, or even spend time in the same room as him. She suffers from Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, a rare disorder of the immune system, which means she is allergic to almost everything, including her husband’s scent. Johanna and Scott Watkins’s date nights are very different from other couple’s. ...

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INTERNATIONAL: WhatsApp vulnerable to snooping — report


AFP — The Facebook-owned mobile messaging service WhatsApp is vulnerable to interception, the Guardian newspaper reported on Friday, sparking concern over an app advertised as putting an emphasis on privacy. The report said that WhatsApp messages could be read without its billion-plus users knowing due to a security backdoor in the way the company has implemented its end-to-end encryption protocol. ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Police tackle and beat black man suspected of stealing a car that actually belonged to him


MSN – Pinned to the ground by officers who kneed and struck him, Lawrence Crosby screamed whatever he could think of to convince them that he was a law-abiding PhD student, not a violent car thief. “This is my vehicle, sir,” he said, his voice captured by the dashboard-camera video. “I have evidence . . . I purchased this vehicle Jan. 23, ...

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INTERNATIONAL: US man pays tax bill using five wheelbarrows of coins


BBC – A US businessman in dispute with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has paid his $3,000 tax bill using five wheelbarrows containing 300,000 coins. Nick Stafford from Cedar Buff, Virginia, delivered so many coins that the DMV’s automated counting machines could not cope with the volume. His delivery stunt follows a legal row he had with the DMV ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Man convicted of rape for taking off condom during sex


INDEPENDENT (UK) – A man has been convicted of rape after taking off a condom during sex without his sexual partner knowing. The landmark decision by the Criminal Court in Lausanne, Switzerland, determined that having sex without a condom constituted rape if the use of one was expected. The 47-year-old was given a 12-month suspended sentence on Monday, according to ...

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INTERNATIONAL: ‘Tree Man’ undergoes life-changing hand surgeries


NEW YORK POST – A man whose wart-covered skin earned him the striking nickname “Tree Man” has turned over a new leaf after undergoing 16 surgeries in a year to remove the debilitating growths. Barcroft Media reported 27-year-old Abul Bajandar’s hands and feet were consumed by 11 pounds of bark-like warts due to epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV), an extremely rare condition ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Fist fight breaks out in Turkey parliament


MIRROR (UK) –  A mass brawl erupted inside the Turkish Parliament as MPs debated a crucial constitutional reform bill set to extended their president’s powers. Scuffles started, quickly followed by fist flying, when lawmakers from the two main parties clashed on the floor of the house. Politicians from the ruling AK Party and main opposition Republican’s People Party (CHP) were ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Scientists can now grow a beating human heart from stem cells


INDEPENDENT (UK) – A team of scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have used adult skin cells to regenerate functional human heart tissue. The study, published in the journal Circulation Research, detailed that the team took adult skin cells, using a technique called messenger RNA to turn them into pluripotent stem cells, before inducing them to become ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Woman busted smuggling lover out of prison in a suitcase


NEW YORK POST – Love definitely didn’t set this Venezuelan woman free! Antonieta Robles Saouda, 25, was arrested after she tried to break her boyfriend out of prison by stuffing him into a hot pink suitcase and wheeling him out, according to Central European News agency. She went to the Jose Antonio Anzoategui prison in Venezuela with her 6-year-old daughter ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Serial killer ex-cop admits to killing 25 more women

Mikhail Popkov in court Vostochno-Sibirskaya Pravda/The Siberian Times

NEW YORK POST – A former Russian cop and notorious serial-killer known as “The Werewolf” recently told investigators that he had murdered more than twice as many women as previously thought — for a total of 59, according to published reports. Mikhail Popkov is already serving a life sentence for 22 murders, The Siberian Times reported. But he told authorities that ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Dylann Roof sentenced to death for church massacre


NEW YORK POST – It took a Charleston federal jury less than three hours Tuesday to sentence convicted mass killer Dylann Roof to death by lethal injection. Roof, 22, who was convicted last month of slaughtering nine worshipers at the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during bible study in June 2015, stared straight ahead as the verdict was ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Pennsylvania mother and boyfriend raped and dismembered teenage daughter, say police


INDEPENDENT (UK) – Officials in Pennsylvania have charged a man and woman of raping and killing her adopted daughter before dismembering the 14-year-old to fulfil a unlikely sexual fantasy. Jacob Sullivan, 44, was arrested by Bucks County detectives and formally charged with rape and murder on Sunday morning over the death of Grace Packer, whose dismembered body was found by hunters ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Costa Rica’s Central Valley on alert after Turrialba volcano becomes increasingly active


