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CIA ‘gave millions in cash’ to Karzai over the years

The CIA has delivered tens of millions of dollars in cash packed in suitcases and backpacks to the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai for more than a decade, the New York Times reported Monday. “We called it ‘ghost money’,” Khalil Roman, Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 to…

Iceland grapples with 19 percent spike in tourism

In Iceland’s Thingvellir national park, a wooden bridge covers a crack in the paved road leading to the site where the world’s oldest parliament was founded in 930. But the bridge is considerably younger, only dating back to last summer. It was built after a few hundred metres (yards) of…

Inquiry into death of nurse pranked over royal pregnancy delayed until September

The inquest into the death of the nurse who took a prank call targeting Prince William’s pregnant wife Catherine has been delayed to September, an official said on Monday. Indian-born Jacintha Saldanha, a mother of two, was found hanged several days after taking the call from two Australian DJs, which…

Sharp bee population decline forces EU to consider ban on pesticides

A key committee of EU experts was meeting on Monday to mull a two-year ban on pesticides blamed for a sharp and worrying decline in bee populations. European Union sources have told AFP that a decision to suspend the use of certain pesticides is likely following the closed-door talks between…

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi survives assassination bid: state TV

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi escaped an assassination bid on Monday, surviving a blast against his convoy in Damascus, in the latest attack on top members of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The attack came as Republican lawmakers in the United States stepped up calls for American action after claims Assad’s…

American eyewitness describes ‘terrifying’ brawl on Mount Everest

A mountaineer on Everest described Monday the “terrifying” scene of two famous European climbers fighting with Nepalese guides in a high-altitude brawl that has sparked a police investigation. Ueli Steck, a Swiss national who holds climbing records, and Simone Moro of Italy, who has climbed Everest four times, were approaching…

Border schools in Mexico adjust to influx of English-speaking students

Schoolchildren scamper across the border to waiting parents in the Mexican town of Palomas in May 2009.(Tony Avelar/The Christian Science Monitor/File) Elementary students at Lamberto Hernández School in this northern Mexican city were long gone by the time teachers sat down recently to learn about…  …

Mormon Church to accept gay boy scouts

James Oliver, left, hugs his brother and fellow Eagle Scout, Will Oliver, who is gay, as Will and other supporters carry petitions to end the ban on gay scouts and leaders in front of the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Dallas, Texas. (Tony Gutierrez/AP) For the Boy…  …

Five hot air balloon riders found drifting in the Pacific

AFP – Five women who were riding in a hot air balloon were rescued from the Pacific Ocean, while workers searched for two male passengers who are still missing, officials said. “Thank God, we have located five female occupants and we are continuing to search for the two missing men,…

Dozens killed and wounded in Pakistan elections office bombings

At least eight people were killed on Sunday after two bombs exploded in election offices in separate attacks in northwest Pakistan, officials said. Violence has marred the lead up to the country’s general election, to be held on May 11. Two bomb attacks Sunday targeting the offices of election candidates…

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