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CIA ‘wants more’ drone strikes in Yemen

WASHINGTON — The CIA is seeking permission to launch more airborne drone strikes in Yemen, even when there is a risk the victims might not always be terrorists, The Washington Post reported. The targets would be chosen based on intelligence reports indicating suspicious behavior, such as images of militants unloading…

Mexico volcano spouts large column of ash and steam

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano, outside the Mexican capital, spouted a large column of ash and steam Wednesday but officials did not raise alert levels or start evacuations. “We had an increase in activity … we saw the emission of a large column of water vapor with significant amounts…

Top Egypt Islamist says military seeking to keep power

CAIRO — The powerful Muslim Brotherhood’s Khairat al-Shater, barred from Egypt’s first post-Arab Spring presidential election, accused the country’s military rulers on Wednesday of seeking to stay in power and promised an anti-government protest. He spoke after the electoral commission confirmed that 10 candidates had been barred from standing, rejecting…

Arab countries waste billions on oil subsidies: UN report

Arab countries are wasting tens of billions of dollars on subsidies for petrol and energy but dare not roll them back for fear of a political backlash, a UN report said. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) report this week said six of the world’s 10 biggest subsidizers are in the…

Naples museum director burns art to protest at lack of funding

It is a logic more often associated with terrorists or trapped and cornered desperadoes: “Meet my demands or another hostage goes the way of the last.” Only in this case the hostages are works of art, and they are being sacrificed with the agreement of their creators. The director of…

Iranian cleric: LGBT are inferior to dogs and pigs

An influential Iranian cleric who is entitled to issue juristic rulings according to the Sharia law, has condemned western lawmakers involved in the decriminalisation of homosexuality, saying those politicians are lower than animals. Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli, an Islamic scholar based in Iran’s holy city of Qom, said in a speech…

Elephants terrorize villagers in Mozambique

Rampaging elephants are terrorising Mozambican villages near the Zimbabwe border, attacking people, trampling crops and scaring children, state-run newspaper Noticias reported Wednesday. “We are using traditional ways to try to scare the animals, but all in vain, because whenever we do something, the monsters disappear for a few days, and when they…

Bin Laden family’s deportation from Pakistan delayed

The expected deportation of Osama bin Laden’s family fromPakistan to Saudi Arabia has been delayed because their passports are not ready, their lawyer said Wednesday. The 12-member family, including bin Laden’s three widows, eight children and one grandchild, had originally been due to leave overnight Tuesday. Two of the wives are Saudi nationals and the third…

Study: Philippines leads world ‘in belief in God’

The Philippines leads the world in the number of people who believe in God, while the elderly across all countries tend to be the most religious, according to a US study out Wednesday. Belief in God tends to be strongest in the United States and Catholic countries and lowest in Scandinavia and former Soviet…

North Korea vows retaliation over rocket

North Korea has warned of retaliation after the US scrapped food aid over its rocket launch, raising fears of a new nuclear test, asChina reportedly suspended a refugee deal with its wayward ally. In a defiant statement late Tuesday, the nuclear-armed North said it was no longer bound by a bilateral agreement to…

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