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Egypt’s Morsi vows to be ‘servant of the people’

Mohamed Morsi took the oath of office on Saturday to become Egypt’s first Islamist president and its first elected head of state since the revolt that overthrew Hosni Mubarak overthrow last year. The ceremony took place in the constitutional court rather than parliament, the result of an ongoing tussle with…

British minister calls for banker prosecutions

Britain’s justice minister called Saturday for criminal prosecutions of bankers and stronger financial regulation after scandals erupted over rate manipulation and mis-selling by major lenders. “We are very bad at prosecuting financial crime in this country,” Justice Secretary Ken Clarke told BBC radio. “I suspect financial crime is easier to…

South Korea to open controversial new mini-capital

After a decade of wrangling, South Korea is set to inaugurate a new mini-capital seen by supporters as a developmental triumph and by critics as a classic pork-barrel project. Sejong City will by 2015 house 16 ministries or agencies and 20 central government offices currently located in or near Seoul.…

World powers meet in bid to halt Syria conflict

World powers meet Saturday in a desperate bid to salvage international envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria to end 16 months of bloodshed and agree on a transition plan for the strife-hit country. Ahead of the multi-nation talks in Geneva, a meeting in Russia between US Secretary of State…

Egypt’s Morsi in Tahrir tribute before oath

Egypt’s first elected civilian president, Islamist Mohamed Morsi, played up people power ahead of Saturday’s actual inauguration by first taking a symbolic oath before a huge throng at Tahrir Square. On the eve of his official swearing-in, Morsi praised Egypt’s Muslims and Christians alike Friday in front of crowds that…

Mali’s Islamist rebels threaten to ‘punish’ any attempt at foreign intervention

BAMAKO — An Islamist militant group in lawless northern Mali, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), Friday threatened countries who would join a military intervention force. Mali has been gripped by chaos since disgruntled troops swarmed the capital Bamako in the south in March and ousted…

Colombia court: Personal drug use is not a crime

The Constitutional Court of Colombia approved a plan that will drop all criminal penalties for individuals caught with small amounts of marijuana or cocaine, according to Spanish-language media reports. That means anyone caught with less than 22 grams of marijuana, or one gram of cocaine, will no longer be subject…

Sri Lankan police shut down opposition news sites for ‘false and vulgar reports’

Sri Lankan police Friday shut down opposition news websites, accusing them of carrying “false and vulgar reports”, months after imposing censorship on news alerts issued by mobile phone companies. Seven media organisations, including the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association, condemned the closure of the Lanka Mirror and Lanka X News…

Greeks launch ‘Everything is OK’ website amid economic crisis

Greeks fed up with stories of austerity and gloom can now turn to a new website aptly named Everything is OK (ola kala, OK in Greek) which aims to bring only happy news stories to the population. Describing itself as an “online health wellbeing portal”, the site www.olakala.gr tells users:…

Scientists puzzle over dozens of dead green turtles

Scientists were at a loss Friday to explain the mysterious deaths of more than 70 green turtles that have washed up on beaches in northeast Australia over the last week. Queensland state authorities said 62 of the vulnerable species were confirmed dead and another 10 were spotted floating at sea…

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