Tim O Leary

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Gulf imams issue fatwa warning Muslims not to live on Mars as it would pose 'a real risk to life'

A fatwa issued by Gulf imams has ruled it is un-Islamic to promote or be involved in a a one-way trip to the Red Planet.<p>According to reports in the …

Mars

UK military training exercise shoots live pigs for medical operations

<i>Undated photo from PETA of restrained pig at the Jaegerspris facility.</i><p>The UK's Ministry of Defence has defended its involvement in the shooting of …

Pigs

Jaywalking: How the car industry outlawed crossing the road

<b>The idea of being fined for crossing the road at the wrong place can bemuse foreign visitors to the US, where the origins of so-called jaywalking lie in a propaganda campaign by the motor industry in the 1920s.</b><p>The California Vehicle Code states: "No pedestrian shall start crossing in direction of a …

Iraqi suicide bombing instructor accidentally kills himself and pupils

An al-Qaeda instructor killed himself and 20 of his pupils when he accidentally set off a car bomb during a bungled training session in Iraq.<p>The …

War

Opinion

Letters to the Editor<p>On this day

People always say the same thing about tattoos

<b>News just in - tattooing is no longer the preserve of bikers, sailors and convicts. More than that, celebrities are getting tattoos. And women too. But hang on, haven't we heard all this before?</b><p>"Tattooing is on increase: habit not confined to seamen only," proclaims one headline, while a second …

Can couples really get stuck together during sex?

<b>It sounds like a scene from a trashy sex comedy. But stories of getting stuck during sex have been with us for centuries - and some of them might just be true.</b><p>An emergency trip to hospital is never pleasant, but it's certainly not something you would want to happen after sex.<p>"It's not the most …

Fraudster paid government to help promote fake bomb detectors

The government accepted thousands of pounds from a fraudster to assist a global trade in fake bomb detectors despite a Whitehall-wide warning that such devices were "no better than guessing" and could be deadly.<p>The Kent businessman Gary Bolton paid the government to enlist serving soldiers and a …

A visit to Toulouse’s last remaining public showers

<b>The number of public showers in France may be dwindling but in Toulouse, they still provide a vital public service - especially for those who've fallen on hard times.</b><p>I have come to take a shower. The address is the Douches Publiques, showers open to all and run by city hall. There used to be five …

Bloomberg.com

Chris Bryant<p>Herbie’s Had It, But Hippy Buses Haven’t<p>After the diesel emissions scandal, an electric camper van could be just what VW needs.<p>Mark …

The Racially Fraught History of the American Beard

“Washes and razors for foofoos," scoffed Walt Whitman. But the story of 19th-century facial hair is more tangled than modern nostalgists may realize.<p>Let me declare what many already know: 2013 was a landmark year for men’s facial hair. From flamboyant beards to the proliferation of “old-fashioned” …

How a 3D printer gave a teenage bomb victim a new arm – and a reason to live

In warring South Sudan, you must trade your limbs for your life. At least, this was the reality for Daniel Omar, who in March 2012, at the age of 14, embraced a tree trunk to shield himself from a bomb's blow, and stepped away without his hands. Aware of the burden he would place on his family, in …

Uganda president refuses to sign anti-gay law

Uganda's president has refused to approve a controversial bill that would see homosexuals jailed for life, saying there were better ways to "rescue" people from their "abnormality".<p>In a letter to parliament, Yoweri Museveni said gays would go "underground and continue practicing homosexuality or …

Congo sapeurs: Is the Guinness ad true to life?

<b>The new Guinness ad featuring superbly dressed Congolese men has been getting a lot of attention since its release earlier this week, writes Tanvi Misra. But how closely do the sashaying and stout-swigging characters in the ad match reality?</b><p>The ad follows the men as they shed their working clothes …

A gun designed for Indian women

<b>India has launched a new handgun for women, named after a student who was gang-raped in Delhi in December 2012 and later died of her injuries. Officials say it will help women defend themselves, but critics say it's an insult to the victim's memory.</b><p>In his large office on Kanpur's Kalpi Road, Abdul …

FiLIP Is The Smartphone For Kids Too Young To Have A Smartphone

Sometime around the middle of last year I first heard of the FiLIP. The device is billed as a wearable smart locator and phone for kids, which is an accurate description, but doesn’t fully capture the value it provides. The reality is that the FiLIP is an invaluable device for kids on the go.<p>What …

Afghan 'suicide vest girl' reveals family ordeal

<b>An Afghan girl has told the BBC that her family forced her to attack a police checkpoint in Helmand province.</b><p>The girl, known as Spozhmai, said her brother and father had beaten her, ordering her to put on a suicide vest.<p>She was taken into protective custody in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, …

Porn proves the great escape for our nation in the age of austerity

And the emergence of smartphones and other mobile devices, which means porn can be accessed almost anywhere, has also contributed to the porn …

Top 10

The Expat Bubble: Things I Now View as Normal that Probably Aren’t - NSB

We all live in bubbles. One way or another, the people in our day-to-day lives, even if they aren’t similar to us, shape what we come to view as …

South Korea

Amsterdam alcoholics paid in beer for collecting litter

<b>Alcoholics are being paid in beer to clean the streets of Amsterdam as part of a project partly funded by the Dutch government - the organisers think other countries should abandon "old-fashioned political correctness" and adopt the same approach.</b><p>Rene scours the streets, grasping at discarded …

A Point of View: The perils of belief

<b>The evangelical urge to make other people share our beliefs is a blight upon civilisation - and religion is by no means the sole offender, says John Gray.</b><p>"Whatever happens they are all doomed to disappear shortly from this earth." Reported by Norman Lewis, a great travel writer with a passionate …

Super rich becoming the dictators of 21st century

It's a challenge that takes different forms. In China, membership in the ruling Communist Party is often the easy road to wealth. Many of today's …

UK officials considered 'walled ghetto' for Catholics

The radical proposals -- which reached the desk of Britain's prime minister Margaret Thatcher -- also suggested ceding most of Derry city to the …

Northern Ireland

60% of Cork Prison inmates are jailed for non-payment of court fines

The vast majority are released back out on the same day, according to an analysis of one month’s figures.<p>Both the governor of Cork Prison, Jim …

Crime

Siam Voices 2013 review – Part 5: What else happened in Thailand...?

<b>This is the final part of our Siam Voices 2013 year in review, as we look what else made headlines in Thailand in the past 12 months – including the</b> …

Chinese New Year

Phuket Opinion: Teaching that it’s not rude, it’s just culture

Lite Beer 8,395<p><b>Phuket Opinion: Teaching that it’s not rude, it’s just culture</b><br>Phuket Gazette -<p>Madunan Chehteek, 47, is a native of Yala who left …

2013: The year of self-publishing | The Star

In the past, they were not eligible for membership because one of the criteria was that members had to be professionals: paid for their writing. But …

Shops sign up to new ban on 'sexy' clothing for children

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said retail bosses had begun demanding "increased standards" from clothing designers due to growing concern …

Microsoft’s Windows 8 Is The Perfect OS That Nobody Wants

Windows 8 looks perfect. But new updates may revert its design to appease consumers. What is going on?<p>With Windows 8, Microsoft did the unthinkable: The company designed a groundbreaking interface of boxes called Metro that could scale from laptops, to tablets, to phones, to Xboxes–meaning any …