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China’s economic growth slows amid global turmoil

China’s economy expanded at its slowest pace in more than three years as dire problems overseas started to hit home, official data showed Friday, fuelling expectations of more stimulus moves. The world’s second-largest economy grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics said, the weakest…

Germany pledges to protect religious circumcision

The German government on Friday pledged quick action to protect the right of Jews and Muslims to circumcise baby boys on religious grounds, after a court ruling that prompted international outcry. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters it was “concerned” about the judgement published by a Cologne regional…

Clinton to meet Myanmar leader at business forum

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Myanmar President Thein Sein were to hold landmark talks on Friday as Washington moves to ease its sanctions on the once-pariah state. The two leaders were to meet in the Cambodian tourist town Siem Reap on the sidelines of a conference, amid concerns…

‘Fat pride’ challenges supersize stereotypes

Cat Pause proudly describes herself as “fat”, can live with euphemisms like “curvy”, “chunky” or “chubby”, but baulks at what she believes are value-laden labels such as “overweight” or “obese”. The US-born academic is a pioneer in the emerging field of fat studies, organising New Zealand’s first conference on the…

Somali insurgent bastion facing cholera crisis

Cholera is rising in the last major town held by Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shehab, with most of those stricken by the disease children, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Friday. The UN agency “is very much concerned about the increased number of cholera cases, particularly in Kismayo town,” it said…

‘Butcher of Bosnia’ Mladic trial to resume Monday

The trial of former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic will resume next week after being suspended when Mladic fell ill, the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal said Friday. The 70-year-old was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure after falling ill during his trial on Thursday, though his lawyer, Branko…

Arrested New Guinea cannibal cultists ate raw brains, penis soup

Papua New Guinea police have arrested members of an alleged cannibal cult accused of killing at least seven people, eating their brains raw and making soup from their penises, a report said Friday. The 29 people, who appeared in court this week charged with murder and cannibalism, were part of…

Avalanche dead mourned by their loved ones in France

Relatives of the nine climbers killed by an avalanche in the French Alps gathered at the nearby resort of Chamonix on Friday to pay their respects the day after the tragedy. The mountaineers who died in the avalanche on Mont Maudit (“Cursed Mountain” in French) in the Mont Blanc massif…

Work resumes at huge Amazon dam site

RIO DE JANEIRO — Some 1,600 workers resumed work Thursday after 150 indigenous people agreed to end their three-week occupation of a construction site for a huge hydro-electric dam in the Brazilian Amazon. “The chiefs of several tribes have agreed and the others have followed,” said Cleanton Ribeiro, a spokesman…

San Francisco city sours on Apple computers

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco city officials on Thursday said that they have soured on Apple computers due to the Macintosh maker’s decision to bail out of a program to promote making electronics earth friendly. The California company behind coveted iPads, iPhones, iPods and Macbook computers in June abandoned the…

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