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Malaysian police detain Saudi tweeter

Malaysian authorities Friday said they had detained a young Saudi journalist who fled his country after Twitter comments he made about the Prophet Mohammed triggered calls for his execution. Hamza Kashgari was taken into custody after flying into Malaysia’s main international airport on Thursday, national police spokesman Ramli Yoosuf told…

U.S. extends travel warning to Mexico over violence

(Reuters) – Spreading drug violence, kidnappings and carjackings in Mexico have led the State Department to increase the number of places it says Americans should avoid for safety reasons for the second time in less than a year. A travel advisory issued this week urged U.S. citizens to avoid all…

Greek unions unleash 48-hour anti-austerity strike

Greek unions Friday unleashed a 48-hour strike against new austerity measures to go before parliament and required by the European Union and the IMF in exchange for badly needed aid. The measures, dubbed “the grave of Greek society,” sparked a strike call by the CSEE and Adedy unions that together…

Powerful car bombs rip through Syrian town

Two powerful car bombs targeting security posts ripped through Syria’s second city of Aleppo on Friday, killing at least 25 people and wounding 175, even as tanks surged into battered protest hub Homs. State television said “armed terrorist groups” carried out the attacks, the first in Aleppo since the outbreak…

Uganda MP to drop death clause in anti-gay bill

A Ugandan lawmaker behind a proposed draconian anti-gay bill that sparked an international outcry said Friday he wanted to drop clauses that would see the death penalty introduced for certain homosexual acts. “There will be no death penalty at all… that will go,” David Bahati, the legislator who formulated the…

Oil prices rise on Greek deal

NEW YORK — Oil prices rose on Thursday, with Brent hitting six-month highs in part due to hopes of a Greek debt deal — helping to offset a slight cut in OPEC’s demand growth forecast. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in March,…

Largest virtual telescope operational in Chile

SANTIAGO — Astronomers in Chile said this week they had created the world’s largest virtual optical telescope by using a special technique to combine images from the four most powerful devices as if they were a single device. “This weekend we managed to finish the process (of merging the images)…

Uganda government denies backing anti-gay bill

Uganda’s government has distanced itself from a controversial anti-gay bill calling for severe penalties on homosexuality after it was reintroduced in parliament this week. But in a statement released late Wednesday, the government said parliament had the right to debate the legislation, which was shelved last year after widespread condemnation.…

Ending child marriage can boost India’s rise: Desmond Tutu

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s development is being slowed by discriminatory practices against women such as child marriage, which stifle their potential to contribute to growth, South African peace campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu said. “India is doing fantastically. I mean they are complaining about seven percent GDP growth. Imagine if…

Maldives’ ex-president awaits arrest

The ex-president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, who claims he was forced from office in a coup, said he expected to be arrested on Thursday as protests and violence escalated in the holiday paradise. Nasheed, the Indian Ocean country’s first democratically elected president, told AFP at his family home in…

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