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UN official: Drone strikes threaten 50 years of international law

The US policy of using drone strikes to carry out targeted killings presents a major challenge to the system of international law that has endured since the second world war, a UN investigator has said. Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, fears that Barack…

Philippines seizes illegal China-bound ore

Philippine authorities said Thursday they had seized a huge amount of iron ore intended to be smuggled to China, as part of a long-running battle against illegal miners. The 50,000 tonnes of iron ore, believed to be worth more than $2 million, were found stockpiled near a private wharf at…

Suu Kyi set for historic British parliament address

Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi will on Thursday address both houses of parliament — a rare honour bestowed on only four foreign dignitaries since World War II. Suu Kyi will follow in the footsteps of US President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI when she speaks in the…

Arabs urge Russia to stop arming Syria as Homs battered

The Arab League demanded on Thursday that Russia stop supplying arms to Syria, as a regime onslaught of Homs and its surrounds appeared to stall a Red Cross bid to rescue trapped civilians. The pan-Arab bloc’s deputy secretary general Ahmed Ben Hilli issued the appeal in an interview in which…

Asylum-seeker boat carrying 200 capsizes off Australia

A Sri Lankan refugee boat with 200 people believed to be on board capsized off Australia’s remote Christmas Island Thursday, with police saying scores could have died. The accident, which unfolded mid-afternoon in Indonesian waters, could become one of the worst refugee boat disasters off Australia since the SIEV X…

Egypt on edge as election results delayed

Egypt was on edge Thursday after the Muslim Brotherhood declared an open-ended protest and warned of “confrontation” unless their candidate is named new president to succeed toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak. The delay in announcing the results, due Thursday, of the June 16-17 presidential vote heightened the Brotherhood’s fears of a…

Egypt delays poll results, Mubarak still in coma

Egypt’s election commission delayed the announcement of presidential results scheduled for Thursday, as tension spiked over who will succeed ailing ousted president Hosni Mubarak after moves by the ruling military to extend powers. “Egypt’s election commission, headed by Judge Faruq Sultan… has decided to delay the announcement of the presidential…

World leaders weigh ‘green’ economy at Rio summit

World leaders attending a UN summit in Rio weighed steps to root out poverty and protect the environment as thousands of activists marched through the city center in protest. UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned that “time is not on our side” for fixing a mounting list of problems as he…

ACLU tells U.N.: Targeted drone strikes ‘setting very dangerous precedent’

A representative from the American Civil Liberties Union told the U.N. Human Rights Council on Wednesday that the use of unmanned drones to kill suspected terrorists set a “very dangerous precedent.” Drones operated by the U.S. have been used to kill suspected terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. While…

Assange’s asylum bid a possible boon for Ecuador’s Correa

QUITO — Ecuador may well grant WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s request for political asylum, analysts say, in a bid by President Rafael Correa to needle the United States and boost his image at home. The 40-year-old Australian turned up Tuesday at Ecuador’s embassy in London, seeking asylum after Britain’s Supreme…

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