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Afghan journalist beheaded: official

KHOST, Afghanistan — An Afghan radio reporter was beheaded in the insurgency-plagued southeastern province of Paktika after being lured to a meeting by unidentified men, an official said Wednesday. The body of Samid Khan Bahadarzai, 25, who worked for a local radio station in the town of Urgun, was found…

French wine company to produce reds in China

Moet Hennessy, the wine and spirits arm of France’s LVMH luxury group, said Wednesday it will make red wine in China where a taste for the better things in life has boomed along with the economy. Moet Hennessy said it had joined forces with VATS, a Chinese wine firm, to…

White House regrets Iran ‘failure’ on UN mission

The White House expressed disappointment Wednesday that Iran had made no progress in its dealings with UN nuclear inspectors, branding the fruitless visit a “failure” on Tehran’s part. “We regret the failure of Iran to reach an agreement with the IAEA,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. “It’s another…

U.S.-initiated anti-piracy treaty put on hold by European Parliament

In a major victory for Internet freedom activists, the European parliament on Wednesday placed the ratification of a controversial copyright treaty on hold and asked the European Court of Justice to rule on whether the provisions align with the European Union’s “fundamental rights and freedoms.” The announcement came following publication…

Iran pushes on with nuclear after failed IAEA visit

Iran’s nuclear work will defiantly go on, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday, after UN inspectors left Tehran following talks that failed to lift their suspicions of atomic weapons research. “The Iranian nation has never been seeking an atomic weapon and never will be. It will prove to the world that a…

Unions call protest as Greece works on bailout laws

Greece braced for fresh protests on Wednesday as officials began setting up necessary legislation tied to a unprecedented eurozone bailout and debt swap needed to secure the deal. European stock markets fell and the euro weakened as questions over the agreed rescue still lingered with a senior EU official suggesting…

Five killed in Afghan protests over Koran burning

At least five Afghans were shot dead and dozens wounded Wednesday in clashes between police and demonstrators protesting over the burning of the Koran at a US-run military base, officials said. In the capital Kabul and in provinces to the east, north and south of the capital, furious Afghans took to the streets screaming “Death to America”,…

Australia’s Foreign Minister Rudd resigns amid leadership speculation

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd Wednesday resigned, saying he could not continue without Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s support amid speculation he will challenge her for the leadership. “The simple truth is that I cannot continue to serve as foreign minister if I don’t have Prime Minister Gillard’s support,” he said…

Osaka mayor’s call for a ‘dictatorship’ strikes chord with voters

TOKYO (Reuters) – “What Japan needs most now is a dictator.” Toru Hashimoto, a lawyer and TV celebrity-turned politician, was quick to add when he made that widely publicized remark last year that a Hitler-style dictatorship was neither desirable nor possible given Japan’s democratic checks and balances. But the call…

Nigerians too poor to sue over corporate abuse: jurists

GENEVA — Victims of environmental disasters or other abuses inflicted by corporations in Nigeria are being denied justice as they are too poor or do not know how to seek legal recourse, jurists said Wednesday. “Poor rural victims of corporate human rights abuse are usually unaware of their legal rights…

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