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Thousands flee as volcano erupts in Indonesia

Nearly six thousand people have fled their homes on Indonesia’s Sumatra island after a huge volcanic eruption at the weekend, officials said, as the volcano belched out more smoke Monday. Mount Sinabung in the Karo district of North Sumatra province erupted before dawn on Sunday, spewing rocks and red-hot ash…

Berlin Zoo wins trademark battle over the name of beloved polar bear

Berlin Zoo will keep the rights to the name of Knut, the cuddly polar bear that captured hearts worldwide and devastated fans when he died, an EU court ruled Monday. The Luxembourg ruling was a victory over Knut IP Management Ltd of Britain, which had sought the trademark for “Knut…

Indian police interrogate man suspected of raping 4-year-old girl

Indian police on Monday were interrogating a school bus cleaner after his arrest on suspicion of raping a four-year-old in the vehicle on the outskirts of Mumbai earlier this month. The 26-year-old was arrested at the weekend after the girl told her parents of the incident more than a week…

Female Afghan police chief Nigar dies after being shot in the neck

The top policewoman in Afghanistan’s restive south died Monday after being shot by assassins, just months after her predecessor was gunned down, in the latest attack to highlight the threat to women in public life. Nigar, who only used one name, was shot on the street in Lashkar Gah, the…

Popularity of bodybuilding is bulging in China

Their bronzed bodies rippling with tension, gaggles of Chinese bodybuilders preened and performed press-ups backstage before competing for one of the country’s biggest prizes in their discipline. More than 100 men competed at a Bodybuilding Grand Prix this weekend for a top prize worth 80,000 yuan ($13,000). They included at…

Somalia’s ‘New Deal’ to drive recovery from civil war

International donors met Monday to approve a “New Deal” for Somalia to drive its economic and political recovery after two decades of bloody civil war. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud faced one of “the most difficult challenges in the world”, EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton said as they went into…

Sidelined France still determined to go after Assad

Sidelined from the US-Russia negotiations on chemical weapons, France is determined that demands for President Bashar al-Assad to be tried for war crimes do not drop off the rapidly shifting international agenda. Publicly, France hailed Saturday’s deal in Geneva to eliminate Assad’s deadly chemical arsenal by mid-2014. But privately there…

$303,000 found in safe swept away by Indian flood

Workers clearing rubble in a flood-devastated town in the Indian Himalayas have discovered 19 million rupees ($303,000) in a safe which had been swept away by floodwaters, police said Monday. The safe was found on Saturday near the ruins of a bank in the town of Kedarnath that was flattened…

Fox News host: new Miss America, Nina Davuluri, doesn’t ‘represent American values’

The crowning of Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, as Miss America should have been, to paraphrase her platform, a celebration of diversity through cultural competency. But in the hours after her victory, Twitter became a frank demonstration of American incompetence in matters relating to both ethnicity and geography. “Well they…

Nobel laureates urge end to Syria hospital attacks, say system is on the ‘brink of collapse’

Fifty leaders in world medicine, including three winners of the Nobel prize, on Monday urged all combatants in Syria to spare hospitals, doctors and nurses, warning that the country’s medical infrastructure was being deliberately targeted and was now on the brink of collapse. “Systematic assaults on medical professionals, facilities and…

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