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Pope Francis urges Catholics to pray for him

Pope Francis appeared before some 150,000 pilgrims massed in St Peter’s Square on Sunday for his first Angelus prayer and asked the faithful to pray for him. “Thank you for your welcome, and for your prayers,” the first pope from Latin America said from a window of the papal apartment…

Somalia frees journalist held for reporting on rape

Somalia’s Supreme Court on Sunday freed a reporter imprisoned for interviewing a woman who alleged she had been raped by soldiers, in a case that has sparked widespread international criticism. Supreme Court judge Aidid Abdulahi Ilkahanaf said the charges had been dropped and the court “has given journalist Abdiaziz Abdinuur…

Costly Iraq war left U.S. no stronger in Middle East

The US-led invasion of Iraq overthrew a dictator, but 10 years on the war is seen to have destabilized the Middle East, exposed the limits of military power and left America no stronger than before. With US forces having withdrawn after the deaths of almost 4,500 American troops and an…

13-page suicide note left by New York mother who jumped with baby

Cynthia Wachenheim was depressed. She was taking anti-depressant medication. She thought she was a bad mother because her baby boy, 10-month old Keston, had taken two falls. She was convinced that she had permanently injured her baby, but doctors who examined him disagreed. In a 13-page suicide note…  …

Chinese dissident artist paints tribute piece for Pablo Neruda

A massive painting by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei dedicated to Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda was unveiled Saturday in Valparaiso, the Chilean port where the poet lived. Entitled “A Pablo” (“To Pablo”), the huge 900-square-meter painting, is the artist’s first for Latin America as a part of the show “Of…

North Chicago cop charged with double homicide after wrong-way crash

A North Chicago police officer was charged on Saturday with two counts of reckless homicide and two counts of aggravated driving under the influence for his involvement in a three-car collision that killed two people. WMAQ-TV reported that Officer Terrel Garrett was been placed on administrative leave after the accident,…

China encouraging language classes in U.S. schools

Susan Wang couldn’t speak English when she arrived in California from Taiwan, aged 16. Now 49, she heads a school offering US children a similar experience, plunging them into a Chinese world. And her establishment is part of a rapid expansion of “immersion” Mandarin language programs in the United States,…

Pakistan’s PM bids farewell, hails victory for democracy

Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Saturday hailed parliament’s historic completion of a full term in office as a victory for democracy as he gave his farewell address to the nation. The nuclear-armed country of 180 million, where Taliban attacks and record levels of violence against the Shiite Muslim…

Spanish anti-austerity protesters accuse E.U. of servility to markets

Thousands of protesters marched Saturday in Madrid and other cities in Spain against European Union leaders’ handling of the financial crisis, condemning “an EU that belongs to the markets”. The marches, organised by Spain’s “indignados” protest movement, came after Cyprus announced it would dip into its citizens’ bank accounts to…

Rand Paul narrowly wins CPAC straw poll over Rubio

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) scored a victory in the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday, edging out Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), NBC News reported on Saturday. Paul, whose father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), won the poll at the conference in 2010 and 2011, garnered…

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