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Taliban behead 17 Afghans during village party

Taliban Islamist insurgents beheaded 17 civilians, including two women, who were holding a party with music in a southern Afghanistan village, officials said Monday. “I can confirm that this is the work of the Taliban,” the Helmand provincial governor’s spokesman Daud Ahmadi told AFP, referring to the hardliners notorious during…

South Korea on alert as major typhoon Bolaven nears

South Korea was Monday bracing for the arrival of major typhoon Bolaven with a main port and ferry routes closed, classes cancelled and officials put on high alert. Typhoon Bolaven – one of the most powerful storms in the region in decades – was churning Monday towards the peninsula after…

Nigeria in talks with Islamic militants to end violence

ABUJA — Nigeria’s government has reached out to members of Islamist militant group Boko Haram through back-channel talks in a bid to end an insurgency that has killed hundreds, the president’s spokesman said Sunday. “The form of the dialogue is that backroom channels are being used to reach across with…

California, Arizona hit by unusual swarm of small-to-midsize quakes

LOS ANGELES — A series of earthquakes measuring up to 5.4 rattled southern California, Arizona and the Mexican border region Sunday, seismologists said, although no damage or injuries were immediately reported. The small- and medium-level quakes were felt from San Diego and Orange County in California east into Arizona, and…

Israel refuses Western pro-Palestinian activists access to West Bank

By Kamal Taha ALLENBY BRIDGE CROSSING, Jordan — Israel and Jordan on Sunday barred pro-Palestinian US and European activists from trying to cross into the West Bank to deliver aid to students, a number of sources said. Olivia Zemor, spokeswoman for the “Welcome to Palestine” group spearheading the mission, told…

Democrats still outpace GOP in use of social media

TAMPA, Florida — The US Republican and Democratic conventions have traditionally targeted television viewers above all — but this year’s will see an unprecedented effort to reach voters via social media. In the last presidential election four years ago, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms were not yet the ubiquitous force…

Two Pussy Riot members ‘have fled Russia’

MOSCOW — Two female Pussy Riot punk rockers who are being hunted by police for having taken part in a protest stunt against President Vladimir Putin have fled Russia in order to evade arrest, the group said Sunday. “Our two members who are wanted by police have managed to leave…

Persistence rewarded Romney on long road to Tampa

TAMPA, Florida — Measured in business, deliberative in politics, Mitt Romney has always taken the long view, and his coronation Thursday at the Republican convention caps a five-year run for the White House. The 65-year-old has been gearing up for this moment since he stepped down as governor of Massachusetts…

Tampa braces for Republican convention protests

TAMPA, Florida — US authorities are braced for violent protests ahead of the Republican presidential nominating convention that nominally kicks off in Tampa, Florida on Monday. CNN obtained a copy of an alert from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warning that anarchists may be plotting violence at…

Petrol bombs thrown at Bahrain police station

DUBAI — A large crowd attacked a police station outside the Bahraini capital with petrol bombs, police said late Saturday, as sporadic protests intensify in the Sunni-ruled Shiite-majority Gulf state. “Some 150 people attacked with Molotov cocktails” in the Shiite village of Sitra, provincial police said in a statement carried…

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