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Mali Islamists vow to strike ‘at heart’ of France

Islamist forces based in northern Mali vowed Monday to avenge France’s fierce military offensive against them on French soil. “France has attacked Islam. We will strike at the heart of France,” said a leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), an offshoot of Al Qaeda…

Tunisia marks two years since its revolution

Tunisians on Monday marked two years since the flight into exile of veteran dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali amid a climate of uncertainty marked by social tension, a weak economy, threats from jihadists and a political impasse. President Moncef Marzouki, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali and parliamentary speaker Mustapha Ben…

Watchdog group: Rape a ‘significant’ factor in Syria conflict

Rape has been a “significant” weapon of war in the conflict raging in Syria since March 2011 and is the “primary” factor in the exodus of women and children refugees to neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon, an aid group said on Monday. In its report, “Syria: A Regional Crisis,” the US-based…

European Union stymies UPS bid for Dutch firm

US delivery giant United Parcel Service (UPS) said on Monday that it was pulling out of its multi-billion-euro bid for Dutch firm TNT Express after EU competition authorities said they would probably block the deal. “UPS informed TNT Express that UPS sees no realistic prospect that EC (European Commission) clearance…

Chinese bank criticized for ‘atrocious’ promotion against men

A Chinese bank’s offer to automatically transfer most of a husband’s income to his wife’s account has provoked fury, with some calling it “the most atrocious banking service against men in history”. On its website, China Merchants Bank (CMB), a major financial institution, describes its “capital accumulation” service as a…

Exotic dancer set to testify at former Italian PM’s prostitution trial

The exotic dancer at the centre of a sex trial against Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi is expected to testify for the first time in court on Monday as the media tycoon bids for a fourth term as prime minister. Moroccan-born Karima El-Mahroug — better known by her nickname as “Ruby the…

Over 300,000 same-sex marriage opponents in France protest bill

Anti-gay protestors took to the streets in Paris to protest a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the country, reported the AFP. One protester said, “I think marriage for everyone is absolutely ridiculous. It makes the institution of marriage ridiculous. (Marriage) for me is a pillar for the family which…

Thousands strip for ‘No Pants Subway Ride’

Hundreds of people in Mexico City shed their pants and skirts to take part in the “No Pants Subway Ride” prank, just for laughs, around the world. Young and old of all ages participated in the stunt Sunday in the Mexican capital, held once a year in dozens of places,…

German activists start campaign to destroy surveillance cameras

German activists are attempting to destroy security cameras in anticipation of the European Police Congress in Berlin in February, according to Michael Ebeling, an opponent of public surveillance writing for France 24′s The Observers. The group organizing the actions, CAMOVER, believe such cameras lead police to discriminate and use stereotypes…

‘Very small risk’ of HIV exposure at NY hospital

Insulin pens that may have been reused at a VA hospital in New York have led Department of Veterans Affairs to warn local members of Congress that there is a “very small risk” that patients were exposed to HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C, reported the Buffalo News. A routine…

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