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Gaza zoo blames Israel after two lion cubs die

Two lion cubs born in Gaza this week and named in honour of Hamas’ last major clash with Israel died on Thursday, a zoo official said. “The lions named Fajr and Sijil (Dawn and Clay in Arabic) died today due to a deterioration of their health at birth,” Shadi Hamad,…

Potential 2016 contender Marco Rubio urges an interventionist foreign policy

Republican Marco Rubio, a potential 2016 White House contender, urges the projection of US global power in the name of liberty — an interventionist strategy at odds with isolationists in his party. Back home he spearheaded comprehensive immigration reform earlier this year, infuriating hardliners who helped elect him to the…

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal: Republicans must shed image as ‘party of no’

Republican governors’ leader Bobby Jindal turned on his party’s national leadership on Wednesday, calling on the GOP to suggest alternative ideas for healthcare and immigration reform rather than simply defining itself as the “party of no”. Amid signs of a growing backlash among Republican moderates since the failed government shutdown…

London police rescue three women held captive in domestic slavery for 30 years

British police on Thursday rescued three women from a house in London where they are believed to have been held as slaves for at least 30 years. Scotland Yard police headquarters said the victims were a 69-year-old Malaysian, a 57-year-old Irish woman and a 30-year-old Briton. The women were described…

Saudi religious police arrest two men for giving out ‘free hugs’

Saudi religious police arrested two young men offering a “free hug” to passers-by in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom’s capital, local media reported Thursday. The arrests were made in the main Tahlia Street where the two men were waving banners marked “Free Hug” in English, according to news website Sabq.org. Free…

Senate panel advances Janet Yellen nomination to run Federal Reserve

The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday approved Janet Yellen to chair the US Federal Reserve, setting up a likely confirmation by the full chamber next month. President Barack Obama’s pick to replace outgoing Fed chairman Ben Bernanke passed the committee 14-8, and if approved by the overall Senate would be…

Central African Republic’s president negotiating with infamous rebel leader Joseph Kony

The Central African Republic’s president said Thursday he was in contact with Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, one of the world’s most wanted war criminals, to negotiate his surrender. “It’s true, Joseph Kony wants to come out of the bush. We are negotiating with him,” Michel Djotodia said during a…

Germany’s Merkel agrees to Social Democrats demand for a universal minimum wage

Germany is set to introduce a national minimum wage, conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, giving in to a key demand by her likely centre-left governing partners. “The Social Democrats will not conclude negotiations without a universal legal minimum wage,” she said about ongoing talks to form a ‘grand…

UN needs ‘all hands on deck’ to combat ozone-damaging nitrous oxide

Levels of nitrous oxide, a gas that both depletes the ozone layer and stokes global warming, could nearly double by mid-century, the UN warned on Thursday. “We need all hands on deck to combat the serious and significant increases in N2O [nitrous oxide] levels in the atmosphere,” UN Environment Programme…

UN representative Samantha Power: U.S. has ‘nothing to apologize’ to Afghanistan for

Washington’s UN representative Samantha Power said Thursday Afghanistan is owed no apology for US actions in the country since the overthrow of the Taliban 12 years ago. “We have nothing to apologize for. Our soldiers have sacrificed a great deal,” Power told CNN, as Washington hammered out the details of…

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