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Afghan president calls for calm over Koran-burning

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai went on television Sunday to appeal for calm after five days of violent anti-US protests across his country over the burning of Korans at a US military base. Karzai “condemned with the strongest words” the treatment of Islam’s holy book and said the perpetrators…

Nigeria suicide attack targets church service

LAGOS — A suicide bomber smashed his explosives-laden car through the gates of a packed church during Sunday service in Jos, central Nigeria, killing three people and injuring dozens, church leaders said. Witnesses said a black car crashed through the gate of a perimeter fence and exploded a few metres…

Anti-Putin human chain protest hits Moscow

MOSCOW — Thousands of Russians linked hands around Moscow on Sunday in a protest against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s expected return to the Kremlin for a third term in elections next weekend. A din of endless honking descended on Moscow’s 16-kilometre (10-mile) Garden Ring Road as drivers expressed support for…

BRICS call for open selection of next World Bank chief

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A meeting of BRICS major emerging countries discussed the selection process of the next head of the World Bank and emphasized it should be open to all countries, rejecting the tradition that the job automatically goes to an American, a senior BRIC official said on Saturday.…

American democracy activists to go on trial in Egypt

CAIRO (Reuters) – Dozens of democracy activists including 16 Americans go on trial in Egypt Sunday in a politically charged case which has set off a crisis in relations between Cairo and Washington and threatened $1.3 billion in annual U.S. military aid. Forty-three foreign and Egyptian non-profit workers – including…

“The Artist” captures spirit of indie film awards

SANTA MONICA, California (Reuters) – Silent movie romance “The Artist” on Saturday won four Independent Spirit Awards, the year’s top honors among movies made outside Hollywood’s major studios, including best film and director in a prelude to the Oscars. “The Artist,” a black-and-white movie from French writer and director Michel…

2nd New York state judge upholds fracking ban in towns

ALBANY, New York (Reuters) – A New York state judge on Friday upheld an upstate community’s ban on gas drilling, marking the second victory this week for opponents of the drilling method known as fracking. The authority vested in towns and cities in New York to regulate use of their…

Global politics loom over Oscar foreign film event

BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) – Nominees for the best foreign language film Oscar gathered on Saturday for an annual symposium to discuss their films, but a cloud of global politics loomed over the event in which Iranian and Israeli filmmakers both took part. One day earlier in Los Angeles, Iranian…

Panic after powerful quake rocks Taiwan

TAIPEI — A shallow 5.9-magnitude earthquake sent panicked people fleeing onto the streets in Taiwan’s second-largest city of Kaohsiung as rail services were temporarily suspended. The quake struck 57 kilometres (35 miles) east of the city at 10:34 am (0234 GMT) on Sunday, at a depth of just four kilometres,…

ICRC fails to evacuate wounded journalists from Homs

The Red Cross Saturday failed to agree a deal to evacuate wounded Syrians and Western journalists from battered Homs city as regime forces killed dozens more civilians on the eve of a constitutional referendum. President Bashar al-Assad’s forces resumed shelling the Baba Amr district of Homs after an apparent pause…

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