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Iraq December death toll down despite wave of unrest

Deadly violence in Iraq dropped to near its lowest levels of 2012 in December, figures compiled by AFP showed on Tuesday, despite a wave of attacks a day earlier which killed 23 people. Overall, 139 people were killed across the country last month, including 40 policemen and 15 soldiers, and…

Pope slams ‘unregulated financial capitalism’ in New Year’s message

Pope Benedict XVI prayed for world peace, condemning the inequality between rich and poor and “unregulated financial capitalism” at a New Year’s mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Tuesday. The pope spoke of “hotbeds of tension and confrontation caused by the growing inequality between rich and poor and the prevalence…

Pakistan suffers ‘record’ child measles deaths

More than 300 Pakistani children died of measles last year, a staggering increase on the previous 12 months and a result of three consecutive years of flooding, officials said Tuesday. The United Nations’ World Health Organization said 306 children died of the highly infectious illness last year, 210 of them…

60 killed in Ivory Coast New Year’s Eve stampede

At least 60 people died and dozens were injured in Abidjan as crowds stampeded overnight during celebratory New Year’s fireworks, Ivory Coast rescue workers said Tuesday. The head of military rescue workers, Lieutenant Colonel Issa Sako, told public television that “60 people” died and 200 were injured based on a…

Egypt investigates satirist over Morsi ‘insult’

Egypt’s state prosecutor ordered on Tuesday an investigation into a claim that popular satirical show host Bassem Yousef insulted President Mohamed Morsi, a judicial source said. On his show Al-Barnameg (The Programme), Youssef, dubbed the Egyptian Jon Stewart, had poked fun at the ruling Islamists and Morsi’s temporary adoption of…

North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un vows ‘radical’ economic shift

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un called Tuesday for a “radical turnabout” in the impoverished country’s economy in a rare New Year’s address that also appeared to offer an olive branch to South Korea. Kim’s speech, broadcast on state television, was the first of its kind for 19 years, since the…

Crude bomb found near home of Delhi rape suspect

Indian police have arrested a man who was allegedly trying to plant a crude bomb near the home of one of the accused in the New Delhi gang-rape and murder case. The 37-year-old man was arrested in the narrow bylanes of Ravi Dass Camp, a slum in southwest Delhi where…

Oscars voting extended after online poll gripes

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it has extended voting for the 2013 Oscars, after reports of problems with a new online polling system. The elite movie industry body is giving its voting members an extra day — the deadline will be this Friday at 5:00 pm…

Language gurus add ‘fiscal cliff’ to annual ‘List of Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness’

Language gurus at a Michigan college doubled down on the fiscal cliff Monday in their year-end bucket list of trending words and phrases that ought to be kicked down the road in 2013. Lake Superior State University’s 38th annual “List of Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English for…

Pentagon braces for sweeping budget cuts

The Pentagon is bracing for deep spending cuts that will affect every facet of the US military if lawmakers fail to agree to a deal to avert dramatic budget reductions, officials said Monday. The Defense Department will be forced to scale back training for troops, reduce spending for spy agencies,…

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