United States: Cutting an imprisoned US killer's dreadlocks violates his civil rights and impedes his ability to practise his religion, according to a lawsuit. The complaint filed on behalf of prisoner Cecil Koger says his faith of Rastafarianism requires him to wear his hair in dreadlocks. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has forcibly cut Koger's hair five times, including an incident a year ago when he was subdued with chemical spray and shackled, according to the lawsuit. The prison system declined to comment. Prison rules ban "hair disproportionately longer in one area than another, weaves and dreadlocks". The lawsuit seeks to have the prison system's ban on dreadlocks declared illegal and to force the agency to recognise Rastafarianism as a religion. Koger, 35, is serving a 33-year sentence in an Ohio prison for murder and robbery.
Australia: A male worker has been impaled by a drill in an accident on a construction site near Movie World on the Gold Coast. Queensland Ambulance Service Operations Supervisor Paul Young said the 42-year-old male "accidentally impaled" himself with a hammer drill in the groin area. "Fire and Rescue assisted by cutting the drill bit that took quite some time to get through," Young said. "It will appear the drill penetrated his groin by about 5cm." He was taken to Gold Coast University in a stable condition. Young said a scan at the hospital revealed the man had no internal injuries.
Kenya: The supreme court upheld Uhuru Kenyatta's contentious re-election as Kenya's President, a ruling that triggered fresh bloodshed and seemed all but certain to deepen the country's protracted political crisis. Two people were killed as police opened fire on protesters who gathered in opposition strongholds, increasing the death toll since the weekend to 17, the deadliest phase in three months of violence.
Poland: Prosecutors in Poland opened an investigation to determine if statements expressed during a march by far-right nationalists in Warsaw this month violated laws against propagating racism. The march held on November 11, Poland's Independence Day, drew an estimated 60,000 participants. Warsaw prosecutors spokeswoman Magdalena Sowa said the investigation would focus on whether criminal charges should be brought for the "public propagating of fascism and calls for hatred," offences punishable by up two years in prison.
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Australia: Old-fashioned romance techniques of a nice meal and a bunch of flowers have proven successful for NSW scientists playing cupid to a critically endangered species of mouse. Numbers of the smoky mouse have dropped to critically low levels in the state's wild due to their "gentle and naive" natures, which make them highly vulnerable to predators. Scientists have been working to increase the species' population numbers at a captive breeding facility outside of Queanbeyan since July last year. To woo the mice, the scientists placed native flowers and a diet of seeds and fruits in mutual meeting enclosures and were rewarded with six new litters of mice - with hopes of more to come. The programme aims to re-introduce the new mice to select NSW sites to boost their chances of surviving in the wild.
United States: Eating eggs and peanuts during pregnancy may protect the unborn child from food allergies later in life especially if the mother breastfeeds, a US study has found. Whether mothers should eat these allergenic foods during pregnancy or avoid them has been controversial because of the high rates of childhood food allergies across the Western world. However researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have shown in mice breast milk from mothers who consumed allergenic foods prevented food allergy, prevented anaphylaxis and the production of immunoglobulin E - a hallmark of an allergic response - in the offspring. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, does not suggest that eating peanuts during pregnancy will guarantee an allergy-free baby because of the "complicated" interactions between genetic and environmental factors, the researchers noted.
Space: A lost interstellar asteroid has entered the solar system after wandering between the stars for hundreds of millions of years, scientists believe. The elongated, dark-red object, named Oumuamua, is the first space rock from outside the solar system ever observed by astronomers. A telescope in Hawaii designed to spot Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) picked up the 400m-long asteroid on October 19 as it was heading back into interstellar space. Dr Karen Meech, of the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii, said: "Oumuamua may well have been wandering through the Milky Way, unattached to any star system, for hundreds of millions of years before its chance encounter with the solar system."
Australia: A man has been rescued after his car veered off course and drove over a cliff in regional Victoria, landing upside down on a towering ledge. The car flipped as it left Hanlan Parade at Portland just after midnight, coming to rest on its roof about 50m above rocks and water. High-angle rescue specialists reached the 51-year-old who was flown to hospital with torso and face injuries.
Middle East: An Israeli minister has publicly admitted for the first time that Israel and Saudi Arabia have been in covert contact as both countries strive to confront Iran. The Jewish state and the Arab kingdom do not have formal diplomatic relations, but there have long been rumours of secret cooperation. Yuval Steinitz, Israel's Energy Minister, confirmed there had been contact between Israel and Saudi Arabia, but said Riyadh was eager to keep the ties secret. "We have ties that are indeed partly covert with many Muslim and Arab countries, and usually [we are] the party that is not ashamed," Steinitz said. "It's the other side that is interested in keeping the ties quiet."