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Historic UN declaration adopted to combat violence against women

Muslim and Western nations overcame deep divisions to agree on a landmark United Nations code to combat violence against women and girls. Iran, Libya, Sudan and other Muslim nations ended threats to block the declaration and agreed to language stating that violence against women could not be justified by “any…

Swiss tourist gang-raped in front of her husband in central India: police

A Swiss female tourist was gang-raped in rural central India, police said on Saturday, the latest victim of sexual violence against women in the South Asian nation. The woman was on a cycling trip with her husband in impoverished Madhya Pradesh state, when seven to eight men attacked the couple…

Toyota to recall more than 200,000 cars in the United States

Toyota Motor will recall 209,000 sport utility vehicles it has sold in the United States due to a possible seat-belt fault, Kyodo News reported on Saturday. FJ Cruiser models made between 2007 and 2013 will be recalled, Kyodo said, quoting company officials. The seat-belt retractors for the driver and front…

Hong Kong police find ‘severed heads in freezer’

The severed heads of a Hong Kong couple were found in a refrigerator at a bloodstained apartment in a gruesome murder for which their 29-year-old son has been arrested, according to reports. Police said in a statement Friday that “some sections of human body” had been found at a flat…

Catholic cardinal says that pedophilia is not a ‘criminal condition’

South African cardinal who helped elect Pope Francis said on Saturday that paedophilia is a psychological illness, not “a criminal condition”. Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, the Archbishop of Durban, told BBC radio that people who become paedophiles after being abused as children should be treated by doctors. His comments come…

CIA may target Syrian extremists with drones: LA Times

The US Central Intelligence Agency is collecting information on Islamic radicals in Syria for possible lethal drone strikes against them at a later stage, The Los Angeles Times reported late Friday. Citing unnamed current and former US officials, the newspaper said President Barack Obama had not authorized any drone missile…

Obama pitches clean-fuel car plan in Chicago but signals retreat on Keystone

President unveils $200m-a-year plan to fund research into clean fuels but advisers suggest Keystone pipeline will be approved Barack Obama’s grand vision of action on climate change shrank to $200m a year to fund research into clean fuel cars, with signs of retreat on the big environmental issues of the…

Vatican rejects Argentina junta ‘Dirty War’ claims against Pope Francis

The Vatican on Friday rejected claims that Pope Francis failed to do enough to protect two priests kidnapped and tortured by Argentina’s military junta and said he had in fact helped save lives. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the first pope to hail from Latin America, has been criticised by leftist critics…

Mexico fireworks explosion kills 9, injures 70

A small truck loaded with fireworks for a religious event exploded in central Mexico on Friday, killing at least nine people and injuring dozens, with one witness saying he saw “bodies flying” as people ran for cover. The explosion took place when one firework apparently landed on the truck in…

Secretary Hagel announces U.S. will bolster defenses against North Korea

The United States is to bolster its defenses against a possible North Korean missile strike by siting 14 more interceptors in Alaska, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Friday. The new batteries will boost by almost half the 30 interceptors already deployed along the California and Alaska coastline and should be…

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