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Thousands rally for Chavez re-election in Venezuela

Thousands of supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took to the streets Saturday to push for his re-election, putting the march’s focus on his signature social programs. The socialist and leftist firebrand is seeking a third six-year term, and polls place him ahead of center-left rival Henrique Capriles in the…

Aleppo chemist is open despite the shelling

Aleppo’s Old City pharmacist aims to be open for a few hours once a week, despite the explosions, gunfire, rebel or Syrian army roadblocks he needs to negotiate and a chronic lack of supplies. In a small square surrounded by white stone houses in a Free Syrian Army-held enclave of…

S. African mine strike may end soon

Workers at a Gold Fields mine in South Africa on strike for weeks could return to work as early as Tuesday if union officials manage to persuade them, a company official said. But the official said it did not involve any new wage offer — and the miners there have…

British skinny dippers fail to outstrip world record

Hundreds of naked British swimmers plunged into the cold North Sea on Saturday but failed to set a world record for the biggest ever skinny dip, organisers said. Around 200 people ran into the sea at sunrise at Druridge Bay in Northumberland, northeast England, where water temperatures were around 12…

Egypt court upholds dissolution of parliament

Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court on Saturday rejected an appeal by Islamists demanding the reinstatement of parliament, saying it was no longer legal, according to a judicial source. “The parliament no longer exists legally since the June 14 ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC)” deeming it unconstitutional and ordering its…

Gangs to fight for drug routes after Colombian capo falls

Crime gangs are likely to engage in a messy battle over lucrative drug smuggling routes through Venezuela following the arrest of Colombia’s last major drug lord, experts said here. For years Daniel ‘El Loco’ Barrera was the most wanted criminal in South America, accused of shipping some 900 tons of…

Pakistan minister offers bounty for anti-Islam film-maker

A Pakistani government minister Saturday offered a $100,000 bounty for the death of the maker of the anti-Islam film produced in the US that sparked violent protests across the Muslim world. “I announce today that this blasphemer who has abused the holy prophet, if somebody will kill him, I will…

Zimbabwe city orders ‘big flush’ amid water rationing

Zimbabwe’s second city Bulawayo has ordered its residents to flush toilets at the same time once a week to prevent blockages during frequent periods of water rationing, the mayor said Saturday. “We are going to have a big flush every Monday to push all the waste that would have accumulated…

Angry bikers protest EU-imposed tests on two-wheelers

More than 4,500 angry bikers roared around European Union headquarters Saturday to protest plans by Brussels to introduce regular road-worthiness tests on motorbikes and scooters, Belgian police said. EU transport commissioner Slim Kallas wants to toughen technical tests on four-wheel vehicles and introduce regular compulsory testing for so-called powered two-wheelers…

Police chopper, riot squad meet lone anti-Islam cartoon protestor

A police helicopter and 60 riot police deployed Saturday in central Marseille to prevent any protests about anti-Islam cartoons, but only a single demonstrator turned out. Around 30 journalists were also on hand to witness the man’s attempt to defy an official ban on protests about a French magazine that…

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