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Eurozone group says it’s ready to bail out Cyprus

The eurozone is ready to bail out embattled Cyprus in coordination with the International Monetary Fund, finance ministers from the 17-nation single currency area said Wednesday. “The Eurogroup acknowledges that an adjustment programme seems warranted at this stage and considers responding favorably to it,” the ministers said in a statement…

Microsoft’s Greek headquarters attacked by arsonists

Microsoft’s Greek headquarters were attacked by arsonists and government statisticians in Italy staged a sit-in pay protest as anti-austerity demonstrations continued to sweep the eurozone. Microsoft’s Athens offices were seriously damaged after armed arsonists drove a stolen truck through the entrance in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and then…

Iran VP blames the Talmud for international drug trade

The teachings of the Jewish book of law, the Talmud, are a driving force behind the international drugs trade, Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said in comments reported on Wednesday. Rahimi’s remarks, at an international anti-drug conference in Tehran attended by many foreign diplomats on Tuesday, were a…

Russian cultural stars urge release of ‘Pussy Riot’ punk rockers

Over 100 of Russia’s best known actors, directors and musicians on Wednesday called for the release of three young women detained after singing an anti-Vladimir Putin song in a Moscow church. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alekhina from the punk rock group Pussy Riot have been held in pre-trial…

Syria walks out of UN Human Rights Council debate

Syria on Wednesday stormed out of a UN debate on a freshly critical report on the rights abuses in the conflict-torn country. “We will not participate in this flagrantly political meeting,” said Syrian ambassador Faisal Khabbaz Hamoui, before leaving the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The diplomat denounced a…

10,000 messages back Assange’s asylum in Ecuador

The Ecuadorian embassies in the United States and Britain have received over 10,000 messages in support of political asylum for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Ecuadorian authorities announced Tuesday. “More than 10,000 emails have been received at the moment,” Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said in a public statement from Quito.…

Deadly raid on Syria TV after Assad speaks of ‘war’

An attack on a pro-government television channel’s offices near Damascus killed three staff on Wednesday after President Bashar al-Assad said Syria was in a “state of war.” As the UN Human Rights Council prepared to hear a new report by a panel it set up to probe the conflict, human…

Bangladesh’s Hindu women fight for divorce rights

Unlike her Muslim compatriots, Tarulata Rani is unable to inherit anything from her family, cannot divorce and cannot claim maintenance from her absent husband — all because she is a Bangladeshi Hindu. Unlike Bangladeshi Muslims or Hindus in neighbouring India and Nepal, Bangladeshi Hindu women can’t divorce as the legal…

U.S. condemns Sudan crackdown on protests

WASHINGTON — A crackdown on protestors will not solve Sudan’s political and economic crises, a US official said, condemning the assault and detention of protestors. “Sudan’s economic crisis cannot be solved by arresting and mistreating protesters,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. “There have been reports of protestors being beaten,…

Salman Rushdie fatwa turned into Iranian video game

Salman Rushdie was the target of a notorious fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic republic of Iran, 23 years ago. Now, the author of The Satanic Verses is the subject of an Iranian computer game aimed at spreading to the next generation the message about his…

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