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NATO decides to activate missile shield despite Russian threats

NATO leaders launched Sunday the first phase of a US-led missile shield for Europe, risking the wrath of Russia which has threatened to deploy rockets to EU borders in response. A NATO official told AFP that US President Barack Obama and his allies “just decided” at a Chicago summit to…

Ahmadinejad should ‘open nightclubs’: Iran MP jibes

TEHRAN — A hardline Iranian MP on Saturday took a jibe at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for failing to support an Islamic dress code for women, suggesting the president should now move to open “nightclubs” in the Islamic republic. Fars news agency quoted MP Ali Motahari as saying that the president’s…

Climate scientists say they have solved riddle of rising sea

PARIS — Massive extraction of groundwater can resolve a puzzle over a rise in sea levels in past decades, scientists in Japan said on Sunday. Global sea levels rose by an average of 1.8 millimetres (0.07 inches) per year from 1961-2003, according to data from tide gauges. But the big…

Lady Gaga to go on in Philippines despite rallies

MANILA — Lady Gaga’s Philippine concerts will go ahead as planned, organisers said Sunday, despite a series of protests from Christian groups and calls for the controversial singer to be banned. Allan Florendo, assistant vice president of the sprawling SM Mall of Asia, whose arena will be the venue for…

Egypt protest seeks to end military courts

CAIRO — Several hundred activists took part in a one-day hunger strike in Cairo on Sunday to protest the ruling military council’s continued use of military courts to try civilians. The protesters said the symbolic action was intended to show solidarity with hundreds of prisoners now facing trials before military…

Pakistan blocks Twitter over Prophet cartoons

Pakistan blocked Twitter on Sunday, saying the website had refused to remove posts promoting a Facebook competition involving caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. “The website has been banned by the Ministry of Information Technology and the decision was conveyed to us. There was blasphemous material on Twitter,” said Mohammad Younis…

G8 pledges to lift 50 million Africans out of poverty

G8 leaders on Saturday pledged to lift millions of Africans out of poverty by promoting investments in sustainable agriculture. “Today we commit to launch a New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition to accelerate the flow of private capital to African agriculture, take to scale new technologies and other innovations…

New methods of pet ‘pampering’ include fake testicles and facials

People and their pets often end up resembling each other, but image-obsessed Americans are taking that age-old relationship a step further, treating their four-legged friends to everything from spa facials to testicle implants. In a nation of surgically enhanced human breasts, teeth and skin, perhaps it was just a matter…

Spain’s ‘indignants’ have huge support

Spain’s “indignant” protest movement against economic inequality and spending cuts continues to enjoy widespread support a year after it was launched, a poll published on Sunday showed. Overall 68 percent of Spaniards said they had sympathy for the movement, compared to 66 percent who expressed that opinion in June 2011…

Afghanistan pullout to dominate NATO summit

More than 50 world leaders were gathering in Chicago for one of the biggest NATO summits in history Sunday aiming to hammer out a unified exit strategy from Afghanistan after a decade of war. A huge security operation has swung into place in the political backyard of US President Barack…

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