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Australia sets up national child sex abuse inquiry

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Monday announced a national inquiry into institutional responses to child sex abuse after a series of scandals involving paedophile priests. Gillard made the announcement following claims by a senior policeman that the Catholic Church in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales destroyed evidence and…

Newly united Syria opposition bids for recognition

The leader of Syria’s newly united opposition headed to Arab League headquarters in Cairo to push for diplomatic recognition on Monday, buoyed by the hard-won unity deal among the disparate factions. Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, 52, a moderate Muslim cleric who quit Syria three months ago, was to be accompanied on…

China not ‘serious’ in Tibet immolations probe: Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama said Monday that China is more interested in criticising him than finding the reason behind a spate of Tibetan self-immolations threatening to mar the Communist Party’s leadership change. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader told reporters in Japan that Beijing is not looking “seriously” at the protests taking…

Myanmar struggles to reach quake victims

Myanmar rescuers struggled Monday to bring help to outlying villages hit by an earthquake that aid agencies say has killed at least 13 and caused a bridge and mine to collapse. A series of powerful aftershocks rattled nerves after Sunday’s 6.8-magnitude quake, which sent terrified people running from their homes…

U.S. on edge over Human Rights Council election

The United States has launched a last-minute scramble for votes to secure its spot on the UN Human Rights Council in an election Monday. US diplomats are said to be “nervous” as they compete with Germany, Greece, Ireland and Sweden for three seats among 18 on the panel to be…

British churchgoers tweet with vicar’s blessing

The pews at St Paul’s Church are full of worshippers but they’re not praying; instead they’re all logged onto Twitter and Facebook. “Today is a Twitter Sunday so it’s time to get your Twitter on,” intones Brian Champness, the children’s pastor of the Anglican church in the southwestern English seaside…

Top world economies ‘to struggle until 2014′

Leading world economies will struggle with weak growth until 2014 at least mainly because of strains in the European and US economies, credit agency Moody’s warned on Monday, cutting its outlook for next year. But growth in emerging economies is also likely to slow down, Moody’s said in an update…

‘Invisibility cloak’ effort reaches new landmark

A so-called ‘invisibility cloak’ succeeded in making a centimeter-scale cylinder perfectly invisible to microwaves — from one direction, reported the BBC. “It’s like the card people in Alice in Wonderland,” said Professor David Smith of Duke University, who co-authored the study published in Nature Materials. “If they turn on their…

Dozen feared dead in Myanmar earthquake

An earthquake that hit central Myanmar has left multiple people dead, reported Reuters. At least 12 may have died in the 6.8 magnitude earthquake, the Associated Press reported. The epicenter struck 37 miles north of Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city. President Obama will be the first U.S. leader to visit…

Long Island residents protest power outages

Long Island residents protested power outages on Nov. 10 outside the Long Island Power Authority, as 170,000 people in the area have no power, reported Reuters. One sign reads, “LIPA Please help us — we are cold!!!” Another woman holds up a sign that says in part, “Shame on LIPA.”…

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