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George Clooney says Sudan commits ‘war crimes’

NEW YORK — Hollywood heart throb and activist George Clooney on Tuesday said Sudanese government forces are committing war crimes with attacks on civilians — including a rocket strike that he narrowly escaped. “There’s a difference between two armies fighting and what the Geneva Convention calls war crimes,” Clooney told…

Mexico group banned for playing drug songs

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Authorities in the capital of Mexico’s most violent state, Chihuahua, have indefinitely banned popular music group Los Tigres del Norte for playing drug ballads at a concert. Songs glorifying drug traffickers, known as narcocorridos, have attracted a growing following in recent years from Mexico City to…

China to vote on controversial criminal law changes

BEIJING — Chinese lawmakers are due to vote Wednesday on changes to the criminal law that would give police powers to detain some suspects for up to six months in unofficial locations known as “black jails”. Secret detentions in China are well-documented. Many people — from renowned artist Ai Weiwei…

Tablet computers added to British measure of inflation

Tablet computers like Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab have been added into the basket of goods used to measure official British inflation, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday. Inflation is measured each month by a notional “shopping basket” filled with typical goods and services bought by the average…

Street lights turned off as Italian town fails to pay bills

Street lights have been turned off in a Sicilian town after local authorities failed to pay a million-euro bill for power supplies, Italian news websites reported on Tuesday. Local residents of Monreale near Palermo — a popular tourist destination because of its famous Norman cathedral — have been forced to…

Kony 2012 maker defends ‘thoughtful’ campaign

By Lizzy Davies Charity chief behind controversial Ugandan film releases video hitting back at criticisms of its strategy and spending The chief executive of a group that produced the controversial video about the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony has hit back at criticisms of its strategy and spending decisions, insisting the…

‘Afghan soldier shot dead’ at scene of U.S soldier’s attack

An Afghan soldier was killed and a policeman wounded on Tuesday as gunmen opened fire on a government delegation at a service for 16 villagers killed by a US soldier, an official said. “One or more enemy were hiding there. When the delegation arrived they fired — one soldier is…

Axe-wielding arsonist kills imam in Brussels mosque

BRUSSELS — An axe-wielding arsonist burst into a Shiite Belgian mosque, killing the imam and destroying much of the building in an attack local Muslims tipped as the work of Sunni extremists. Police said the man, detained after mosque personnel trapped him inside the building, apparently used fuel to set…

Sri Lanka slaps censorship on text messages

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka has imposed censorship on security-related mobile phone messages despite the withdrawal last year of tough emergency laws following the end of its separatist war with Tamil rebels. The defence ministry’s Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) in a directive to media organisations said they must get…

Bloodhounds deployed to fight elephant poaching in DR Congo

KINSHASA — The Democratic Republic of Congo’s famed Virunga National Park has deployed bloodhounds to track down elephant poachers, a park official said Monday. “The first operation of the specially-trained bloodhounds was launched after a succession of elephant-poaching incidents,” LuAnne Cadd, the park’s public relations officer, told AFP. “The operation…

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