Jan Albert Julian

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The 10 best films of 2013, joint 3rd – Gravity

Sandra Bullock's down-to-Earthiness and some stunning special effects raise Alfonso Cuarón's space thriller above the rest, in our continuing countdown of this year's top 10 films<p>• The 10 best films of 2013, No 5 - Django Unchained • Read Peter Bradshaw's five-star review • More from the 10 best …

German parliament confirms Angel Merkel for new term

<b>Angela Merkel has been confirmed as German chancellor for a third term, at the head of a grand coalition, by a vote in the Bundestag (parliament).</b><p>The coalition between her centre-right CDU/CSU bloc and the Social Democrats (SPD) has a huge majority, with 504 of the 631 seats in the lower house.<p>Mrs …

Europe

Japan increases defence budget amid tensions with China

Tokyo announces plans to buy drones, jet fighters and destroyers, and set up amphibious unit similar to US marines<p>Japan is to significantly increase its defence spending over the next five years to acquire surveillance drones, fighter jets, naval destroyers and amphibious vehicles to counteract …

Kerry downplays dispute with China in East China Sea

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States do not view differences with China over the East China Sea as a scenario of rising tension.<p>Kerry underlined though that US will speak out when countries “raised the temperature” through unilateral actions in territorial disputes.<p>“We are not …

Archbishop Tutu: Nelson Mandela services excluded Afrikaners

<b>Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said that Nelson Mandela would have been appalled that Afrikaners were excluded from memorial services marking his death.</b><p>He highlighted the absence of the Dutch Reformed Church and the limited use of the Afrikaans language at the services.<p>A mainly Afrikaner party …

South Africa