INDEPENDENT (UK) – Costa Rica has declared a state of emergency for a major area of the country including the capital of San Jose following the constant eruptions of ash from one of its largest volcanos, according to AFP. “For several days now volcano Turrialba has had continual eruptions marked by the constant expulsion of ash,” the National Emergencies Commission ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Iran’s ex-President Rafsanjani dies at 82


BBC – Iran’s ex-President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a dominant figure in the country’s politics since the 1980s, has died at the age of 82, media say. Mr Rafsanjani had suffered a heart attack, the reports said. He served as president from 1989 to 1997 but lost to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he ran again in 2005. Although Mr Rafsanjani was ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Fort Lauderdale airport gunman faces death penalty

SHOOTER: Esteban Santiago

NEW YORK POST – The Iraq war veteran who fatally shot five random victims in the Fort Lauderdale airport will be charged Monday with three federal crimes — each punishable by death. Esteban Santiago, 26, faces one charge of committing an act of violence at an international airport resulting in death, and two federal weapons violations, CNN reported Saturday night. ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Charles Manson too weak for emergency surgery


NY POST – Charles Manson was supposed to receive emergency surgery Thursday night, but doctors decided against the procedure because the notorious killer was too weak, according to a report. Several days ago, Manson, 82, was rushed from Corcoran State Prison to a Bakersfield hospital after he fell ill because of a lesion in his intestines that was causing significant ...

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UPDATE: 5 dead in Fort Lauderdale shooting


CNN – Gunshots erupted at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, airport on Friday, leaving five people dead. Authorities say the gunman, who appeared to be acting alone, is in custody. Here’s the latest on what we know: Five people are dead, and eight injured people were transported to hospitals, Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief told CNN. The gunman had a gun ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Kim Burrell faces backlash after sermon on ‘perverted homosexual spirit’


GUARDIAN (UK) – Gospel singer Kim Burrell has faced criticism from the entertainment industry after video footage surfaced in which she gives a “homophobic” sermon. The singer, whose vocals appeared on Frank Ocean’s song Godspeed, is shown in a video giving a sermon that refers to “the perverted homosexual spirit”. “That perverted homosexual spirit is a spirit of delusion and ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Giant Antarctic iceberg set to break away

The rift is about 100m wide but is estimated to be half a kilometre deep

BBC – An iceberg expected to be one of the 10 largest ever recorded is ready to break away from Antarctica, scientists say. A long-running rift in the Larsen C ice shelf grew suddenly in December and now just 20km of ice is keeping the 5,000 sq km piece from floating away. Larsen C is the most northern major ice ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Texas woman, boyfriend arrested in ‘brutal’ sexual assault of her 1-year-old relative


NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – Authorities arrested a Texas woman and her boyfriend for sexually assaulting a 1-year-old girl in what they’ve called “one of the worst cases they’ve ever seen.” Crystal Herrera on New Year’s Eve phoned 911 and told law enforcement officials the child managed to leave the house in the middle of the night and was attacked ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Facebook Live broadcast ends in tragedy as thousands watch Arkansas mother die


INDEPENDENT (UK) – A woman has died while broadcasting on Facebook Live as thousands watched and “did nothing”. Keiana Herndon collapsed while holding her one-year-old son and streaming from her friend’s house in Arkansas on 28 December. She opened the video by singing before discussing how she wanted to go back to school, but viewers saw her behaviour change as she started wiping her face and shaking her head, reports ...

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INTERNATIONAL: 3 girl suicide bombers gunned down in Nigeria


JAMAICA OBSERVER – Self-defence fighters Wednesday killed three girl suicide bombers targeting a bustling market in north-eastern Nigeria, civilian and military officials said. They blamed the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group for the attempted bombing. The civilian fighters who work alongside the army challenged the girls as they approached a village near Madagali town, local council chairman Yusuf Muhammad Gulak ...

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INTERNATIONAL: New York train crash injures more than 100 commuters

A commuter train derails at a station in Brooklyn and injured more than 100 commuters, setting off a panic during the morning rush.

REUTERS – A New York City train derailed at a downtown Brooklyn terminal during Wednesday’s morning rush hour, injuring more than 100 commuters in the metropolitan area’s second major rail accident since late September. Emergency crews swarmed Atlantic Terminal after the Long Island Rail Road train went off the tracks inside the busy transportation hub at 8:20 a.m. local time ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Doctors issue new year detox health warning


BBC – Doctors have issued a warning about the potential harms of undertaking a radical new year detox. They highlight the case of a woman they treated last year who became critically ill after taking herbal remedies and drinking too much water. The 47-year-old needed intensive care at Milton Keynes hospital. She recovered with treatment, but her story is a ...

