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Italian consul in Libya escapes gun attack

Italy’s consul to Benghazi in eastern Libya escaped unscathed after an attack on his bullet-proof car in the city on Saturday, Italian news agency ANSA and local security sources said. The car in which the consul, Guido De Sanctis, was travelling was shot at when it stopped at a crossroads,…

NHL season scheduled for Jan. 19 start

The NHL Players Association said its members had voted to ratify a new contract, clearing the way for the league to proceed with a shortened season. “The members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) have voted to ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NHLPA and…

Belgian PM vows to cut queen’s stipend immediately

Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said Saturday that elderly Queen Fabiola’s yearly allowance will be cut immediately, after a public uproar over a scheme to avoid death duties. “The reduction of Queen Fabiola’s stipend will be effective right from 2013,” Di Rupo’s spokesman said in a statement, referring to…

Tech firms pitching smartphones as the ‘remote for your life’

It can talk to your car, your refrigerator, water your plants and help you stay fit and healthy: the smartphone is become the consumer’s remote control for life. That was the message delivered by dozens of firms at the International Consumer Electronics Show, where terms like “appification” were tossed around…

Triumphant Detroit automakers set to shine at Monday exhibition

The Detroit Three carmakers return triumphantly to their hometown auto show Monday flush with profits from popular vehicles and the rewards of successful — though painful — restructuring. But the competition is not standing still, and with the United States one of the few bright spots in the automotive market,…

Haitian president Martelly talks up recovery in quake memorial

Three years after a massive earthquake ravaged Haiti, President Michel Martelly said Saturday the country was slowly rebuilding, despite the ongoing day-to-day misery of many survivors. An estimated 250,000 people were killed in the January 12, 2010 earthquake. Hundreds of thousands are still living rough in squalid makeshift camps, and…

Cuban president backs Venezuela as Chavez convalesces

Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday voiced his support for the Venezuelan government, as its cancer-stricken leader Hugo Chavez convalesces in Havana, with no sign of when or if he might return home. Castro made the comments during a meeting with Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro, who arrived in the…

Vowing revenge, 15,000 rally in Paris over Kurd killings

About 15,000 Kurds from all over Europe vowed revenge as they rallied Saturday in Paris over the killing of three top Kurdish activists from a separatist group banned in Turkey. The march, which began at the city’s Gare de l’Est railway station, was emotionally charged, with demonstrators saying France would…

Israel and Palestinians in face off over protest camp

More than 200 Palestinian activists were refusing on Saturday evening to obey orders to leave a protest camp they set up in a part of the occupied West Bank where Israel wants to build new settler homes. “Members of the Israeli Civil (military) Administration told us this morning that we…

Deaf Belgian twins going blind ‘commit euthanasia’

Deaf Belgian identical twins used a decade-old euthanasia law in a mercy-killing pact after they began to go blind, Flemish media reported Saturday. In what was presented as a unique case, the 45-year-old men from the Antwerp area who shared a bedroom all their lives began to encounter problems with…

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