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13 killed as Bangladesh flyover collapses: police

At least 13 people were killed and dozens are feared missing after a flyover under construction collapsed in Bangladesh’s southeastern port city of Chittagong, police said Sunday. “So far 13 dead bodies have been recovered,” sub-inspector Mohammad Alauddin told AFP, adding that military rescue teams had been called in to…

Dueling protests in Tokyo over dolphin and whale hunts

Environmentalists and nationalists held opposing rallies over the issue of Japan’s dolphin and whale hunts in a rare showdown in central Tokyo on Saturday, leading to angry scenes. About 50 anti-whaling activists gathered at a park in the Shibuya shopping district with banners bearing slogans such as “Stop the cruel…

Saudi-backed Austrian interfaith facility faces criticism

A new interreligious dialogue centre backed by Saudi Arabia is stirring up controversy in Vienna and abroad even before its official inauguration. The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue — in short KAICIID — will officially open its doors on Monday. But critics say that…

Police drama best film in Chinese-language ‘Oscars’

A Chinese police drama featuring a cast of amateur actors on Saturday became the surprise best picture winner at Taiwan’s annual Golden Horse Awards, dubbed the Chinese-language “Oscars.” “Beijing Blues,” directed by Gao Qunshu and about plain cloth police hunting down thieves and con artists in Beijing, also bagged best…

Shiites mix Ashura rituals with politics in Iraq

Shiite Muslims marching during Ashura rituals in the Iraqi shrine city of Karbala on Saturday mixed mourning the death of Imam Hussein over 1,300 years ago with chants condemning modern politicians. Hundreds of black-clad Shiites walked toward the mausoleum of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed who was…

Basque separatists ready to disband if certain conditions met

Spain’s armed Basque separatist group ETA said Saturday it was ready to discuss disbanding and to negotiate with France and Spain if certain conditions are met, in a statement published on a Basque news site. The group, which last year said it had abandoned violence after a four-decade campaign for…

Frustration in Morocco, a year after elections

Morocco’s moderate Islamist Party of Justice and Development swept to power in historic elections last year in the wake of Arab Spring protests that brought hopes of change. But a year on, analysts say disappointment is growing at the slow pace of reform, compounded by doubts about how much power…

Congress, Obama set to resume ‘fiscal cliff’ talks

Congress returns from its week-long Thanksgiving holiday Monday, as lawmakers and President Barack Obama try to avert a looming fiscal crisis that could send the entire US economy plunging into recession again. Officials in Washington are hoping to find a way to avoid what has been described as a year-end…

Dubai plans new ‘city,’ world’s largest mall

Dubai, famed for its mega-projects before it was hit by the global financial crisis, on Saturday announced a new development to open the world’s biggest mall and a park larger than London’s Hyde Park. The ruler of the Gulf desert city state, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, announced the plan…

Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ beats Bieber as YouTube’s most watched video

South Korean pop sensation Psy’s “Gangnam Style” on Saturday became YouTube’s most-watched video of all time, registering more than 803 million views to overtake “Baby” by Canadian heartthrob Justin Bieber. The 34-year-old rapper has rocketed to fame since his “Gangnam Style” video — in which he performs his now famous…

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