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Zimbabwe president warned of violent youth protests over unemployment

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Monday warned frustration among jobless youths could spark violent protests as the country prepares to vote on a new constitution, five years after deadly elections. “Youth unemployment and under-employment present one of the biggest challenges facing the nation, which if not addressed, is a potential threat to national…

Spanish wildfires displace thousands

Wildfires forced thousands of people to evacuate in Spain’s Canary Islands as flames ravaged a rare nature reserve, while another blaze killed two on the mainland, authorities said Monday. Engulfing the wooded hillsides in bright flames, the blaze on the island of La Gomera reduced trees and land to black dust and spewed grey smoke,…

Facebook accused of deceiving developers over security

Facebook has been accused of deceiving developers after it emerged that the social networking site did nothing to verify the security of applications it was paid tens of thousands of dollars to review, and which it assured users had been checked. It is believed Facebook was paid up to $95,000 (£60,600) by…

Egypt president defends army chief’s firing

Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi has denied trying to marginalize the army after he ordered the retirement of his powerful defense minister, saying he was acting in the interests of the country. However, the Egyptian press on Monday described Morsi’s move as “revolutionary”, with some saying it was aimed at…

Report: El Niño exacerbates Southeast Asia fire deaths

Forest and land fires in Southeast Asia kill an additional 15,000 people annually when the El Niño weather phenomenon grips the region, scientists have estimated. The deaths are caused by higher particle pollution and higher local levels of ozone, both of which are stressors for the lungs and heart, they…

Pope’s butler must stand trial for media leaks

Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler and another Vatican employee must stand trial for stealing and leaking confidential papers in the latest scandal to afflict the Catholic Church, a magistrate ruled Monday. Paolo Gabriele, who was arrested in May on suspicion of stealing secret documents from the pope’s office and leaking…

South Korean president pushes Japan to settle grievances

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said Monday his unprecedented visit to islands claimed by Japan was intended to press Tokyo to settle grievances left over from its colonial rule. The visit on Friday last week to the Seoul-controlled islands in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) infuriated Japan, which recalled…

Report: G20 to tackle rising food prices

The Group of 20 top economies will meet shortly to try and coordinate a response to soaring food prices, driven by drought and rising demand, the Financial Times reported Monday. Over the weekend, US President Barack Obama called on Congress to help farmers struggling with the worst US drought in…

Castro celebrates 86th birthday Monday

Fidel Castro, who led Cuba for a half century and became known worldwide for decades of Cold War-era clashing with the United States, celebrates his 86th birthday Monday far from the limelight. Officially, there are no plans to publicly honor the communist country’s one-time “commander-in-chief,” who tightly orchestrated public life…

Iran quake death toll up to 306 as 16,000 left homeless

Twin earthquakes that devastated rural villages in northwest Iran killed a total of 306 people, most of them women and children, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi said on Monday, adding that the search for bodies was ongoing. Another 3,037 were injured, of whom 2,011 were given first aid at the…

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