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Activists rip new Hungarian anti-homelessness law

Hungary’s parliament passed a law late Monday allowing local municipalities to prohibit rough sleeping, a move rights campaigners say criminalises homelessness. The new law claims to protect “public order, security, health, and cultural value” and empowers local authorities to designate areas as out-of-bounds for homeless people, as well as evict…

Roma families accused of using kids like criminal conscripts

Three Croatian Roma families traded women on the strength of their stealing skills and used children like conscripts to a criminal army, a French court was told Monday. A total of 27 people aged between 19 and 55 are charged by the court in Nancy, eastern France, with offences ranging…

European Union plays down deadline on Iran talks

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Monday played down Iran’s calls for a nuclear accord within a year, saying that technical work will take time. Iran’s new moderate leadership said last week that major powers had agreed to seek a deal within 12 months on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program…

Obama accuses Republicans of appeasing ‘extreme right wing’ with shutdown threats

President Barack Obama Monday accused Republicans of pandering to the “extreme right wing” of their party and holding Americans hostage in a budget dispute threatening to shutter the US government. Just over six hours before government services grind to a halt and thousands of federal workers are furloughed, Obama said…

Canadian radio host: Richard Dawkins would be the first atheist pope

Canadian radio host Michael Enright accused atheists of showing intolerance while imagining evolutionary biologist as their first pope, should atheists organize into their own secular church group. “Atheists are not being prosecuted or silenced. They are lovingly tended by media interviewers, me included, and their nuanced arguments are politely acknowledged,”…

Researchers’ ovary ‘coaxing’ procedure produces newborn in Japan

A new technique that coaxes an infertile woman’s ovaries into producing eggs again has resulted in the birth of a baby in Japan, international scientists said Monday. A second woman has also become pregnant using the same method, according to the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of…

New York planning ‘wireless corridor’ for boosting city’s Internet access

Free Internet access will be given to more neighborhoods across New York as the Big Apple aims to build a “wireless corridor” designed to boost business, officials announced Monday. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that from December free web access would be available in neighborhoods in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island,…

Qatar denies treating World Cup workers like slaves

The Chairman of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) on Monday denied claims by the Guardian newspaper that the 2022 World Cup organisers were treating Nepalese construction workers like ‘slaves’. Ali Al-Marri said the allegations, made last week, were totally erroneous. “There is no slavery or forced labour in Qatar,”…

Queens bakery fined for refusing to hire black ‘counter girl’

Framboise Patisserie in Queens, New York has been fined $25,000 by the city after an investigation revealed that a young black woman, Jamilah DaCosta, was discriminated against because of her race. DaCosta had responded to a Craigslist ad for a “counter girl,” but during the interview, she was told by…

Greek prime minister pledges to eradicate neo-Nazi ‘shame’

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Monday pledged to eradicate the “shame” of neo-Nazism as judicial authorities prepared sweeping criminal charges against members of the far-right Golden Dawn party. “We are dedicated in completely eradicating such a ‘shame’,” Samaras said in a speech to the American Jewish Committee in New…

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