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South Korea liquor labels warn against drunken violence

South Korea’s top liquor maker said Thursday it has started labelling bottles with warnings against drunken violence, in a country which is one of the world’s heaviest alcohol consumers. Hite-Jinro said from Tuesday it began labelling soju and beer bottles sold in Seoul with messages reading: “No more drunken violence!…

9 dead in avalanche on ‘Cursed Mountain’ in French Alps

An avalanche swept over a group of foreign climbers in the French Alps on Thursday, killing at least nine people — with the dead believed to include three Britons — in the deadliest such disaster in the region in a decade. Most of the dead found after the early morning…

Energy agency says oil prices may fall 7 percent in 2013

Oil prices are unlikely to fall much further over the balance of this year but could come under pressure in 2013 as the global economy falters due to slower US and Chinese growth, the IEA said Thursday. The International Energy Agency, which advises developed countries on energy policy, said supply…

Italian police forced to apologize for gay slur in training manual

Italian police apologised this week after they were forced to change a training manual that listed homosexuality as a “sexual deviance” in the same category as bestiality, incest and necrophilia. A passage in the 585-page manual, which was being used internally in officer exams in the Carabinieri police force, read:…

Farm production ‘needs to rise 60 percent by 2050′: UN

World farm production must rise 60 percent by 2050 to meet the needs of a growing population but this has to happen in “a more sustainable way,” the UN food agency FAO and the OECD said on Wednesday. “It’s mostly going to be about productivity,” Angel Gurria, head of the…

Funding crisis at world’s largest refugee camp

Aid agencies warned Thursday that a critical shortage of funds is threatening lives in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp complex, the world’s largest, risking worsening an already volatile security situation. “Tens of thousands of lives (are) at risk with money for vital services set to run out in two to three…

The brief life of a Zeta foot-soldier

VERACRUZ, Mexico — Francisco had gone from one dead-end job to another, desperate for cash to buy medicine for his ailing mother. Finally he caved in and accepted an offer to join the Zetas, Mexico’s vicious paramilitary drug gang. The pay: $1,800 a month, a fortune in the eastern Mexican…

Clinton to walk tightrope with China amid regional tensions

PHNOM PENH — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet her Chinese counterpart in Cambodia on Thursday, keen to avoid souring ties amid a fraught background of rows between Beijing and its neighbours. The US has made a military and economic “pivot” towards Asia in a strategic bid to…

Libya’s liberals call for civil state, reject political Islam

TRIPOLI — A top member of Libya’s liberal coalition, which claims to have swept 70 percent of seats reserved for parties in the next congress, on Wednesday rejected political Islam and called for a civil state. “The National Forces Alliance is against the injection of religion into political battles,” Faisal…

Iraqi mullah faces new charges in Norway

OSLO, Norway — The Iraqi founder of an Iraqi Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam is being prosecuted in Norway for inciting terrorist acts, the public prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday. Mullah Krekar, 56, whose real name is Najmeddine Faraj Ahmad, was sentenced to five years in jail in March for…

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