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City of Johannesburg plans to become Africa’s ‘New York’

City authorities in Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic hub, have unveiled an ambitious plan to undo urban inequalities of the apartheid era and turn the continent’s wealthiest city into the “New York of Africa”. City mayor Parks Tau says the 10-year scheme, which is set to cost some $10 billion (7.5…

Anti-gay evangelical Christians a growing political force in Brazil

By Anthony Boadle BRASILIA (Reuters) – When televangelist Silas Malafaia gathered 40,000 followers outside Brazil’s Congress this week, it wasn’t just to raise their arms to the sky and praise the Lord. The rally was a show of support for lawmakers who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage and a message…

UK defends links to PRISM online spying program

By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said eavesdropping by its GCHQ security agency was legal and no threat to privacy but would not confirm or deny reports it received data from a secret U.S. intelligence program. British and U.S. newspapers have suggested that the U.S. National Security Agency handed…

Fires have burned 3 percent of Amazon rainforest in 12 years: NASA

The Brazilian Amazon harbours 40% of all remaining tropical rainforest, playing a vital role in global biodiversity conservation and climate regulation. (Alexander Lees/REUTERS) The size of the Amazon rainforest has been shrinking – and not just because of traditional…  …

Tens of thousands defy Turkey’s Prime Minister with fresh protests

Tens of thousands of demonstrators packed the streets of Turkish cities in defiance of a call from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for them to end their civil uprising. The government said the protests were “under control” even as the largest crowds yet on Saturday packed every inch of Istanbul’s…

Suspected ricin-laced letter to CIA found at Spokane, Washington post office

(Reuters) – Postal workers in Spokane, Washington, on Saturday retrieved a wayward letter suspected of containing the deadly poison ricin that vanished for several weeks after it was sent from Washington state to a CIA address that does not receive mail, the FBI said. The envelope resembled four ricin-laced letters…

Attorney General Eric Holder under pressure to open more media leak investigations

By David Ingram and Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Attorney General Eric Holder appears to have little choice but to launch a new round of investigations into media leaks, the very issue that consumed him for the last month and led to renewed calls for his resignation. Holder’s Justice Department…

‘Palace Malice’ wins Belmont Stakes

Palace Malice seized the lead at the top of the stretch and won the $1 million, 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes on Saturday to become the third winner in three Triple Crown races this year. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Mike Smith, Palace Malice insured that neither Kentucky Derby-winner…

North and South Korea prepare to negotiate directly after years of mistrust

North and South Korea will sit down to their first talks for years on Sunday, confronting decades of mutual distrust in an apparent search for some positive end to months of soaring military tensions. The working-level discussions in the border truce village of Panmunjom are intended to pave the way…

Heated presidential debate draws praise from Iranian media

Iran’s media on Saturday hailed the latest televised debate of presidential candidates, highlighting sharp exchanges among them on topics such as the nuclear issue and political freedom. “The differences among the candidates are clear. The final sprint has begun,” said leading economic daily Donya-e Eqtesad about the debate on Friday…

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