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American kidnapped in West African nation of Benin

An American citizen has been kidnapped in the West African nation of Benin, a US embassy spokeswoman said Saturday, but details of the incident were unclear. “I can confirm an American got kidnapped in Benin last week,”Melissa Ford, a spokeswoman for the US embassy in neighbouring Nigeria, told AFP, indicating she had no other…

Thousands take part in ‘Slut Walks’ in Brazil

Several thousand scantily clad women staged boisterous “Slut Walks” in several Brazilian cities Saturday to protest sexual violence against women. With horns, drums, chants and placards denouncing sexism, nearly 3,000 took to the streets in Brasilia, the nation’s capital, according to organizers and police. “This march is to call for an end to…

Afghan parliament approves strategic pact with U.S.

Afghanistan’s parliament on Saturday voted by an overwhelming majority to ratify a strategic partnership agreement with the United States signed earlier this month, lawmakers said. “We voted with a majority in favour of the strategic pact,” MP Shukria Essakhil told AFP. “Only five MPs voted against it,” she said, adding…

Top Nazi war criminal dies at 90

A Nazi war criminal who escaped from a Dutch jail after the war and evaded all attempts by the Netherlands to get him back has died at the age of 90 in Germany, a hospital source said Saturday. Klaas Carel Faber, who was second on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s list…

Obama pays tribute to U.S. war dead

President Barack Obama paid tribute Saturday to US soldiers who died in service of the country, saying Americans were committed to the ideals of freedom for which these troops had given their lives. “We give thanks for those who sacrificed everything so that we could be free,” the president said…

Everest season ends with 150 reaching summit

A near-record number of climbers reached the summit of Everest as the season ended Saturday without a repeat of last week’s deadly accidents, which had raised fears of overcrowding on the world’s highest peak. Around 150 people reached the top of the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) mountain at the end of the…

Bullying drama scoops Cannes new talent prize

“After Lucia”, a harrowing drama about a young girl who falls prey to bullying, on Saturday won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival new talent sidebar, Un Certain Regard. The movie by Mexico’s Michel Franco tells the story of teenaged Alejandra who arrives in a new city with…

UN observers warn of Syria civil war after massacre

The head of a UN mission warned on Saturday of “civil war” in Syria after his observers counted more than 92 bodies, 32 of them children, in the central town of Houla following reports of a massacre there. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined a chorus of international condemnation amid…

Chen Guangcheng’s brother goes missing after fleeing to Beijing

Blind activist’s brother Chen Guangfu disappears after leaving village to seek help for son facing murder charge The brother of the blind activist Chen Guangcheng has gone missing after fleeing his village in north-eastern China to seek help for his son who is facing an attempted murder charge. Chen Guangfu,…

Photo of 9/11 mastermind manipulated: Pentagon

A photograph of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed architect of the 9/11 attacks, that has recently circulated on the Internet has been digitally manipulated, Pentagon officials said Friday. The picture, which shows Mohammed with a long bushy gray beard holding an open book and smiling, had raised concerns about both…

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