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Mystery woman with North Korea’s Kim stirs speculation

A mystery woman pictured accompanying North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong-Un to recent events has prompted speculation in Seoul about whether she is his partner or his younger sister. The North’s state television Sunday aired footage of the woman joining Jong-Un as he paid tribute to his late grandfather Kim…

Netanyahu backs ‘conscription for all’ plan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he will back a controversial plan to compel ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arab Israelis to complete compulsory military or community service. The decision was an about-turn for Netanyahu, who just last week dissolved the panel whose recommendations he has now endorsed, after a key coalition…

Charity condemns tourists’ use of fresh water in developing countries

Study finds visitors to Bali, the Gambia and Goa use 16 times as much water as locals, causing conflict and disease The disproportionate use of fresh water by tourists in developing world destinations is causing local conflict, exacerbating poverty and helping to spread disease, says a report to be published…

WHO finds virus link to Cambodia mystery disease

Health experts working to identify an illness that has killed dozens of children in Cambodia found a link to a virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease, the UN health agency said on Monday. At least 52 children aged three months to 11 years have died from the undiagnosed…

Clinton in plea for rights after Afghan woman executed

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a powerful plea for the rights of women in Afghanistan, using a global forum to insist that they must be part of the country’s future growth. Her comments came as a horrific video emerged showing the public execution of a 22-year-old woman accused…

First witness to take stand against Ratko Mladic

UN prosecutors open their case Monday against Bosnian Serb ex-military chief Ratko Mladic before the Yugoslav war crimes court, with their first witness to testify on how he survived a mass execution in 1992. Elvedin Pasic was a 14-year-old Muslim boy when Bosnia’s bitter war broke out that year. When…

Russian flooding disaster increases distrust of Putin

The devastating floods that claimed at least 171 lives two months into President Vladimir Putin’s third Kremlin term is expected to draw new attention to his handling of man-made and natural disasters. Putin’s 12-year reign of Russia as prime minister, president, prime minister and now president again has been dogged…

Ultra-conservative evangelical churches gaining influence in Brazil

Roman Catholics are scrambling to shore up support among the faithful in Brazil, the world’s largest Catholic country, ahead of a visit next year by Pope Benedict XVI and amid a growing tide of conversions to Protestantism. Out of a Brazilian population of 191 million, 123.2 million define themselves as…

Probe launched into deadly flash floods in southern Russia

Investigators launched Sunday a probe into possible negligence after flash floods in southern Russia killed at least 171 people and President Vladimir Putin demanded an explanation from officials. First funerals were held in the town of Krymsk, the worst hit area in southern Krasnodar region, as emergency workers pulled more…

Israeli police authorize far-right anti-Arab demonstration despite risk of violence

JERUSALEM — Israeli police have given an opposition MP and a group of far-right activists the go-head to hold an anti-Arab demo in Nazareth, the largest Arab-Israeli city, a private television station said on Sunday. MP Michael Ben Ari, of the National Union opposition party, announced that he expected to…

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