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Libyan Olympic chief kidnapped in Tripoli: official

The president of Libya’s Olympic Committee Nabil al-Alam was kidnapped by gunmen in the centre of Tripoli and taken to a secret location, a committee official told AFP on Monday. “Nine gunmen posing as members of the Libyan army removed Mr. Alam from his car in the centre of the…

HSBC seeks to evict Hong Kong ‘Occupy’ protesters

Global banking giant HSBC on Monday sought legal permission to evict a handful of protesters camped outside its Hong Kong headquarters, one of the last remnants of the “Occupy” movement in Asia. The bank named the “occupiers of the ground floor” of its downtown office tower as the defendants in…

Censors catch up with China’s ‘micro film’ movement

Boasting tens of millions of views and offering previously unheard of artistic freedoms, China’s “micro film” movement has made it possible for anyone with a smartphone to become a moviemaker. Until last week the Internet-based films — made by everyone from first timers to established directors — existed in a…

New Zealand to clamp down on ‘legal’ highs

New Zealand announced plans on Monday to ban the use of drugs offering so-called ‘legal’ highs unless manufacturers can provide clinical evidence that they are safe. Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne described the move as a knockout blow to the market for products such as synthetic cannabis and legal “party…

Microsoft breaks from NBC to launch own news portal

Software giant Microsoft has parted company with NBC News, pulling out of their joint venture MSNBC to launch its own online news service, the two companies announced. Moving on “allows us to go out and innovate,” Bob Visse, general manager of MSN.com, said, confirming that MSN.com had begun hiring for…

New UN campaign against ‘organized crime’

The UN’s drugs and crime office launched a new media awareness campaign on Monday to highlight the threat posed by the multi-billion dollar operations run by organised crime groups worldwide. International crime rackets pull in an estimated annual turnover of $870 billion (710 billion euros), the United Nations Office on…

Green Party aims for sharp left turn in 2012 race

BALTIMORE, Maryland — A presidential candidate who once faced off against Mitt Romney; a running mate who once nearly froze to death living out of her car. Stir in fiery oratory and an irked celebrity, and you have the 2012 Green Party bid for the White House. The leftist Greens…

UK government to make all publicly-funded scientific research freely available

The government is to unveil controversial plans to make publicly funded scientific research immediately available for anyone to read for free by 2014, in the most radical shakeup of academic publishing since the invention of the internet. Under the scheme, research papers that describe work paid for by the British…

South African becomes first woman to chair African Union Commission

By Helen Vesperini (AFP) – 2 hours ago ADDIS ABABA — She beat the incumbent, Jean Ping of Gabon, in a closely fought election over several rounds of voting. “Now we have the African Union chair Madame Zuma, who will preside over the destiny of this institution,” Benin’s president and…

Archbishop Tutu accuses Britain of neglecting human rights obligations

LONDON — Archbishop Desmond Tutu has accused Britain of neglecting its human-rights duties over a case brought by Kenyans allegedly abused by British colonial officials in the 1950s, The Times reported Monday. The case of three elderly Kenyans who claim to have been tortured during the Mau Mau uprising begins…

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