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China lead pollution poisons 160 children: report

BEIJING (Reuters) – Lead emission from factories and the natural environment in China’s manufacturing heart of Guangdong has poisoned 160 children, Xinhua said on Sunday in the country’s latest case of unfettered industrial toxins. Children from Dongtang town in Renhua country were found to have “elevated” levels of lead in…

India denies report U.S. troops on soil

India has denied as “factually incorrect” a report that US special forces were stationed in the country as part of counter-terrorism cooperation. Media reports quoted top Pentagon commander Admiral Robert Willard as telling a Congressional hearing on Thursday that US special forces teams were stationed in five South Asian countries,…

Russians vote as Putin seeks return to presidency

Russians voted on Sunday in presidential polls likely to return strongman Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin for a record third term amid a wave of protests unseen for decades. Voters in the world’s largest country, spread across nine time zones, will cast their ballots in a marathon election stretched over…

China calls on both sides to end Syria violence

China on Sunday called on the Syrian government and other “parties concerned” to cease all acts of violence and seek a peaceful resolution to the crisis, Xinhua reported, citing the Chinese foreign ministry. The state news agency said the ministry had released a statement, attributed to an unnamed official, calling for dialogue between the regime and those expressing “political…

Russian TV takes off gloves in election battle

Denouncing opposition figures as agents of the West and portraying Russia as a country under siege, pro-Kremlin television has had no scruples about wading into the Russian election campaign. The NTV channel, a bastion of private broadcasting in the 1990s but now owned by state-controlled Russian gas giant Gazprom, on…

Al-Qaeda offshoot claims Algeria attack

An Al-Qaeda splinter group claimed Saturday to have carried out a suicide attack on a military base in southern Algeria which left 24 people wounded. “We inform you that we are behind the explosion that occurred this morning at Tamanrasset,” a message sent to AFP and signed by the Movement…

‘Grisly reports’ out of Syria tell of torture, summary executions in Homs

BEIRUT/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he had received “grisly reports” that Syrian government forces were arbitrarily executing, imprisoning and torturing people in the battle-scarred city of Homs after rebel fighters had fled. Ban’s comments came as a wounded British photographer, who escaped Homs earlier this week,…

Brazilian same-sex couple has child by in vitro fertilization

BRASILIA — A gay couple has succeeded for the first time in Brazil in having a child through in vitro fertilization, the baby’s two fathers announced Friday. Baby girl, Maria Teresa, was born January 29 in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, and her birth certificate lists both men as…

EU leaders sign treaty for budget discipline

EU leaders signed a new treaty to control budgets on Friday, vowing to turn the corner on the eurozone debt crisis, but new public deficit strains soured the event. Leaders from 25 of the bloc’s 27 nations — apart from the Czech Republic and Britain — signed the treaty at…

Afghan attack on NATO convoy wounds seven

A suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a NATO convoy in the insurgency-hit southern province of Kandahar Friday, wounding seven people including four soldiers, an official said. “A suicide attacker rammed his explosives-laden motorcycle into a convoy of NATO troops in Dand district injuring four foreign soldiers, one policeman, one…

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