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50 arrested as Chile education protest turn violent

SANTIAGO — At least 50 people were arrested in the Chilean capital Thursday amid clashes with police during a student demonstration over the quality and cost of higher education. The demo involving some 5,000 protesters also saw three policemen hurt, one of them seriously, in the hours-long clashes, police said.…

French Socialist seeks to retake momentum from Sarkozy

PARIS — French Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande, facing off against resurgent Nicolas Sarkozy, looked to make up ground Thursday with vows to boost taxes on the rich. In a three-hour appearance on France 2 public television, Hollande sought to cement his left-wing credentials with promises of tax hikes on…

U.S. gives $1 million to anti-drugs drive in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — The United States said Thursday it has contributed $1 million to a United Nations program to help probe, arrest and prosecute drug traffickers working in Afghanistan and Central Asia. The United States gave the funds Wednesday in Vienna to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) Regional…

Greece’s economy to exit recession only by 2014

WASHINGTON — Greece’s economy is expected to exit recession only by 2014, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday after announcing a new bailout loan for the heavily indebted country. The IMF projected the Greek economy would shrink about 4.8 percent this year, followed by zero growth in 2013 and a…

Shell admits 207 oil spills in 2011

Terry Macalister, The Guardian STANDFIRST: Shell said in its annual report that the number of spills increased to 207 during 2011, from 195 in 2010 Shell has revealed that its global oil spill record got worse over the last year, with 207 sizeable incidents in 2011. The revelations in the…

Italy court rules LGBT have right to ‘family life’

Italy’s highest civil court opened the way for homosexuals to have the same rights as heterosexual married couples Thursday, but it upheld a ban on gay marriage and said those celebrated abroad were not valid in Italy. In a ruling welcomed by gay rights groups, the court said that homosexuals…

40 Days for Life promises to continue UK anti-abortion vigils

The group behind a US-style Christian protest outside an abortion clinic in central London was urged on Thursday to stop harassing women but vowed to continue its daily vigils. Campaigners from 40 Days for Life were “haranguing” women as they approached the building in Bedford Square in Bloomsbury, said Ann…

Uganda screenings of Kony film halted after protests

A Ugandan youth group said Thursday it would stop screening a hugely popular Internet video calling for the arrest of rebel chief Joseph Kony after local people reacted furiously at its first showing. A screening in the northern town of Lira, attended by many people mutilated by Kony’s soldiers, was…

Syria ‘setting border mines to stop refugee flight’

Syria has planted landmines near its border with Turkey along routes used by refugees fleeing the regime’s deadly crackdown on dissent, the Turkish deputy prime minister said on Thursday. “The Syrian administration has been planting mines, taking measures not to allow refugees to flee to the other side of the…

Pope commissions custom-blended eau de cologne

By Tom Kington– Fragrance, which mixes hints of lime tree, verbena and grass, was concocted by Italian boutique perfume maker Silvana Casoli He is picky about his robes and his red shoes are tailor-made, but Pope Benedict has taken the meaning of bespoke to a whole new level by ordering…

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