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Legacy of Pinochet questioned 40 years after coup

Forty years after the coup that toppled Salvador Allende and brought the dictator Augusto Pinochet to power, Chile remains a country ill at ease with itself. Life is very good by Latin American standards. The roads are spiffy and shopping centers are shiny, things work and poverty is greatly reduced.…

‘Were you wearing a bra?’ Rape accuser at US Naval Academy faces aggressive and withering questioning on the hearing stand

The pre-trial hearings in a military courtroom at the U.S. Naval Academy have exposed a Navy midshipman who has accused three academy football players of rape to pointed cross-examination of the kind a civilian accuser wouldn’t face, according to news reports covering the case. Under defense questioning over the last…

French consulate worker arrested at Israeli border with 334 pounds of gold and $2 million in checks

Israeli customs officials on Tuesday arrested a French consulate employee carrying nearly $2 million in checks, 152 kg in gold bars — about 334 pounds — and a half ton of tobacco as he tried to cross between Jordan and the West Bank in a diplomatic vehicle, a French source…

Tokyo wins vote to host 2020 Olympics; PM Abe personally lobbied voters worried about Fukushima

Tokyo has won the race to host the 2020 Olympic Games after the Japanese prime minister flew in to personally reassure voters that radioactive leaks from the Fukushima power plant would not create a health risk. The intervention from Shinzo Abe helped the Japanese capital defeat Madrid and Istanbul in…

Robotic explorer rockets to the moon in successful launch

NASA’s newest robotic explorer rocketed into space late on Friday in a mission to look for dust rising from the surface of the moon. The Virginia launch dazzled sky watchers along the East Coast of the US. An unmanned Minotaur 5 rocket blasted off from the Virginia coast on Friday…

Hundreds gather in Taiwan to support same sex marriage bill

More than 1,200 Taiwanese people joined a mock “wedding banquet” on Saturday aiming to drum up support for a same-sex marriage bill due to be sent to parliament soon, organisers said. Participants sat around tables decorated with red cloths printed with the Chinese character for “wedding”, as they had dinner…

Gulf urges intervention to ‘rescue’ Syrians

The Gulf Cooperation Council urged the international community Saturday to intervene immediately to “rescue” the Syrian people from their government’s “oppression”. “The genocide, and grave human rights violations, faced by the Syrian people necessitate an immediate intervention by the international community,” GCC secretary general Abdullatif al-Zayani said. The intervention would…

Obama says he learns what NSA is doing from the press, then goes to NSA for details

Ewan MacAskill calls out a rather astounding statement by President Obama during his most recent press conference in St. Petersburg at the G20 summit. The very last question, which I believe is asked by AFP reporter Tangi Quemener, asks President Obama…  …

Syrian chemical weapons attack a war crime and strong response is essential, says EU

European Union foreign chief Catherine Ashton says strong response is essential to make clear there is no impunity The European Union has called a chemical weapons attack in Damascus a crime against humanity and says it was probably carried out by the Syrian government. Following a meeting with the US…

Indian lawmakers ban ‘dehumanizing’ caste-based, human waste scavenging

Indian lawmakers have passed a long-awaited bill to ban manual scavenging — the clearing of human waste from toilets — by workers seen as the “ultimate untouchables” under the country’s ancient Hindu caste-hierarchy. Already illegal under a largely ineffective 1993 law, the Congress-led government promised to have another go at…

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