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War games spotlight China-Pakistan hype

Paratroopers hurtling head first out of planes, attack helicopters strafing a terror training centre and shacks blown to bits were this week’s latest embodiment of China-Pakistan friendship. The war games conducted by 540 Chinese and Pakistani soldiers running around scrubland — the fourth joint exercises since 2006 — were ostensibly…

U.S. rebuffed in push to head off cluster bomb ban

GENEVA (Reuters) – A U.S.-led push to regulate, rather than ban, cluster munitions failed Friday after 50 countries objected, following humanitarian campaigners’ claims that anything less than a outright ban would be an unprecedented reversal of human rights law. While the United States, China and Russia want rules about the…

77% of Germans want neo-Nazi party banned

BERLIN — Three-quarters of Germans want the neo-Nazi NPD party banned, a poll showed on Friday, after the discovery of an extreme far-right cell believed to have murdered 10 people, mainly Turkish shopkeepers. The survey, by polling agency Forschungsgruppe Wahlen, revealed that 77 percent of Germans want the NPD (National…

Obama campaign tweets Black Friday deals

As shoppers snapped up Black Friday deals around the United States, US President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign also jumped into the fray, offering discounts on 2012 merchandise. “This Black Friday, take 10 percent off all purchases of #Obama2012 gear,” the Obama campaign said in a message to the nearly 11.3…

White House calls for speedy Egypt power transfer

The transfer of power to a civilian government in Egypt must be “just and inclusive” and take place “as soon as possible,” the White House said Friday. “Most importantly, we believe that the full transfer of power to a civilian government must take place in a just and inclusive manner…

Egypt gas pipeline blown up again: state media

Masked gunmen on Friday blew up a gas pipeline which supplies Egyptian gas to Israel, the official MENA news agency reported, in the eighth such attack this year. The saboteurs planted explosives under the pipeline, around 60 kilometres (40 miles) west of the town of El-Arish in the north of…

50 bodies found in two days of carnage in Mexico

Fifty dead bodies have been discovered over the past two days in western Mexico, victims of a fierce war waged between the government and the nation’s powerful drug cartels. The bodies of 26 young men were dumped in three vehicles near a busy intersection in Guadalajara. It bore the signs…

Pole dancing: seedy show or Olympic sport?

Pole dancing may conjure up images of men in seedy clubs leering at semi-naked women, but it has a growing following in the United States as a way to keep fit — and even aspires to be an Olympic sport. The sensual dance form began to appear as a variant…

Australia plans world’s largest marine reserve

The Australian government has said it plans to establish the world’s biggest marine protection zone to safeguard a huge swathe of the Coral Sea, a biodiversity hotspot brimming with life. The proposed Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve off the northeast coast of Australia would cover about 990,000 square kilometres (380,000…

Journalists sexually assaulted covering Egypt unrest

CAIRO — Two female foreign journalists on Thursday described harrowing sexual assaults carried out by crowds or police as they tried to cover demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy said she was sexually assaulted by police during hours under detention after taking part in protests on the…

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