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Palestinians eye changes to key accord with Israel

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — The Palestinian Authority has formally asked Israel for talks on changing the Paris Protocol governing economic ties between the two sides, a minister told AFP on Sunday. “I made a request to the Israeli government through the defence ministry… that the Palestinian Authority officially requests the…

Jews, Muslims stage circumcision march in Germany

BERLIN — Around 500 mainly Jewish but some Christian and Muslim protesters gathered in Berlin on Sunday to demand the right to circumcision after a disputed court ruling in Germany outlawing the rite. Some protesters were draped in Israeli flags, others wore orthodox Jewish dress for the peaceful demonstration on…

Germany keeps up austerity drive with Central Bank help

Germany’s finance minister warned Sunday that debt-laden eurozone states must stick to promised reforms and cuts despite last week’s offer of help from the European Central Bank that calmed markets. In a wide-ranging interview with the Bild am Sonntag weekly, Wolfgang Schaeuble also expressed confidence that Germany’s top court would…

Controversy clouds Korean winner and American ‘Scientology’ film at Venice festival

The Venice film festival wrapped up in controversy on Sunday after Kim Ki Duk took the Golden Lion with his Korean morality tale Pieta amid reports the jury had wanted a different winner. The Hollywood Reporter said the jury had been prevented from choosing US director Paul Thomas Anderson for…

Tensions surround 9/11 memorial on anniversary

Tensions over how to pay proper respect to the dead are overshadowing New York’s memorial at Ground Zero as a gap widens between survivors and the general, more forgetful public 11 years after 9/11. Just days before the latest annual remembrance of the cataclysm that saw hijacked airliners flown into…

Peter Jackson avoids talk about ‘The Hobbit’

Filmmaker Peter Jackson avoided questions on Saturday about his decision to split J.R.R. Tolkien’s 300-page fantasy novel “The Hobbit” into three feature length films, amid growing fan criticism. The director of the epic “Lord of the Rings” trilogy says the decision to make three films was possible because of the…

Mass protest in Japan against U.S. hybrid aircraft

Tens of thousands of people rallied on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa Sunday against the deployment of US Osprey military aircraft after a series of accidents elsewhere involving the planes. Protesters demanded the United States and Japan immediately scrap plans to deploy 12 MV-22 Ospreys at the Futenma US base…

Poor hit hard by China earthquakes

Poor farm worker Mu Xianchun escaped unhurt when the twin earthquakes hit her village in a remote area of southwest China but she faces a bleak future after what little she had was destroyed. Like many of China’s impoverished rural workers, 46-year-old Mu had few possessions of value but even…

‘Hotel Transylvania’ flick reunites SNL cast

Actor Adam Sandler assembled former “Saturday Night Live” cast members for the new animated monster movie “Hotel Transylvania,” he said, because they are “the funniest people I know.” The film by director Gennady Tartakovsky premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival where Sandler and fellow SNL alumni David Spade, Molly…

Cyprus offers safe haven for endangered turtles

On a late August evening, thousands of baby endangered sea turtles flip, flop and somersault down the sands of this protected beach in northern Cyprus as excited onlookers cheer them on. “Go on little turtle! A couple of inches and there you go!” yells Elliott Evlyn-Bufton, a 12-year-old Briton whose…

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