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Russia says ‘premature’ for new UN action on Syria

Russia on Wednesday cautioned against taking new UN action onSyria after the massacre of 108 civilians in Houla and sought more time for global envoy Kofi Annan’s imperilled peace plan to work. The comments came just a day after the US State Department said it hoped last week’s tragedy would spark a “turning point” in…

Australia moves to criminalize forced marriage

Australia on Wednesday moved to criminalise forced marriage, forms of slavery prevalent in the sex industry and the trafficking of organs. Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said such practices had no place in a democratic nation as she introduced the new laws, which she said covered “a spectrum of human misery”, into parliament for debate. “Tragically, nineteenth…

UK politician: Professions should be more diverse

Professions including medicine, law should be doing more to recruit people from poorer backgrounds, a report is set to say Wednesday. Alan Milburn, the former Labour minister who is the government’s social mobility advisor, wrote in the Guardian that professions were making “no great galvanising effort” to broaden their talent pool. “There’s a…

Black Italian player vows to walk off field if racially abused

Mario Balotelli, named in Italy’s 23-man squad for the European Football Championships, has threatened to walk off the pitch if he is racially abused by fans. The 21-year-old Manchester City star said in an interview withFrance Football magazine that he reacted differently when Juventusfans targeted him with racist chants during a match for his former club Inter…

Top court rules Assange can be extradited to Sweden

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden, but his extradition was put on hold to give his lawyers a chance to re-open the case. Britain’s highest court rejected the argument from Assange’s lawyers that the Swedish prosecutor who issued the arrest warrant over sex crime allegations was not entitled…

Pope renews trust in allies amid ‘VatiLeaks’ scandal

Pope Benedict XVI expressed his trust in his closest allies Wednesday and said the image of the Church in the media during the so-called “Vatileaks” scandal did not correspond to reality. “I want to renew my trust and express encouragement towards my closest collaborators and all those who help me perform…

‘Anonymous’ targets Montreal Grand Prix to back students

MONTREAL — The global group of computer hackers known as Anonymous threw its support behind Quebec students protesting hikes in tuition fees by threatening to disrupt the Montreal Grand Prix. The activists, who earlier this month claimed responsibility for downing a dozen Quebec government websites, blasted organizers for intending to…

Human foot mailed to Canada’s Conservative Party

OTTAWA — Canadian police are investigating after a decomposing human foot was mailed to the ruling Conservative Party at its headquarters in Ottawa. The package was partly opened by the receptionist who called the police after seeing blood stains and was overwhelmed by the smell. “The Hazmat Unit and Emergency…

Thai web editor to hear ‘royal insults’ verdict

BANGKOK — A Thai web editor is due Wednesday to hear whether she will be jailed for hosting defamatory postings about the monarchy on her website, amid a growing clamour for the law to be changed. The case has stirred fierce debate in Thailand, where strict laws against defaming the…

U.S. hopes for peaceful outcome in Nepal

WASHINGTON — The United States on Tuesday called for Nepal to resolve its political crisis peacefully after the major parties failed to agree on a new constitution, spelling crisis for the war-torn country. “We continue to call for this process to be peaceful. It has been peaceful so far,” State…

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