Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is welcomed at a party Saturday in Sao Paulo organized by a Japanese-Brazilian organization. | KYODO

Abe talks up trade ties with Latin American alliance

SAO PAULO – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed eagerness Saturday to bolster economic and trade ties with the four Latin American nations that make up the Pacific Alliance, after accelerating the conclusion of a free trade agreement with Colombia. “Let’s strengthen economic relations... read more »

Australians are among the worst online pirates in the world. Source: Supplied

Illegal downloading: Should you think twice before using torrenting website...

LET’S face it Australia. We’re a nation of pirates. Figures show that we are among the worst in the world when it comes to illegally downloading TV shows and movies. reported on Monday about the federal government’s plans to crack down on online piracy, which left some readers... read more »

Carter and Free explain dried bonito products to two American tourists. | YOSHIAKI MIURA

Tokyo’s storied Nihonbashi raises profile to promote historical role

The Nihonbashi district prospered as Japan’s financial and trade center after shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu moved the capital to Edo, the old name for Tokyo, in the early 17th century. Its geographical advantage contributed to fast-track development. Nihonbashi was the starting point of five major roads... read more »

State secretary Michael Ravbar CFMEU (L) attending the Royal Commission into Unions, Brisbane hearings. Source: News Corp Australia

CFMEU ‘threatened Queensland crane company with boycott’

THE powerful construction union pressured the clients of a Queensland crane company to boycott the business unless it gave in to union demands on enterprise bargaining and a multi-million dollar redundancy fund, a royal commission has heard. Albert Smith, the managing director of a company that... read more »

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Human Ken doll Celso Santebanes, to release his own look-a-like doll

A YOUNG Brazilian model who spent thousands of dollars on plastic surgery to look like a Ken doll is set to release his own line of lookalike dolls. Celso Santebanes, 20, spent over $54,000 on four operations on his nose, chin, jaw and chest, in a bid to resemble... read more »


Lindsay Lohan’s holiday snaps win Instagram … for a change

I’VE been trying really hard to ignore Lindsay Lohan’s holiday snaps onInstagram, but they’re just too pervy not to share. Lohan has spent the past few weeks cruising around Italy on the most amazing private yacht with her sister Ali.   Lohan has been... read more »


Tom and Gisele Have a “Perfect Sunday” in Boston

A little snow didn’t stop Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady from enjoying Boston with a large group of friends on Sunday. The couple bundled up against the elements, with Gisele sporting a chic coat and Tom wearing his signature massive beanie, as they walked hand... read more »


Easy ways to lift your net profile

HAVING a website is good – but using it properly is better. A strong brand and compelling content will attract users, but business owners need to seize social media to promote their brand on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus accounts. It won’t... read more »


What’s new in the world of travel

FROM the revamp of a Bali hotel to a TV chef on Lord Howe Island and big cat conservation tour, here’s our weekly wrap-up of what’s new in travel. Howe’s cooking TELEVISION chef Peter Kuruvita is hosting a cooking masterclass at Lord Howe Island,... read more »


9 China hotels with ridiculously good views

Some hotels are there to let you get some shut-eye; others aim to keep your eyes busy day and night. Here are nine of the latter in China where a snapshot from the windows could be the best souvenir for your trip. The list is in no particular order. 1. St. Regis Lhasa... read more »

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The Rosetta Orbiting Comet 67p Churyumov Gerasimenko. Source: Supplied

Comet-chaser nears duck-shaped prey

AFTER a decade-long quest spanning six billion kilometres, a European probe is about to come face to face with a comet. The moment on Wednesday will mark a key phase of the most ambitious project... read more »


New lows for coal prices – Whitehaven

WHITEHAVEN Coal chairman Mark Vaile says there is little sign of a market rebound in coal prices, but demand from China is expected to pick up in early 2013. Mr Vaile told shareholders at Whitehaven’s annual general meeting coal prices had hit new lows in recent weeks. The benchmark price of Whitehaven’s metallurgical product,... read more »

Loblaw cuts 700 Toronto head office jobs


The decision by Loblaw Companies Limited to chop 700 jobs from the payroll in administration and at head office in Brampton on Tuesday was met with mixed... read more »

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart—the Best of Their ...

Did anyone really think Robsten wouldn’t survive a little cheating scandal? Of course not. Since word of their much-anticipated reconciliation broke this... read more »

Lance Armstrong steps down as head of foundation, gets ...


