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Obama congratulates Romney on clinching nomination

US President Barack Obama Wednesday called Mitt Romney after his foe locked down the Republican nomination to take him on in November’s election and called for a healthy debate on America’s future. “The President called Governor Romney to congratulate him on securing the Republican nomination,” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said. “President Obama said that he looked forward to…

Human rights court jails Liberia ex-president for 50 years

A UN-backed court jailed Liberia’s Charles Taylor for 50 years Wednesday for fuelling Sierra Leone’s savage war, known for its mutilations, drugged child soldiers and sex slaves. The former Liberian president, 64, was convicted last month of all 11 counts he faced of war crimes and crimes against humanity for…

Russia says new U.S. ambassador is unprofessional

Russia is not prepared to get used to the US ambassador Michael McFaul, a foreign ministry official was quoted as saying Wednesday, accusing the controversial new US envoy of unprofessionalism. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland had said on Tuesday that Russia had to “get used to” McFaul speaking out…

Pakistani authorities fear threats on life of CIA ally

Pakistani authorities on Wednesday said that they feared the doctor recruited by the CIA to help find Osama bin Laden could be killed and demanded he be transferred to a more secure prison. Shakeel Afridi was last week sentenced to 33 years in jail after he was found guilty of…

Quebec student leader is a force to be reckoned with

A politico and a media hound, 21-year-old radical Quebec student leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois has become a force to be reckoned with in talks with the government over tuition fee hikes. The spokesman for the student union Classe showed up for an interview with AFP on foot, stubble on his face,…

Indiana charges Chinese immigrant with feticide after suicide attempt

When her baby Angel died in her arms at 1.30am on 3 January 2011, Bei Bei Shuai was so distraught she was instantly transferred to the mental health wing of the Methodist hospital in Indianapolis. Grief stricken and under heavy sedation, she was unaware that within half an hour of…

California sushi lovers shun tuna after Japanese radiation scare

Rodel Jugao studied the menu’s sushi options a moment, then pondered the Pacific ocean surf foaming just two blocks away. He shook his head. “Nah. I’m going for the chicken or beef.” This Los Angeles outlet of Sarku Japan, a restaurant chain, did excellent fish and Jugao, 33, was a…

Consumer complaints about Internet ads to surpass TV in the UK

The internet is on the brink of overtaking television as the most complained-about advertising medium in the UK, with the ad regulator recording a surge of almost 300% in the number of consumers registering concerns over digital campaigns to more than 10,000 last year. The Advertising Standards Authority – the…

Russia says ‘premature’ for new UN action on Syria

Russia on Wednesday cautioned against taking new UN action onSyria after the massacre of 108 civilians in Houla and sought more time for global envoy Kofi Annan’s imperilled peace plan to work. The comments came just a day after the US State Department said it hoped last week’s tragedy would spark a “turning point” in…

Australia moves to criminalize forced marriage

Australia on Wednesday moved to criminalise forced marriage, forms of slavery prevalent in the sex industry and the trafficking of organs. Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said such practices had no place in a democratic nation as she introduced the new laws, which she said covered “a spectrum of human misery”, into parliament for debate. “Tragically, nineteenth…

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