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  • Romania puts former prison commander on trial
    Romania puts former prison commander on trial

    BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — For the first time since communism collapsed in Romania 25 years ago, a former prison commander goes on trial Monday charged with being responsible for the torture and murdering prisoners considered a threat to the country's old order.

  • Ancient graffiti to street art: Rome walls tell a story

    Scribbling emotions on walls has been a tradition in Rome going back thousands of years and even the word "graffiti" was first used for markings found in the ruins of Pompeii. The artist, MauPal, said he sees street art as social.

  • Bruised and grumbling, foreign banks bend to U.S. rules

    By Steve Slater and Michelle Price LONDON/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Financiers may grumble that the United States is acting like an imperial power in punishing foreign banks for dealings far beyond U.S. territory, but in the end they are more likely to bow to Washington than kick against its dollar muscle. Last week, French politicians and business leaders demanded an end to the global dominance of the U.S. currency - and hence of the U.S. banking system - after a New York court fined French bank BNP Paribas $9 billion for doing business in Sudan, Iran and Cuba. Yet despite irritation at the long reach of U.S. sanctions, most bankers see that as wishful thinking. Instead, major lenders in Europe and Asia are reacting to the steady flow of punishments from the United States by doing ever more to comply with U.S. laws and by cutting business ties in countries Washington dislikes rather than risk its wrath and, in the worst scenario, risk exclusion from the dollar system.

  • 'Planet of the Apes' thumps chest with $73M debut
    'Planet of the Apes' thumps chest with $73M debut

    NEW YORK (AP) — The monkey business is a good business to be in at the box office.

  • The Awful Reason Florida Is Bulldozing One of the World’s Rarest Forests

    The lush tropical canopies of pine rocklands exist only in South Florida, Cuba, and the Bahamas. This month the University of Miami sold 88 acres of rockland to Ram, a Palm Beach County–based developer known for building strip malls and residential complexes. The Miami Herald reports that the company has allotted space for 900 apartments and 185,000 square feet for a Walmart, in addition to a Chick-fil-A, a Chili’s, and a fitness center. This is how,” Dennis Olle, a lawyer and a board member of Tropical Audubon and the North American Butterfly Association, told The Miami Herald.

  • Palestinians draft UN resolution urging cease-fire
    Palestinians draft UN resolution urging cease-fire

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Palestinians and their international supporters are discussing a U.N. draft resolution that would condemn all violence against civilians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and call for "an immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire."

  • Emotional Thorpe comes out in TV interview

    Ian Thorpe, Australia's most decorated Olympian, revealed he was gay in an emotional television interview on Sunday, ending years of speculation about the champion swimmer's sexuality. The five-times Olympic gold medalist made the admission to British journalist Michael Parkinson in a pre-recorded interview on Australia's Channel 10 in which he shared his relief in freeing himself from living "a lie". "What happened was I felt the lie had become so big that I didn't want people to question my integrity." One of Australia's favorite sons, Thorpe had long denied he was gay and wrote in his 2012 autobiography 'This Is Me' that he was heterosexual.

  • Republican governors' words shift on gay marriage
    Republican governors' words shift on gay marriage

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Deep in the nation's Bible Belt, new signs emerged this weekend of an evolution among Republican governors on gay marriage, an explosive social issue that has divided American families and politics for years.

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