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INTERNATIONAL: India plans to give 88 million cows ‘identity cards’ which can be tracked online


TELEGRAPH (UK) – British citizens hold a National Insurance number and Americans a Social Security number. Now cows and buffaloes in India will be given ‘animal health cards’, similar to the Aadhar system already in place for Indian citizens. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has initiated a plan to assign unique 12-digit identification numbers to 88 million cattle in India by the ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Sweden abandons six-hour workday scheme because it’s just too expensive


BLOOMBERG/THE TELEGRAPH (UK) – Swedes looking forward to a six-hour workday just got some bad news: the costs outweigh the benefits. That is according to preliminary results of a two-year experiment carried out in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, the home of Volvo. Working hours were shortened to six for the 68 nurses at the Svartedalen old people’s home, who got ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Brazilian prison escapee posts selfies

Brayan Bremer (left) and another fugitive took a post-escape selfie

BBC – A Brazilian man who broke out of a prison in the northern city of Manaus has been posting photos of himself on Facebook, bragging of his escape. In the picture, Brayan Bremer, who is serving a sentence for robbery, can be seen amidst dense vegetation giving the thumbs up. Behind him is another fugitive who police say has since ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Priest accused of hosting orgies in church and pimping women

priest with crucifix

NY DAILY NEWS – An Italian Catholic priest is under investigation for allegedly organizing orgies in his church’s rectory and acting as a pimp for up to 15 women. Authorities are investigating Father Andrea Contin, a 48-year-old parish priest at the Church of San Lazzaro in Padua, for living off immoral earnings and psychological violence following complaints from three female ...

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INTERNATIONAL: China launches freight train to Britain


THE TELEGRAPH – China launched its first freight train to London on Sunday, according to the China Railway Corporation. The train will travel from Yiwu West Railway Station in Zhejiang Province, Eastern China to Barking, London, taking 18 days to travel over 7,400 miles. The route runs through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France, before arriving in London. ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Finland to pay unemployed citizens basic monthly income


NATIONAL POST — Finland has become the first country in Europe to pay its unemployed citizens a basic monthly income, amounting to 560 euros ($797 Canadian), in a unique social experiment which is hoped to cut government red tape, reduce poverty and boost employment. Olli Kangas from the Finnish government agency KELA, which is responsible for the country’s social benefits, ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Migrants found hidden in car and suitcase


BBC – Police have detained two Moroccans who tried to smuggle migrants into Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta – two hidden in a car and one in a suitcase. When police checked a car on Monday one person was found hidden in the dashboard and another in the hollowed-out back seat. The man and woman, thought to be Guineans, ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Riot by drug gangs in Brazil prison leaves 60 dead


NEW YORK TIMES – A prison riot involving gangs vying for supremacy over the cocaine trade in the Brazilian Amazon left about 60 people dead, the authorities in the city of Manaus said on Monday. Riots at Brazil’s prisons are common, but the episode in Manaus, which included decapitated bodies thrown over the walls of the penitentiary, ranks among the ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Mark Zuckerberg reveals he’s no longer an atheist


NEW YORK POST – Mark Zuckerberg is a true believer again. The Facebook founder, who formerly identified as an atheist, revealed last week that religion has come back into his life in a holiday post. He posted a short message on Facebook wishing his followers a: “Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from Priscilla, Max, Beast and me!” One of his ...

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INTERNATIONAL: Anti-ageing chocolate which reduces wrinkles developed by Cambridge University spin-off


TELEGRAPH (UK) – It may seem too good to be true, but guilt-free chocolate which promises to slow down the emergence of wrinkles and sagging skin, has been developed by scientists. ‘Esthechoc’ the brainchild of a Cambridge University spin-off lab, claims to boost antioxidant levels and increase circulation to prevent lines and keep skin looking youthful and smooth. Just a ...

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INTERNATIONAL: IS claims Turkey nightclub attack

Massive manhunt after ISIS claims Turkey nightclub shooting

BBC – So-called Islamic State says it was behind the new year attack on a Turkish nightclub that killed 39 people. The group said in a statement it was carried out by “a heroic soldier”. At least 600 revellers were celebrating in the early hours of Sunday at Istanbul’s Reina nightclub when the gunman began firing indiscriminately. The gunman is ...

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