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Economic troubles haunt Algeria’s independence celebration

Algerian celebrations to mark 50 years since gaining independence from France are to kick off on Wednesday with a giant open air performance inspired by the liberation struggle, followed by nationwide fireworks displays. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will attend the historical musical “The Hero” being staged at a theater in the…

Report says pilot error, sensor malfunctions behind 2009 Air France crash

A French report has found that human error and technical malfunctions caused the 2009 crash of an Air France flight from Rio to Paris that killed 228 people, a source close to the case said Wednesday. The judicial report — due to be presented to victims’ families on Tuesday next…

Iran says its prepared to destroy all U.S. bases in the Gulf if attacked

Iran is prepared to launch missiles at US bases throughout the Gulf within minutes of an attack on the Islamic Republic, according to a commander of the country’s Revolutionary Guards. In an apparent response to reports that the US has increased its military presence in the Gulf, the commander of…

Gunman kills 4, commits suicide while resisting eviction

A gunman killed four hostages in southwestern Germany Wednesday before presumably shooting himself while resisting eviction from his apartment building, police said. Police said they found five dead bodies in the apartment in the city of Karlsruhe after storming it when they smelled something burning, about three hours after the…

Arafat’s body to be exhumed for radiation testing

Palestinian authorities have agreed to exhume the body of deceased Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, reports claimed Wednesday, following an Al Jazeera investigative expose that claims scientists in Switzerland detected high levels of radiation in his clothing and on his toothbrush. The radiation was determined to be from the extremely rare,…

Same-sex marriage, gay adoption allowed in France from 2013

PARIS — Gay couples in France will be allowed to get married and to adopt children from next year, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced Tuesday. “In the first half of 2013, the right to marriage and adoption will be open to all couples, without discrimination,” he told parliament, confirming an…

Ukraine clashes over controversial language law

Ukraine police on Wednesday used tear gas and several people were injured at a chaotic protest against a new language law as the president summoned the leaders of parliament to limit a growing crisis. The opposition has reacted furiously to the rushed passing by the Ukrainian parliament the Verkhovna Rada…

Shy physicist whose name lives on in Higgs boson

Forty-eight years ago, British scientist Peter Higgs had a eureka moment when he realised there could be a particle that confers mass, one of the greatest puzzles in physics. “He said: ‘Oh shit, I know how to do that!’” former colleague Alan Walker told AFP of the breakthrough as recounted…

Double amputee Pistorius to race at London Olympics

Oscar Pistorius will become the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics after being included Wednesday in the South African 4×400-metre relay team for 2012 London Games, an official said. The 25-year-old’s selection comes five days after conceding defeat in a battle to run in the 400m at the…

French army hands over key province to Afghan forces

The French military officially handed over control of the key Afghan province of Kapisa to local forces on Wednesday. The transfer is an important stage in France’s withdrawal from the war-torn country, which new President Francois Hollande has accelerated by ordering the return of troops by the end of 2012,…

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