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Iraqi Kurdistan’s ban on female circumcision, domestic violence met with spotty implementation

In June 2011, Iraqi Kurdistan passed a landmark law that criminalised female circumcision and domestic violence, but one year on, activists remain frustrated with its patchwork implementation. In what is a conservative society even by Middle East standards, the passage of the law last year was hailed by rights groups…

Vatican’s number two says journalists like to ‘play Dan Brown’

The Vatican’s number two, the reported target of a power struggle in the Church, alleged divisive forces at work on Monday as the Holy See said 23 people had been questioned in a leaks scandal. In a rare outburst, the Secretary of State appeared to lash out at those who,…

‘Canadian Psycho’ extradited from Germany

The Canadian porn actor accused of the grisly killing and dismemberment of a Chinese student in Montreal last month, was extradited from Germany to Canada Monday in a case that has sent shock waves through several countries. “Luka Rocco Magnotta was removed from Berlin by a Canadian military transport in…

Massive mushroom cloud rises over Beijing skyline

A giant mushroom-like cloud resembling an atomic bomb explosion and sparking fears of Armageddon appeared in Beijing last week. The most likely explanation was a weather phenomenon known as a giant cumulonimbus, a tall and dense vertical cloud that is associated with thunder storms, according to The Daily Mail. The…

Greeks race to form government after weekend elections

Greece raced to form a coalition with broad support by the end of Monday after an election victory by pro-bailout parties which eased fears of a Greek eurozone exit and brought relief to world markets. “There is a categorical imperative to form the government” today, President Carolos Papoulias before giving…

Aung San Suu Kyi and Bono will meet at Oslo peace forum

Myanmar’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi will meet on Monday one of her biggest fans at a Norwegian peace forum — Bono, the U2 frontman and activist rock star who has written a song about her. Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, who has herself received superstar treatment on a triumphant…

Ford employees stage 24-hour strike in UK

British employees of US car giant Ford were staging a 24-hour strike on Monday in a row over pay and pensions. The Unite trade union said the walkout from 0500 GMT would affect plants at Dagenham in east London, Bridgend in south Wales, Halewood in north-west England and Southampton in…

Iran, world powers begin another round of nuclear talks

World powers on Monday sought to wring concessions out of Iran to defuse the decade-long crisis over its nuclear drive at talks in Moscow billed as a last chance to find a diplomatic solution. Western diplomats were looking for signs that Iran could show willingness to scale down the intensity…

UN calls Syrian bombardment of Homs ‘crimes against humanity’

Syrian forces on Monday shelled rebel bastions in Homs and Damascus despite pleas for help from the opposition and a warning by the United Nations that such bombardment amounted to crimes against humanity. US President Barack Obama, meanwhile, is due to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at a G20…

Socialists claim majority of seats in French parliament

France’s Socialists won control of parliament Sunday, handing President Francois Hollande the convincing majority he needs to push through his tax-and-spend agenda to battle the eurozone debt crisis. The Socialists’ bloc obtained between 308 and 320 seats — an absolute majority in the 577-seat National Assembly — and so will…

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