In his first acknowledgment that his personal brand has been damaged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s voluminous account of what it characterized as... read more »

Cost of Living
Genevieve LaCaze having the time of her life on stage at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony. Source: Getty Images

Genevieve LaCaze says bombing Kylie Minogue’s Commonwealth Games ...

LET it be known that it was completely out of character when Australian athlete Genevieve LaCaze crashed Kylie Minogue’s performance at this morning’s Commonwealth Games closing... read more »

Shikoku firefighters rescue residents in a flooded area of Ino, Kochi Prefecture, on Sunday. | KOCHI SHIMBUN/KYODO

Typhoon drenches Shikoku area

A typhoon that traveled north from the Yellow Sea brought heavy rain to Japan on Sunday, mainly in the Shikoku area. Since the 12th typhoon of the year is expected to move slowly, it could cause sporadic outbursts of rain until Monday. The Meteorological Agency warned of possible landslides. Evacuation orders were issued to a total of 2,800 people... read more »

Imam’s killing in China may be aimed at making Muslim U...

Uighurs living in Turkey set on fire a representation of a Chinese flag outside the Chinese Consulate in Istanbul on Saturday as they stage a protest to condemn the killings of Uighurs allegedly killed in China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. | AP

BEIJING – The murder of a state-backed imam in China’s Xinjiang region underscores an escalation in 18 months of violence and could be part of a bid by... read more »

Preventive Health Agency calls for volumetric tax on ca...


THE price of a four-litre cask of wine would double to almost $27 under a government agency’s plan to overhaul alcohol taxation. But wine now costing... read more »

Water companies to charge interest on overdue accounts ...


MELBOURNE households face another cost-of-living sting, with water companies gaining crucial support to charge interest on overdue accounts. Consumer groups... read more »

Dale and Sophie Vine competed on The Block in 2012. Source: News Limited

The Block stars Dale and Sophie Vine are expecting their first ba...

THE Block favourites Dale and Sophie Vine have revealed they are expecting their first baby. The lovable tradie took to social media yesterday to share the exciting news with fans, posting a... read more »

Reality TV personality Shaynna Blaze has spoken out against the government’s scrapping of a dementia care support payment that benefited thousands of Australians. Source: HeraldSun

The Block’s Shaynna Blaze attacks PM Tony Abbott over budget cuts to health program

REALITY television personality Shaynna Blaze has attacked the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and described his government as “nasty” over stinging budget cuts to a health program. The Block Glasshouse judge and interior designer has expressed her outrage at the decision last week to quietly dump the Dementia and Severe Behaviours... read more »

Game of Thrones co-stars Kit Harington, Rose Leslie ‘da...

You know something, Jon Snow ... Game of Thrones co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are back together. Picture: Instagram/Rose Leslie Source: Supplied

YOU obviously know something, Jon Snow … Us Weekly is reporting that Game of Thrones co-stars Kit Harington (Jon Snow) and Rose Leslie (the doomed,... read more »

Blue Sky Hostel owner in Glasgow hits back at complaini...

Todd Pedersen. Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook

HOSTEL owner Todd Pedersen hit the headlines earlier this week when he called an unhappy guest a “retard”, and now it appears he’s set on digging... read more »

Genevieve LaCaze bombs Kylie Minogue’s Commonwealth Gam...

Australian singer Kylie Minogue performs during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Source: AFP

IN A definite highlight of an otherwise cringeworthy Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, an Australian athlete bombed Kylie Minogue’s performance. While... read more »


Jury out on organic food

THE debate over whether organic food is better for our health keeps raging on as the conclusion of four decades of studies seems far from clear. The controversy was back in the news last month when... read more »


How to handle the aftermath of infidelity

DAVID and Gwen perched at opposite ends of the couch the first time they came to my office. As soon as they sat down, David started talking about Gwen’s affair with her co-worker. He fluctuated between outrage and grief as he described his feelings since learning that his wife of two years had been unfaithful. Gwen said that the affair... read more »

What is the best time of day to run?


Will running in the morning provide any extra benefits compared to training at any other time of day? Blackmores’ Online Personal Trainer and Weight Loss... read more »

Dr Michael Gelb shares his tips for a healthy mind


MENS sana in corpore sano” is a Latin phrase coined 2500 years ago by Socratic priests. But its meaning (a sound mind in a healthy body) is just as... read more »

Fancy hot dogs are coming to Toronto in a big way


Pizza Hut will be stuffing its crusts with wieners for the next six weeks and just last Tuesday this city’s latest stab at a gourmet hot dog joint opened on... read more »

Avenged Sevenfold Scores First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200

Avenged Sevenfold Returns with ‘Nightmare’ After Drum...

