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Suicide underscores grim conditions at Guantanamo

The suicide of a Guantanamo inmate underscores the grim reality for detainees held there for nearly 11 years without charge or trial, with no end in sight to their imprisonment. Three months after Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif was found dead in his cell, the US Army formally declared his death…

Tsunami-hit Japanese town gets huge Christmas gift

A small Japanese town devastated by last year’s quake-sparked tsunami will receive a huge Christmas present after a ship arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday carrying a six-ton statue destined for the community. The giant present crossed the ocean from Chile which had pledged to supply a new statue — modelled…

Russia unveils $25 billion oil pipeline to the Pacific

Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the final extension of a new $25 billion oil pipeline to the Pacific that underscores the energy power’s gradual shift away from stagnant European markets. The East Siberia – Pacific Ocean (ESPO) link is also expected to expand sales to the United States and fulfil…

Right-wing challenger ‘Jewish Home’ gains over Likud party before Israel vote

Israel’s nationalist religious Jewish Home party is continuing to win support away from the rightwing Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of January 22 elections, according to a poll published Tuesday. The party led by Naftali Bennett is now projected to win 13 seats in next month’s elections,…

Iran pays Russian women to cover up in nuclear plant: MP

Iran is paying Russian women working as technicians at its sole nuclear power plant to adhere to the Islamic dress code, an Iranian lawmaker told the ISNA news agency on Tuesday. Women in Iran, regardless of their nationality or religion, are required to cover their hair and much of the…

Church live-tweets Anglican leader’s last Christmas sermon

The outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury gave his final Christmas Day sermon on Tuesday, live-tweeted by the Anglican leader’s office for the first time. Rowan Williams, who steps down at the end of December after a decade as leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans, acknowledged in the sermon that the…

Homeless man in Justin Timberlake’s wedding video asks for his help

A homeless man featured in a mock video produced by a friend of Justin Timberlake for the actor’s wedding is now asking the actor-singer to help him. High-profile lawyer Gloria Allred is publicizing the demands of the man, who goes by “Eddie” and who has lived for six or seven…

Syrian Christians ‘pray for peace’

In the heart of Damascus, more than 1,000 people attended Christmas mass on Monday, praying for peace to return to Syria, after almost two years of bloodshed. “I pray that peace and safety returns to the hearts of all Syrians,” said Heba Shawi, 24, a Catholic attending mass at Notre…

Israeli PM aims to deport tens of thousands of Africans

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he aims to repatriate tens of thousands of African illegal migrants and that the inflow into Israel from the Sinai peninsula has been brought to a halt. “Our aim is to repatriate tens of thousands of infiltrators now in Israel to their countries of…

Cancer treatment might not derail Venezuelan president’s inauguration

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez could be sworn in before the Supreme Court even if his cancer treatment keeps him out of the country beyond his January 10 inauguration date, his vice president said Monday. Nicolas Maduro said the constitution will be applied, without indicating whether Chavez would be sworn in…

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