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Human Rights Watch criticizes five-year jail sentence for Saudi activist

Human Rights Watch on Sunday criticised Saudi Arabia’s criminal justice system after a court sentenced a prominent human rights activist to five years in prison over his writings. Saudi Arabia’s Specialised Criminal Court sentenced Mikhlif al-Shammari to five years in prison on June 17, “based on his writings and exposure…

Two shot dead as Egypt readies for opposition rallies

CAIRO (Reuters) – A man was shot dead in overnight clashes north of Cairo between supporters and opponents of Egypt’s Islamist government, security sources said, raising tensions ahead of big opposition rallies planned next Sunday. A second man, also an Islamist supporter, died of gunshot wounds sustained in clashes south…

Gunmen kill nine tourists and guide in Northern Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Gunmen stormed a mountaineering base camp in northern Pakistan on Sunday and shot dead nine foreign trekkers and a Pakistani guide as they rested during an arduous climb up one of the world’s tallest peaks, police said. The night-time raid – which killed five Ukrainians, three…

Morality study finds conservatives show a ‘general insensitivity to consequences’

When it comes to topics like abortion or assisted suicide, there seems to be no common ground between conservatives and liberals. Why is there such a noticeable rift between the two political orientations? Research published June in Social Psychological and Personality Science suggests that religious individuals and political conservatives think…

Power outages in flood-stricken Calgary to continue for days

By Nia Williams CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Some residents began returning to damaged homes on Saturday after record-breaking floods in southern Alberta that killed at least three people, displaced more than 100,000 and will leave the core of Canada’s oil capital, Calgary, without power for days. Communities to the south…

Sante! Japanese sake becomes a hit in France

Toshiro Kuroda is a man on a mission. Over the past seven years he estimates he has introduced up to 50,000 people in France to the delights of the fermented rice drink sake with fans that include French actor Gerard Depardieu. “When I started seven or eight years ago, nobody…

Palestinian singer from Gaza wins ‘Arab Idol’ contest

Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf on Saturday won a pan-Arab singing contest that has had millions of viewers fixed to their TV screens since March. Powerfully voiced Syrian singer Farah Yousef came second, and Egyptian Ahmed Jamal third in the Arab Idol competition, modelled on the Western Pop Idol. “Mohammed Assaf…

More protests in Brazil despite president’s ‘great pact’ offer

Fresh protests erupted across Brazil Saturday despite conciliatory remarks by President Dilma Rousseff, who pledged to improve public services and fight harder against corruption. Rousseff’s televised address late Friday appeared to have done little to satisfy protesters, as activists vowed to continue the struggle and ordinarily football-mad Brazilians once again…

Obama confirms climate change speech for Tuesday

By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Saturday that he will outline a climate change plan on Tuesday centered around reducing pollution from carbon emissions as he attempts to make good on a pledge for his second term. “This Tuesday, I’ll lay out my vision for…

Washington state on alert after leaks found at power plant

Heightened radioactivity levels were found outside a nuclear waste tank in the US state of Washington, officials said Friday, in a new alert about a site used to make Cold War-era bombs. Governor Jay Inslee said there was no immediate public health threat, but urged federal authorities to accelerate action…

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