A year ago, hard rock band Avenged Sevenfold was one of the most fortunate bands on the planet. Blessed with a supportive label, record sales beyond the 2 million mark, a rabid fan base and a... read more »


Cheap weddings for older couples but guests are still paying the price

WEDDINGS might be getting cheaper these days, but only for the bride and groom Loved up Aussies are heading down the aisle later than ever and most are paying $35 000 for the privilege. Food and alcohol tops the most expensive list, followed by flowers, venue, wedding outfits and photographers. The reduced expenditure can be explained by the fact... read more »

My ex-husband committed suicide


KATIE Paul didn’t expect her new partner to stick around in the aftermath of her ex-husband’s suicide. But he did, and they learnt to make every... read more »

Can the world keep its promises on schools?

Rural school pupils in Tanzania

The millennium pledge made by international leaders that all children would have a primary education by 2015 is going to be “missed by a large... read more »

Stifled West Bank economy drains Palestinians’ ho...

Market vendors at a stall in Hebron Old City

Passers-by linger in front of the window displays on a main shopping street in central Hebron but seem reluctant to enter the stores. In the old market,... read more »


The Nexen-CNOOC deal: How to define ‘net benefit’?

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), China’s largest producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas, has placed a bid of $15.1 billion to take over Nexen, a Canadian oil and gas company active... read more »


Human rights gone wrong: The case of sex selection

In a perfect world, sex selection would not exist. Parents would not prefer a male child, even to achieve a gender balance in their offspring. Vulnerable women would not be subjected to abortions, including late-term abortions because they are carrying a female child, or be required to be continually pregnant until a male is born. The increase in... read more »

Fear and loneliness in China

A section of the printing plant run by the communists in Northern China. Photographs of Stalin and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt are seen on the walls. Mao Tse Tung rules the area with an iron fist and as a consequence the area is in fact a state within a state.

What kind of society will China’s new leaders inherit? China has developed at unimaginable pace, lifting millions out of poverty. But as part of a series... read more »

Why Russia’s Orthodox Church is teaching teenager...

A Russian Parkour athlete performs a back-flip

The Russian Orthodox Church has come under fire following recent stories about church officials being involved in drink-driving and road rage attacks. But it... read more »

Senegal banned from Nations Cup after riot

Police escort Ivory Coast players off the pitch in Dakar

Senegal have been disqualified from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after a riot forced the abandonment of Saturday’s home tie with Ivory Coast. It is not... read more »


Why Romney is gaining ground with Latinos in Florida

Editor’s note: Ruben Navarrette is a CNN contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. Follow him on Twitter: @rubennavarrette. Read this article in... read more »


Dems’ national security advantage at risk

Editor’s note: Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of “Jimmy Carter” and of the new book “Governing America.” (CNN) — President Barack Obama must do well in the debate Monday or he risks losing the national security advantage that Democrats have... read more »

Australian soldier killed on Afghan mission


A 24-year-old Australian special forces soldier has been killed by an improvised explosive device during a mission to target insurgents in southern... read more »

Etihad Stadium to launch smartphone app for spectators ...

Football food phone app

SPORTS fans may never have to leave their seats to buy a beer or pie again. In a win for spectators not willing to miss a second of the action, Etihad Stadium... read more »

Meet the Pilgramers who say they have created a religou...


IF social media is the new religion, then hallowed be thy meme. Plenty of us are now spending long periods on Facebook, Twitter and other networking websites... read more »

Real Estate

Beware the building cost of carbon tax

THE introduction of the carbon tax on July 1 has received much attention, with most commentators acknowledging that it will have far-reaching implications. Despite this, Master Builders has been... read more »


Risks of renovating

EVEN the most careful renovations can devalue your home, so how far should you go to improve your house for sale? Real estate expert Andrew Winter has some guidelines to help you decide. 1. Be firm with yourself If you are renovating to sell, you have to be firm with your budget, as very cent you spend has to be recouped at the other end. Would a... read more »


Dave Boling: Seahawks defense earns another chance to achieve ‘li...

