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Hamas ‘temporarily’ suspends voter registration

The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip said on Monday it has “temporarily” halted voter registration just over a month after granting the electoral commission permission to work. In a statement, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri cited various “obstacles” that needed to be resolved before the electoral commission could resume its work. “Hamas and the government in Gaza have provided the Central Election…

Journalists in Ethiopia jail say held ‘unnecessarily’

Two Swedish journalists in Ethiopia jailed on terrorism charges say they are being detained unnecessarily, one year into their 11-year sentence, Swedish diplomats said Monday. Diplomats last week visited reporter Martin Schibbye and photographer Johan Persson, who have been held in an Ethiopian jail since their arrest on July 1 last year. “I think they’re very bored but physically…

PRI’s Pena Nieto claims victory in Mexico presidential vote

Enrique Pena Nieto, the youthful candidate of the party that governed Mexico for decades, claimed victory in the country’s presidential election. The candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) cited the first official results announced by the independent Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) as proof that he won. The results showed…

Women in combat: U.S. military on verge of making it official

Women in combat: US military on verge of making it official Women in combat: Air Force Col. Jeannie Leavitt (center) talks with Capt. Ryan Roper (l.) and Capt. Jordan Richardson at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro N.C. She is the first female jet fighter pilot in US history…

World has 5 million ‘test tube’ people: estimate

In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) has given the world about five million new people since the first test tube baby was born in England 34 years ago, according to an estimate released on Monday. As the initial controversy over man’s scientific manipulation of nature has faded, about 350,000 babies conceived in petri…

China dispatches patrol ships as tensions with Vietnam mount

China has deployed four patrol ships to a disputed area of the South China Sea, state media said Sunday, amid a deepening row with Vietnam over competing territorial claims. The ships, described by the Xinhua news agency as surveillance vessels, reached what China calls the Huayang reef in the Spratly…

Peruvian archaeologists unearth pre-Inca relics

Archeologists in Peru have discovered a sundial, an underground tunnel and a reception room in a complex dating back to the Wari civilization, El Comercio newspaper reported Sunday. One of the relics is believed to be a precursor to an Incan sundial, while 18 niches painted in white on the…

Barclays Bank chairman to quit in lending rate scandal

LONDON — The chairman of Barclays Bank is set to step down after the group was fined for attempting to manipulate the inter-bank lending rate, the BBC reported on Sunday. Marcus Agius will announce on Monday that he is to leave his post in the face of public and political…

Electricity slowly returns as U.S. heatwave drags on

WASHINGTON — Utility crews made slow progress Sunday in restoring electricity to millions of households amid a record-setting heatwave in the eastern United States that showed no sign of abating soon. Temperatures shot back into the 100 degree Fahrenheit (37.7 Celsius) range in many areas, prompting the National Weather Service…

Okinawa governor rejects U.S. Osprey deployment

TOKYO — With the threat of a mass protest, the governor of Okinawa on Sunday rejected a US plan to deploy Osprey military aircraft on the sub-tropic Japanese island chain amid safety concerns. “We have no choice but to reject it if they forcibly bring in something which is questioned…

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