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UK government under fire over ‘slave labor’ job scheme

The government was accused this week of introducing “slave labour” through a scheme that can see unemployed youngsters lose their benefits if they quit a work experience placement. The ten-month-old voluntary programme, part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s welfare reforms, is intended to help the record number of jobless youths…

Panic after powerful quake rocks Taiwan

TAIPEI — A shallow 5.9-magnitude earthquake sent panicked people fleeing onto the streets in Taiwan’s second-largest city of Kaohsiung as rail services were temporarily suspended. The quake struck 57 kilometres (35 miles) east of the city at 10:34 am (0234 GMT) on Sunday, at a depth of just four kilometres,…

ICRC fails to evacuate wounded journalists from Homs

The Red Cross Saturday failed to agree a deal to evacuate wounded Syrians and Western journalists from battered Homs city as regime forces killed dozens more civilians on the eve of a constitutional referendum. President Bashar al-Assad’s forces resumed shelling the Baba Amr district of Homs after an apparent pause…

Two bodies found after blast at Brazil’s Antarctic base

Two bodies believed to be those of navy personnel reported missing Saturday after an explosion at a Brazilian base in Antarctica have been found, the defense ministry said. A ministry statement said Defense Minister Celso Amorim was told the bodies found at the Antarctic base appeared to be those of…

NATO withdraws staff from Afghan ministries after shooting

NATO on Saturday pulled all its staff out of Afghan government ministries after two US military advisors were shot dead in the interior ministry, as anti-US protests raged for a fifth day. Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying it was in revenge for the burning of Korans at…

Mugabe tells Cameron ‘to hell with you’ on gay rights

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe on Saturday told British Prime Minister David Cameron ”to hell with you” over his calls to respect gay rights. “Nature is nature. It has created male and female,” Mugabe told thousands of supporters at his 88th birthday celebration at a stadium in the eastern border town of Mutare. “You David Cameron, are…

Murdoch eyes two million sales for Sun on Sunday

Rupert Murdoch said he wanted his new Sun on Sunday tabloid to sell well over two million copies as the paper intended to replace the scandal-hit News of the World was about to roll off the presses. The benchmark would make the new edition comfortably the most-read weekly newspaper in Britain, topping the 1.9 million…

South Africa’s Nelson Mandela admitted to hospital

Nelson Mandela underwent hospital tests Saturday but officials and a grand-daughter reassured an anxious public that the 93-year-old anti-apartheid icon was not in danger and could leave within two days. The hospital stay was for a planned “diagnostic procedure” to investigate an abdominal complaint, President Jacob Zuma said, without specifying the exact ailment.…

NATO withdraws Afghan ministry staff after shooting

NATO on Saturday pulled all its staff out of Afghan governmentministries after two of its advisors were shot dead within the interior ministry, as anti-US protests raged for a fifth day. Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying it was in revenge for the burning of Korans at a US-run military…

Pakistan demolishing bin Laden compound: police

Pakistani security forces on Saturday began demolishing the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed in a covert US raid in May in the northwestern garrison town of Abbottabad, police and witnesses said. “Two bulldozers are engaged, the demolition work is in progress, it is being done by security forces, including troops,” a police official on…

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