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RCMP lay charges against Dutch man in case of dead B.C. teen Amanda Todd

VANCOUVER - Five charges including child pornography, extortion, criminal harassment and Internet luring have been laid by RCMP against a man in the Netherlands in connection with the Amanda Todd case, an online bullying story that captured millions across the world. The 15-year-old British Columbia girl killed herself in October 2012, shortly after detailing in an Internet video her story of unrelenting harassment by an Internet predator. Amanda's mother, Carol Todd, was at the news conference where police made the announcement about charges.

Garcia Marquez and Castro: A controversial friendship

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez met Fidel Castro after the Cuban leader grabbed power in the 1959 revolution -- the beginning of a decades-long and controversial friendship. Garcia Marquez, who died in Mexico City on Thursday aged 87, had arrived in the Caribbean island as a journalist to cover Castro's band of bearded guerrillas who ousted right-wing dictator Fulgencio Batista in January 1959.

'Pit bull' Pistorius prosecutor shines in court

Through his fiery cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius and mauling of expert witnesses, state prosecutor Gerrie Nel has become a global cult hero and a rare poster boy for South Africa's beleaguered public sector. Forensic geologist Doctor Roger Dixon is a clever man, but when he slinked out of the witness box on Thursday after two days of withering cross-examination at the hands of South Africa's favourite "pit bull" prosecutor, he looked a little less smart. "I'm fine," he said. "Today was a breeze."

Obama: Ukraine diplomacy holds hope but sanctions ready

By Mark Felsenthal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday that talks between Russia and Western powers aimed at ending tensions in Ukraine have potential but warned that the United States and its allies are prepared to impose more sanctions on Russia if the situation fails to improve. "I don't think we can be sure of anything at this point," he told reporters at a news conference. "There is the possibility, the prospect, that diplomacy may de-escalate the situation."

Russia, West reach deal on Ukraine crisis but Obama cautious

Russia, Ukraine and the West reached a surprise deal Thursday aimed at easing the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, but US President Barack Obama cautioned it was uncertain if Moscow would stand by the agreement. The agreement laid out concrete steps to "restore security for all citizens" and crucially urged "all illegal armed groups" to disarm and vacate "seized buildings". While not spelt out explicitly, that was a likely reference to pro-Kremlin separatists who have taken over parts of Ukraine's restive southeast.

Obama budget would boost U.S. tax revenue, cut deficits: CBO

By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's fiscal 2015 budget request would boost U.S. tax revenue by nearly $1.4 trillion over 10 years if fully enacted, cutting deficits by $1.05 trillion while funding new spending, the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday.

Russia, West reach deal on Ukraine crisis but Obama cautious

Russia, Ukraine and the West reached a surprise deal Thursday aimed at easing the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, but US President Barack Obama cautioned it was uncertain if Moscow would stand by the agreement. The agreement laid out concrete steps to "restore security for all citizens" and crucially urged "all illegal armed groups" to disarm and vacate "seized buildings". While not spelt out explicitly, that was a likely reference to pro-Kremlin separatists who have taken over parts of Ukraine's restive southeast.

Senegal ex-president's son to be tried for corruption

The flamboyant "super minister" son of former Senegalese leader Abdoulaye Wade is to be tried in June for corruption, a judicial source said Thursday, after accumulating a fortune valued at well over $1 billion. Karim Wade, 45, has been accused to have acquired by corrupt means companies and real estate valued at $1.4 billion (1 billion euros), including land in Dakar, a fleet of luxury cars and media and finance companies operating across Africa.

Senegal ex-president's son to be tried for corruption

The flamboyant "super minister" son of former Senegalese leader Abdoulaye Wade is to be tried in June for corruption, a judicial source said Thursday, after accumulating a fortune valued at well over $1 billion. Karim Wade, 45, has been accused to have acquired by corrupt means companies and real estate valued at $1.4 billion (1 billion euros), including land in Dakar, a fleet of luxury cars and media and finance companies operating across Africa.

Top court to give long-awaited advice on Senate reform, abolition next week

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada will issue a landmark opinion next week that could determine the fate of the country's scandal-plagued Senate. The top court will advise the federal government what it will take to reform or abolish the upper house. The court announced Thursday it will hand down its opinion on April 25. If the court sets a high constitutional bar that must be scaled to alter the Senate, it may guarantee the maligned chamber is never changed. If it sets a lower bar, the Senate could eventually be overhauled or eliminated altogether.
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