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‘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…

Putin says ‘happy’ about protests

Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who is running for president in Sunday’s polls, said the mass protests against him made him “happy”, but expressed confidence that the majority of people support him. “I am very happy about this situation, because that means that the authorities… have to actively react to what is…

22 dead in NW Pakistan suicide attack: official

A suicide bomber targeted a mosque in a troubled tribal area of Northwest Pakistan on Friday killing at least 22 people and wounding more than 20, local officials said. “The bomber detonated himself near the gate of a mosque in Tirah valley of Khyber tribal region when people were returning…

Obama, Netanyahu set to confront divisions over Iran

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Just days before what could be the most consequential meeting of U.S. and Israeli leaders in years, aides to President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are scrambling to bridge stark differences over what Washington fears could be an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. Further…

Arrested ‘Senior Al-Qaeda leader’ not Al-Qaeda after all, freed in Egypt

An Islamist mistakenly arrested in Cairo on suspicion of being a senior Al-Qaeda figure has been freed, judicial sources and state media said on Thursday. Muhamed Makkawi, confused for the senior Qaeda militant known by the nomme de guerre of Seif al-Adel, was arrested at Cairo airport on Thursday, with…

‘Job creators’ in Spain offer land to cannabis growers

A Spanish village plans to rent out its fields for growing cannabis in an urgent bid to create jobs and money to pay off its debts, officials said. The Catalonian village of Rasquera, population 900, voted late Wednesday in favour of a plan to rent land to an association that…

China says manufacturing activity expands in Feb

China’s manufacturing activity expanded for the third straight month in February as export orders improved, official data showed Thursday, raising hopes the Asian giant was heading for a soft landing. The official purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 51 in February from 50.5 in January, with most sectors showing signs…

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