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Russia ‘returns to Stalin-era show trials’: Memorial

Russia’s leaders are using Stalin-era tactics against the opposition including show trials and camp sentences, one of its most authoritative rights groups warned Tuesday. Memorial rights group slammed the treatment of activists after two members of the Pussy Riot feminist rock group were sent to prison camps for a protest…

Renewable energy will overtake nuclear power in UK, study says

Renewables will provide enough power for one in 10 British homes by 2015 if current growth rates continue Renewable energy will overtake nuclear power in the UK by 2018, if current rates of growth continue, and will provide enough power for one in 10 British homes by 2015, according to…

Mitt Romney winning newspaper endorsement race in swing states

Republican contender for presidency attracts press support in key states Further to Ewen MacAskill’s piece about the Des Moines Register endorsing Mitt Romney, it is clear that the Republican contender is winning the newspaper endorsement race where it counts. A list drawn up by Poynter shows that Romney is leading…

Saudis to build major Islamic center in Afghanistan

Saudi Arabia will build a massive Islamic centre complete with a university and a mosque in Afghanistan, an Afghan minister said Monday, describing the project as “grand and unique”. Estimated to cost up to $100 million, the centre on a hilltop in central Kabul will house up to 5,000 students,…

Home to Tintin and Smurfs, Belgium looks to reinvigorate comic industry

Home to Tintin and Smurfs, Belgium looks to reinvigorate comic industry It may now be dominated by American superheros and Japanese manga, but the comic book industry was once associated with no country more than Belgium. Through much of the last century, this small, Western European nation played an outsized…

BBC inquiry begins as sex abuse scandal grows

An inquiry into the BBC’s culture and practices got under way with the broadcaster reeling from allegations of child sex abuse perpetrated by the late Jimmy Savile, one of its biggest stars. The probe begins a year to the day since the death of Savile, the eccentric presenter now considered…

Zookeepers hunt fugitive flamingo in Japan

Zookeepers in northern Japan are racing against nature to catch a fugitive flamingo before it freezes or migrates south for the winter. Bird experts have tried to net the escapee on the lake it has made home using captive flamingos as bait, and have even donned diving gear to sneak…

Head of iPhone software out in Apple shakeup

Apple on Monday announced that the executive in charge of the software powering its culture-changing iPhones is leaving as part of a shakeup in the upper ranks of the company. Apple chief Tim Cook said the departure of Scott Forstall and enhanced roles of Jon Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue…

Obama ditches campaign trail to steer Sandy response

President Barack Obama left the campaign trail to lead his nation at a moment of crisis, steering the response to super storm Sandy, which left the endgame of the White House race in turmoil. Republican Mitt Romney joined the president in cancelling campaign appearances as high winds, swamping tides and…

‘Satanic’ Halloween rituals alarm Polish Catholic church

Poland’s powerful Roman Catholic church has raised the alarm about the growing influence of what it brands satanic rituals during Halloween. “Halloween promotes the occult and magic,” the church said in a statement on its website ahead of the October 31 festival. “Under the guise of having fun, children, youngsters…

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