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Palestinian detainees take on Israel with hunger strike

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — Inspired by Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, who pressured Israel with a 66-day hunger strike, a growing number of his fellow detainees are launching similar protests. The tactic appears to be spreading among the thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, who see themselves battling for their…

Danish hippie haven struggles to raise cash to survive

COPENHAGEN — “Become a Christiania stockholder today!”: on its Facebook page Copenhagen’s “free city”, long a refuge for hippies and artists and a popular tourist destination, pleas for help to save the 40-year-old enclave. Following a court ruling, the self-governed hippie community needs to come up with 76 million kroner…

Israel weighs UN rights council boycott

JERUSALEM — Israel should boycott the United Nations Human Rights Council after it voted to authorise a probe of Israeli settlements, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told public radio on Sunday. “This hypocritical organisation has nothing to do with human rights. Its bias and lack of objectivity are obvious and we…

Iraq VP demands probe into bodyguard’s ‘torture’

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s fugitive vice president on Sunday called for an urgent neutral inquiry into the death of his bodyguard, who was allegedly tortured while in custody. Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a Sunni the authorities have accused of running death squads, said his lawyers had been restricted access to the…

Venezuela’s Chavez flies to Cuba for more treatment

CARACAS — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez flew back to Cuba for more radiation treatment after his latest cancer surgery. Surrounded by military guards of honor, the Venezuelan leader boarded a Havana-bound plane at Maiquetia International Airport at about 9:15 pm local time (0145 GMT Sunday). Earlier in the day, Chavez…

Sex abuse scandals shadow Pope in Mexico

Pope Benedict XVI roused a crowd of young Mexicans and met with President Felipe Calderon on his second day in Mexico, overshadowed by complaints from victims of sexual abuse. Crowds waved yellow and white Vatican flags as the Popemobile arrived in the steep streets of the colonial city of Guanajuato…

Obama starts S. Korea visit amid N. Korea tensions

US President Barack Obama arrived in South Korea Sunday to hold talks with its leader and attend a 53-nation nuclear security summit, amid tensions with North Korea over its upcoming rocket launch. Obama, who landed at a US air base south of Seoul, was to meetPresident Lee Myung-Bak later Sunday for talks expected to be dominated by…

Litvinenko widow urges justice ahead of nuclear summit

The widow of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with polonium in London in 2006, called Saturday for justice for his killers ahead of a global summit on nuclear security. Marina Litvinenko said her husband’s death was an “act of nuclear terrorism” which she blames on agents of the Russian government, and urged participants…

Russian banker shot in London ‘wanted in Moldova’

A Russian banker who was shot in London and is now in a coma is wanted in Moldova over financial crimes, a Russian daily reported on Saturday. Moldovan prosecutors opened several criminal probes into German Gorbuntsov, who was shot outside his home in east London on Tuesday, after a bank he owned there, Universalbank, was closed down…

French gunman’s brother ‘proud’ of sibling

The older brother of the French gunman who killed seven people said he was “proud” of his sibling and was present when he stole a scooter used to stage three deadly attacks, police said Saturday. The killer Mohamed Merah’s brother Abdelkader was transferred Saturday along with his girlfriend from the…

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