WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will sit down today for a joint television interview, US broadcaster CBS announced. The interview will be aired on Sunday evening on the “60 Minutes” show, the channel said. Clinton, the top US diplomat during Obama’s first term, is soon expected to be replaced by Senator John Kerry who faces a congressional confirmation vote on Tuesday. Obama very rarely sits down for joint interviews with anyone other than his wife, Michelle. An exception was one he gave with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy in November 2011 on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Cannes.
Russia House backs ‘anti-same sex’ bill
MOSCOW: Russia’s parliament backed a draft law yesterday banning “homosexual propaganda”, in what critics see as an attempt to shore up support for President Vladimir Putin in the country’s largely conservative society. Only one deputy in the State Duma lower house voted against the bill, but passions spilled over outside the chamber, where 20 people were detained after scuffles between Russian Orthodox Christians and gay activists who staged a “kiss-in” protest. “We live in Russia, not Sodom and Gomorrah,” United Russia deputy Dmitry Sablin said before the 388-1 vote in the 450-seat chamber. The law must be passed in three readings by the lower house, approved by the upper house and then signed by Putin to go into force. It would ban the promotion of gay events across Russia and impose fines of up 500,000 roubles ($16,600) on organisers.
Man jailed for biting off love rival’s finger
LONDON: A British man who bit off the tip of a love rival’s finger at a school play was yesterday sentenced to 11 months in jail. Lee Wilkinson, 40, was angry at Michael Dent for having an affair with his wife while he was away with work, and tensions boiled over when the pair met while attending their children’s Christmas nativity play in December 2011. “A scuffle broke out and during the fight Dent put his hand in the defendant’s mouth,” prosecuting lawyer Bridie Smurthwaite told Newcastle Crown Court in northeast England. “The defendant then bit hard on the finger. Dent forcibly pulled his hand away and the injury then occurred.”
Dancer questioned over Bolshoi attack
MOSCOW: Russian police have questioned a star dancer as a witness over the acid attack against the artistic director of the Bolshoi ballet that exposed bitter infighting at the company, officials said yesterday. The attack on Sergei Filin — who risks permanent disfigurement and even blindness — came after months of squabbling inside what is arguably the world’s best known ballet troupe. Nikolai Tsiskaridze, 39, one of the Bolshoi’s best known male principals through his extensive television work, was questioned on Wednesday, police said. The Izvestia daily said Tsiskaridze had aroused the attention of investigators with his repeated criticism of the Bolshoi management.
Jogger ‘slaughtered’ in southern France
NIMES, France: Police in southern France yesterday launched a hunt for a killer who “slaughtered” a female jogger in the popular tourist town of Nimes. The semi-clothed body of the 34-year-old was found yesterday evening after her children’s school alerted her partner that she had failed to pick them up. A box cutter-style knife and two blood-stained stones were found nearby and are thought to have been the murder weapons. “She was slaughtered,” a source close to the investigation said. Police could not immediately confirm whether the woman had been raped. The victim, a housewife of Tunisian heritage, regularly went running in the afternoon on tracks in Courbessac, a peaceful residential neighbourhood on the outskirts of Nimes.
Swine flu infected 1 in 5, study shows
LONDON: At least one in five people worldwide were infected with swine flu during the first year of the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic, an international research group said yesterday, but the death rate was just 0.02 percent. The study, which used data from 19 countries, collated results from more than 24 studies involving some 90,000 blood samples collected before, during and after the pandemic. The results, published in the journal Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, showed 20 to 27 percent of people studied were infected during the first year of the pandemic.
Tina Turner to become Swiss: Report
ZURICH: US pop legend Tina Turner, who has been living in Switzerland since 1995, will soon receive Swiss citizenship and will give up her US passport, Swiss media reported yesterday. “I’m very happy in Switzerland and I feel at home here. I cannot imagine a better place to live,” Turner told German language daily Blick. Turner, 73, who was born Anna Mae Bullock, lives in picturesque town of Kuesnacht and has passed a local civics test and interview, according to an official announcement published in the Zuerichsee-Zeitung daily. She will still need a green light from the canton of Zurich as well was federal authorities before she can receive red passport. Turner spokeswoman Karin Rhomberg told the Zuerichsee-Zeitung that the singer wanted to “clarify her situation”. “Tina Turner will therefore also give back her US citizenship,” she said. Agencies