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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Egypt’s President Replaces Intelligence Chief

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi removed Gen. Mohamed Farid el-Tohamy, an influential mentor, and named Khaled Fawzy, a top deputy in the intelligence service, as his successor.

















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Motherlode Blog: This Holiday, Don’t Hide the Piercings From Grandma

Rather than a one-way transfer of my beliefs to them, my kids, now 19 and 16, are teaching me to see the world—and my in-laws—with new eyes.

















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Chinese Annoyance With North Korea Bubbles to the Surface

A retired general’s scathing account of North Korea as a recalcitrant ally headed for collapse and unworthy of China’s support revealed how far relations between the two countries have sunk.





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This Land: Police Killed Her Son; Afterward, Louisville Evolved

Several young black men in the city died in police shootings from 1999 to 2004. Interactions between the police and black residents have improved since then, but remain a work in progress.





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Military Medicine: Military Hospital Care Is Questioned; Next, Reprisals

Physicians, nurses and medical workers at military hospitals say they have been brushed off, transferred, investigated and passed over for promotion after they pointed out problems with care.





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Lawsuit May Reshape Tourist Industry in History-Rich Savannah

The tour guide Michelle Freenor and three others are challenging a Savannah, Ga., ordinance that requires guides to have licenses and academic and medical examinations.





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In Real Life, ‘Rambo’ Ends Up as a Soldier of Misfortune, Behind Bars

In a plot that seems lifted from an international thriller, a former Army sniper who became entangled with an arms dealer now stands accused of taking a job as a hired killer.





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For Cubans in Miami, the Gulf to Their Homeland Narrows

The re-establishment of U.S. diplomatic ties with Cuba brought widely different reactions in Miami, where first-generation exiles who remember Fidel Castro’s brutality mix with millennials for whom Cuba is more a cultural touchstone.





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Obama: North Korea hack on Sony Pictures was not an act of war


  • President tells CNN North Korea may go back on state terror list

  • North Korea warns ‘toughest counteraction will be boldly taken’



The US is reviewing whether to put North Korea back onto its list of state sponsors of terrorism, President Barack Obama said in a wide-ranging interview recorded on Friday and broadcast on Sunday, as he decides how to respond to the cyber-attack on Sony Pictures that has been blamed on the communist nation.


Speaking to CNN, Obama described the Sony hacking case as a “very costly, very expensive” example of cybervandalism, but did not call it an act of war. In trying to fashion a proportionate response, the president said the US would examine the facts to determine whether North Korea should be put back on the terrorism sponsors list.


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Pro-EU campaign drafts in Ken Clarke, Danny Alexander and Mandelson

Trio to become joint presidents of pro-European group British Influence ahead of possible 2017 membership referendum

Britain’s pro-Europeans are gearing up for a possible referendum on Britain’s EU membership in 2017 by drafting in Kenneth Clarke, Peter Mandelson and Danny Alexander to act as the main figureheads of the Yes campaign.


As a pan-European opinion poll found that Britain is the only country that would vote to leave the EU, Mandelson announced that the trio of current and former cabinet ministers have agreed to become joint presidents of the British Influence group. This is expected to join forces with the European Movement to form the Yes campaign if a referendum is held by the end of 2017 following a Tory general election campaign.


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Man-buns are the sexiest thing in the world. This is why they drive us wild

It has been THE hairdo of 2014, and it is completely messing with our heads


We have heard 2014 proclaimed the year of the beard, November the month of the mustache, winter the season of the lumbersexual. Those people are wrong. The man-bun is in ascendance now, and it is, thankfully, unstoppable.


Disbelieve us all you want. But when you catch a woman (or man) in your life staring at not just a man’s upswept hair but that intimate spot at the nape of a man’s neck, framed by his bun and transformed into a detail on display for us ... well, don’t say we didn’t warn you.


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Saudi and UAE oil ministers defend Opec response to falling prices

Both countries reaffirm commitment to maintaining current production levels despite price slump and glut in supplies

The oil ministers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have defended Opec’s decision not to cut production despite a glut, and blamed speculators and producers outside the cartel for the slump in prices.


Both stuck to their stance of keeping production at current levels, expressing hope that the market would stabilise on its own. Oil prices have nearly halved in the past six months, with the international benchmark Brent crude falling below $60 a barrel last week, the lowest in more than five years.


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Newcastle United v Sunderland: Premier League – live!

Elton John marries his long-term partner David Furnish

Couple officially wed exactly nine years after their civil partnership and post pictures of their big day on social media

Sir Elton John and David Furnish have officially married – exactly nine years after they tied the knot in a civil partnership ceremony.


The veteran musician married his partner at their Windsor estate on Sunday, with a number of stars expected to attend the ceremony.


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Ken Clarke calls on May and Shapps to rein in ‘spatting entourages’

Former chancellor advises Downing Street to calm tensions after party chairman suspends home secretary’s special advisers

The Tory chairman, Grant Shapps, and Theresa May’s special advisers are guilty of allowing “a little spat between themselves” to make the headlines, the former chancellor Ken Clarke has said.


As a veteran of Tory battles dating back decades, Clarke advised the party chairman and the home secretary to rein in their “entourages” which he described as “quite entertainingly newsworthy”.


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Will All Dogs Really Go To Heaven?

by Dish Staff The Internet recently was filled with reports that Pope Francis said “yes.” Alas, it turns out to have been a misunderstanding: According to initial reports Francis had been comforting a small boy over the death of his dog, when he declared, “One day we will see our animals again in eternity of […]



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Mandelson: Labour shadow cabinet must push deficit reduction message

Ex-minister says shadow cabinet members must spell out how they would cut budgets in their departments if party won power

Members of the Labour shadow cabinet must be honest with the public and spell out the scale of cuts they would have to impose in office if the party wins the general election in May, Peter Mandelson has said.


The former cabinet minister said that the Tories’ “sharp step to the right” in the autumn statement, in which George Osborne spelled out spending cuts deemed by the Office for Budget Responsibility to herald a return to 1930s levels of state spending, has created an opportunity for Labour.


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Andrew Flintoff makes a duck on debut in Australia’s Big Bash

• Former England all-rounder makes three-ball duck for Brisbane Heat

• New England ODI captain Eoin Morgan on winning Sydney Thunder side

• Flintoff asks ECB to explain Kevin Pietersen’s sacking

Andrew Strauss condemns ECB treatment of Alastair Cook

Andrew Flintoff made an inauspicious start to life in Australia’s Big Bash Twenty20, as his Brisbane Heat side were convincingly beaten by the Sydney Thunder.


The 37-year-old Flintoff, who made a comeback this year after initially retiring from all forms of cricket in 2010, went for 25 runs in two wicketless overs, then when his turn to bat came was caught on the boundary for a duck, staying at the crease for just three balls.


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Putting a value on volunteering in the age of austerity

Individuals should be encouraged to volunteer because of the personal benefits, while businesses stand to benefit from a more skilled, productive and better-motivated workforce, writes Larry Elliott

Britain’s volunteer army will be out in force on Thursday, providing a Christmas dinner for the hungry, shelter for the homeless and a shoulder to cry on for the old and lonely. David Cameron calls this the ‘big society’ in action. His opponents say the reality is a cash-strapped charitable sector struggling to cope with a bigger caseload thanks to the government’s spending cuts.


As a concept, the big society is a good thing. Nobody could really object to the idea that people should be encouraged to help others. Those who will be running soup kitchens and hostels on Christmas Day deserve nothing but praise. There are sound economic reasons why the government should be encouraging people to volunteer. But they are not the ones normally used by Cameron and his ministers.


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