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Israel bars German author Gunter Grass over poem

Israel on Sunday barred German author Gunter Grass from entering the Jewish state, citing a poem in which he accuses Israel of plotting Iran’s annihilation and threatening world peace. “Interior Minister Eli Yishai declared Gunter Grass persona non grata in Israel,” a statement from Yishai’s office said. “Gunter’s poem is…

Austerity hits Italy’s crumbling cultural heritage

After slashing arts budgets and with its most famous monuments badly in need of repair, Italy’s government is increasingly looking to private investors to help it preserve a priceless cultural heritage. The biggest initiative so far, however, is faltering after billionaire Diego Della Valle said he might pull his 25…

Trapped Peruvian miners could take days to rescue

By Reynaldo Munoz ICA, Peru — Oscar Valdes, cabinet chief to Peru’s President Ollanta Humala, said Sunday it could take two or three more days to rescue nine miners trapped since Thursday in a mine in southern Peru. Valdes, who was on site to monitor rescue operations, told journalists that…

‘Anonymous’ leaks emails hacked from Tunisia’s leaders

TUNIS — Activists claiming affiliation with the hacking group Anonymous published about 2,700 emails Sunday purportedly between Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali and other members of his government. A mask-wearing man in a video posted online said the publication had been prompted by recent events in Tunisia, notably the violent…

Violence blights pope’s Easter peace appeal

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI appealed for peace in the world’s troublespots in his Easter Sunday message but one of the holiest days for Christians was marred by fresh violence in Nigeria and Syria. At least 20 people were killed in northern Nigeria in a car bombing outside a…

Easter bomb attack near Nigeria church kills at least 20

KADUNA, Nigeria — A car bomb blast outside a church in northern Nigeria on Easter Sunday killed at least 20 people and put the country on alert over fears of further attacks, rescue officials and residents said. The explosion, a stark reminder of Christmas Day attacks that left dozens of…

Israel warns negotiators to be tough with Iran

JERUSALEM — Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday warned the six-power group negotiating with Iran to set stringent limits on its nuclear enrichment at forthcoming talks. “If the P5+1 will set a much lower threshold, like just stop reaching 20 percent it means that basically the Iranians at a…

Late drama as Egypt’s closes registration for presidency

CAIRO — Registration for candidacy in Egypt’s first post-uprising presidential election closed on Sunday, amid last-minute twists and turns that have shaken the political race. Around 20 people have registered so far, each hoping to lead the Arab world’s most populous nation through a fragile transition following an uprising that…

British interior ministry probes ‘Anonymous’ website attack

LONDON — Britain’s Home Office interior ministry said Saturday it was investigating reports that hacking group Anonymous had attacked its website over the government’s plans to boost Internet surveillance. Visitors to the ministry’s home page were greeted with a message saying the service was unavailable due to a high volume…

Gaza rockets hit Israel after drone attack

JERUSALEM — Two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel early on Sunday, without causing casualties or damage, police said. “They fell on open ground. Nobody was injured and there was no property damage,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP. On Saturday night, a rocket fired from an…

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