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Franklin Graham chides Christians for not fighting beside Phil Robertson in ‘religious war’

In a statement issued on Monday, Franklin Graham — son of legendary televangelist Billy Graham and CEO of his Evangelical Association — complained about Christians who were unwilling to fight beside Phil Robertson in the “religious war against Christians and the biblical truths [they] stand for.” “I appreciate the Robertson…

Russians get two different New Year speeches from Vladimir Putin after ‘glitch’

Russians on Tuesday heard two different versions of President Vladimir Putin’s New Year’s address after a “technical glitch” meant some inhabitants of the Far East watched a pre-recorded broadcast that made no mention of the Volgograd suicide attacks. The Far Eastern Kamchatka, Chukotka and Magadan regions, which are eight hours…

Egypt says Al Jazeera journalists belong to terrorist group

Egypt has accused detained journalists from the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera television network of belonging to a “terrorist” group, saying they had ties with the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood, the prosecution said Tuesday. “The prosecution accused the suspects of belonging to a terrorist group,” the prosecution said. It was not immediately clear if…

Pentagon: Transfer of last three Uighurs from Guantanamo Bay a ‘significant milestone’

The three last Uighurs who had languished in the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay for over a decade despite facing no charges have been freed and sent to Slovakia, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. “This transfer and resettlement constitutes a significant milestone in our effort to close the detention facility…

Iran’s chief negotiator says ‘good progress’ in nuclear talks

Iran’s chief negotiator said Tuesday talks in Geneva with world powers through the night on implementing a landmark nuclear deal had made “good progress,” according to media. Negotiations continued throughout the night until early on Tuesday morning in Geneva “and the two sides have made good progress on different issues,”…

Bloomberg era comes to a close in New York

Brash billionaire Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday concludes 12 years as New York’s mayor, an era marked by major changes in America’s biggest city but also criticism of the growing gap between rich and poor. His Democratic successor Bill de Blasio, who defeated a Republican rival in a landslide in November,…

Syria misses deadline to remove chemical weapons

A December 31 deadline to remove part of the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons arsenal from the country for destruction has been missed, with ships due to receive the materials returning to Cyprus. In Syria, meanwhile, a newspaper quoted government officials as saying invitations to a peace meeting in Switzerland next…

Putin vows total destruction of terrorists after suicide bombings in Volgograd

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday threatened “terrorists” with total destruction after twin suicide strikes claimed 34 lives and raised alarm over security at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. A bombing at the main railway station of the southern city of Volgograd killed 18 people on Sunday while a second…

Major tourist destination Luxor transformed into ghost town by Egypt turmoil

Tourists once flocked to Luxor for its ancient treasures, but as Egypt witnesses sweeping political upheavals, the visitors have simply vanished from this famed temple city. Christmas used to be particularly busy, as tens of thousands of visitors thronged Luxor’s famous temples, but fresh unrest that followed the army’s ouster…

Pakistan’s truck artists lament NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan

Pakistan’s truck artists, who transform ugly lorries into flamboyant moving works of art, fear boom times for their trade could be at an end as NATO winds down its mission in Afghanistan. The workhorses of the Pakistani haulage industry are often ageing, patched-up Bedford and Dodge models, but almost without…

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