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Britain wants to resume Assange talks with Ecuador

Britain wants to resume talks with Ecuador and find a diplomatic solution to the standoff over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as soon as possible, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Monday. Addressing parliament, Hague also said Assange could not be extradited from Sweden to a third country without Britain’s consent, which would not be given if there was a prospect of…

‘Smoker’s paradise’ Lebanon enacts smoking ban

A smoking ban in all closed public spaces, including coffee shops, restaurants and bars, went into force in Lebanon on Monday under new legislation that promises hefty fines for lawbreakers. In a country considered a “smokers’ paradise,” the law took effect a year ago in airports, hospitals and schools, but took hold on a wider…

Swedish official websites hit by cyberattacks

Several Swedish official websites were knocked offline Monday, although no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. “I can confirm that the government site had problems today, but for security reasons, I cannot say more,” Anna Dahlen, a government spokeswoman, told AFP adding that she did not know when the site would be…

Italy mourns liberal Catholic cardinal who said church was ’200 years behind’

Italy‘s business capital of Milan ground almost to a halt on Monday as the people of the city – believers and non-believers alike – bid farewell to a beloved pastor, and perhaps too to the hope of a more liberal form of Catholicism that he embodied. In a startlingly explicit interview published…

Outgoing Mexico president says the U.S. shares blame for drug violence

MEXICO CITY — Outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderon blamed loose US gun laws and American addicts for fueling his country’s drug violence as he defended his controversial anti-cartel offensive on Monday. Presenting the final annual report of his presidency, Calderon insisted that his 2006 decision to deploy thousands of troops…

Hillary Clinton condemns suicide attack against U.S. consulate employees in Pakistan

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday denounced the “cowardly” attack against US consulate personnel in Pakistan and praised local authorities’ response to the scene. Clinton, on a visit to Jakarta shortly after the bombing in Peshawar, said that she wanted to “very clearly condemn the attack on our consulate…

Norwegian journalist publishes book of emails from mass killer Anders Behring Breivik

A Norwegian publisher on Monday released a book of some of Anders Behring Breivik’s email correspondence that show how he prepared for his July 2011 attacks that left 77 people dead. The correspondence supports an Oslo court verdict last month that presumed Breivik sane, the book’s author Kjetil Stormark said.…

Russia becomes latest country to require graphic warnings on cigarette packs

Russia on Monday unveiled a series of graphic images, including of a gangrenous foot and a still-born baby, that will be printed on cigarette packs as the country tries to trim its sky-high rates of smoking. The health ministry published photographs on its website for use by cigarette companies, which…

Billionaire Russian politician delays launch of country’s first hybrid vehicle

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s auto division announced Monday it was delaying until late 2014 this year’s planned launch of the petrol-guzzling country’s first hybrid vehicle. But it also insisted the “Yo Mobile” was never meant to be a publicity stunt to win the politically ambitious tycoon votes in this spring’s…

Forest officials suspended after smuggled tiger cubs from Bangladesh’s Sundarbans forest recovered

Bangladesh said on Monday that nine forest officials had been suspended for “gross negligence” after three Bengal tiger cubs were found in a house in Dhaka where they were being kept by smugglers. Bangladesh’s elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) rescued the two-month-old cubs in June after a tip-off that the…

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