The Seahawks defense has been a statistical marvel, leading the NFL in most of the important categories, already establishing itself as one of the best in recent seasons. But it’s all different... read more »


Vince Grella’s Melbourne Heart debut beckons, but the Socceroos can wait

VINCE Grella is confident he will prove his critics wrong, but the Socceroos’ World Cup qualifier against Jordan in March is the farthest thing from his mind. Grella, 33, had his first session with Melbourne Heart yesterday, but no date has been set for his A-League debut. After 11 fruitful years in Italy, he endured a horror spell at... read more »

The best and worst A-League imports


A-LEAGUE marquee players can be like the little girl with the curl. Like Alessandro Del Piero, when they’re good, they’re very, very good. When... read more »

Perth Glory go top of A-League after 2-0 win over Melbo...


A GOAL in either half propelled Perth Glory to a 2-0 win over Melbourne Heart and a share of top spot on the A-League ladder. Glory had the better of the... read more »

Lance Armstrong dumped by Nike, his biggest corporate s...


Nike, the biggest corporate supporter of Lance Armstrong, has terminated its endorsement deal with the embattled cyclist following last week’s damning... read more »

US & Canada

Walkom: McGuinty resigns: Dalton McGuinty takes democracy lessons...

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper shut down Parliament for just six weeks in 2010, he was called a dictator. “What’s Stephen Harper trying to hide?” the opposition Liberals asked in a... read more »

Live: US presidential debate

Obama and Romney in presidential debate rematch

US President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have tangled on the economy, taxes and Mr Obama’s record in their second debate. Mr Obama alluded to his bailout of the auto industry, saying that his rival wanted to “Let Detroit go bankrupt”. In the town-hall style forum in New York, Mr Romney denied that he had... read more »

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Why so many Australians are heading for the gym

WORKING up a sweat at the gym is the second most popular fitness activity for Australians – behind walking – a report suggests. The latest snapshot into the fitness industry,... read more »


Dance walking trend hits Toronto

Balancing her boom box on her shoulder, Susan Shapiro leads our dance walk group of 24 brave souls down St. Clair Ave. W. on a hot, lazy Sunday morning in June. We get a few curious stares... read more »


Five fall superfoods

Fall is the perfect time to punch up your diet. The harvest season offers a bumper crop of delicious local produce, much of which is nutritionally dense, high in fibre and inexpensive, too.... read more »

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Holiday Ideas

An Amiri plane. Picture: Aero Icarus Source: Flickr

The private jets of luxury airline Amiri in Qatar are top secret

IT’S the airline you can’t fly on. Unless you’re royalty, or a government official in Qatar, that is. Sarah Steegar, a flight attendant with a major US carrier for the past 15... read more »


Aussie experts reveal their travel tips

WE ASKED four Australian travel and tourism heavyweights to cast their minds towards 2013. What challenges are facing the cruising, hotel and airline industries? Is our service up to... read more »


Discovering ABBA in Stockholm

“ABBA made the best music there ever was, and I discovered them because as a little boy I had dental braces,” says Micke Bayart, ultra-fan and author of the book ABBA by Micke.... read more »

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Crash test: games in review

TRISTAN Ogilvie reviews the latest games including XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Pokemon and Way of the Samurai 4. XCOM: ENEMY UNKNOWN [MA] PC/PS3/Xbox 360, $69.95/$89.95 Rating: 4/5 A re-imagining... read more »


The far-crying game: Far Cry 3 focused on story

STORY and character were never the strong suit of the Far Cry series. But all that’s about to change. At a recent preview of the game attended by, it was clear that... read more »


Smart software solutions that are cheap — or free

Having just spent hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of dollars on a computer that will inevitably become the cornerstone of your very life, it’s easy to forget that apps costs money... read more »

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Florida Travel: Great bargains for properties on both coasts

Two Florida hotels – one on the east coast, one on the west – are betting that sand and a little savings will distract guests from new multi-million dollar construction... read more »


Toronto Star Travel at 45: the world at your feet

Our first ever dedicated Travel section was just over 2,300 weeks ago. Ten pages it was, with a front-page focus on Bermuda. Some things haven’t changed since then. We’re still... read more »


Syria Envoy Brahimi Warns Conflict Could Spread

CAIRO — The U.N.-Arab League special envoy for Syria said Wednesday that Syria’s civil war could spread across Middle Eastern borders into an “all-consuming conflict”... read more »

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