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Legalization of gay sex challenged in India court

NEW DELHI — India’s Supreme Court on Wednesday began hearing more than a dozen petitions filed to overturn a 2009 ruling that decriminalised gay sex between consenting adults. Homosexuality was ruled lawful three years ago by a Delhi High Court order that declared the colonial-era ban was unconstitutional, in a…

Genes and gender: new shots fired on the Y front

PARIS — Theories that men will eventually become extinct because the Y chromosome which determines maleness is shrinking are quite wrong, according to a gene study published on Wednesday. The men-are-doomed scenario leapt to prominence nearly a decade ago when scientists found that the male chromosome had dramatically shrivelled. It…

Occupy London protesters lose eviction appeal bid

LONDON — Anti-capitalist protesters on Wednesday lost their bid to challenge orders to evict them from outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London, leaving authorities free to clear the site. England’s Court of Appeal dismissed the demonstrators’ application for permission to challenge last month’s High Court ruling that they must disband…

Libya facing challenges but making progress: McCain

TRIPOLI — Top Republican US Senator John McCain said on Wednesday that war-ravaged Libya faced several challenges, including the need to stop human rights abuses, but also praised the country’s progress. “We are very happy to be back here in Libya and to note the enormous progress and changes made…

Israeli settlements not ‘constructive’ says U.S.

WASHINGTON — The United States said Wednesday that Israel’s settlement activity was not “constructive” for Middle East peace after a committee approved a plan for 500 new homes in the northern West Bank. An Israeli committee legalized the outpost of Shvut Rachel, which had been unauthorized. Officials said the committee…

Britain summons Syrian envoy over journalists’ deaths

LONDON — Britain summoned the Syrian ambassador on Wednesday to lodge a protest over the deaths of two Western journalists and demand the repatriation of their bodies, the Foreign Office said. US-born war correspondent Marie Colvin, who worked for Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper, and French photojournalist Remi Ochlik were killed…

Fresh scandal embroils U.S. climate science debate

WASHINGTON — A fresh scandal over climate change has erupted in the United States after leaked documents appeared to show a right-wing funded campaign to influence how climate science is taught in schools. The internal budget and strategy documents from a Chicago-based non-profit group called the Heartland Institute were made…

Afghan journalist beheaded: official

KHOST, Afghanistan — An Afghan radio reporter was beheaded in the insurgency-plagued southeastern province of Paktika after being lured to a meeting by unidentified men, an official said Wednesday. The body of Samid Khan Bahadarzai, 25, who worked for a local radio station in the town of Urgun, was found…

French wine company to produce reds in China

Moet Hennessy, the wine and spirits arm of France’s LVMH luxury group, said Wednesday it will make red wine in China where a taste for the better things in life has boomed along with the economy. Moet Hennessy said it had joined forces with VATS, a Chinese wine firm, to…

White House regrets Iran ‘failure’ on UN mission

The White House expressed disappointment Wednesday that Iran had made no progress in its dealings with UN nuclear inspectors, branding the fruitless visit a “failure” on Tehran’s part. “We regret the failure of Iran to reach an agreement with the IAEA,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. “It’s another…

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