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U.S. soldier dies after bitten by rabid dog in Afghanistan

A US army soldier died of rabies after being bitten by a dog in Afghanistan, US health authorities said on Thursday. The 24-year-old male first complained in mid-August 2011 of symptoms including shoulder and neck pain, odd sensations in his hands and fainting, shortly after arriving at Fort Drum, New…

Bin Laden worried about ‘unnecessary’ Muslim deaths

Osama bin Laden was deeply worried about “unnecessary” Muslim casualties from Al-Qaeda attacks and called on his deputies to spare civilian lives to shore up his network’s image, according to letters from his compound published Thursday. A year after bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs at his Pakistani…

Documents reveal bin Laden wanted to re-brand al-Qaeda

Documents taken by US special forces from Osama bin Laden’s compound and released by American authorities reveal a leader frustrated by the actions of affiliated groups that he felt were tarnishing the al-Qaida brand. Though tens of thousands of documents, videos and computer discs were seized during the raid in…

Blind Chinese activist planned to ‘spend many years’ in U.S. embassy

The blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng was prepared to spend years in the US embassy in Beijing if necessary as he weighed his next move after escaping house arrest, the US ambassador has said. But the future of the “barefoot lawyer” and his family is now uncertain, after he agreed…

‘Inspector Bear’ finds missing man in Europe

A wild bear on the prowl in the forests of Tyrol is being feted by locals after inadvertently helping unravel the mystery of a missing man. According to officers, the brown bear, which for several weeks had been rampaging in the area close to the border between Austria and Switzerland,…

Indonesian atheist jailed after posting ‘God doesn’t exist’ on Facebook page

When Alex Aan picked up a copy of Karen Armstrong’s Holy War from his local library in west Sumatra in 2005, he had little inkling of his own religious battle to come. But after posting “God doesn’t exist” on Facebook, the soft-spoken civil servant, 30, faces up to 11 years…

New N. Korea sanctions sets stage for nuclear showdown

The UN Security Council on Wednesday put three top North Korean state firms on a sanctions black list over the country’s failedrocket launch. But the assets freeze against three enterprises said to have financed and organized the North’s missile and nuclear programs could soon be followed by a new UN sanctions battle if…

Baghdad hit by attacks as VP death squad trial opens

Gun and bomb attacks struck the Baghdad area where Iraq’s fugitiveVice President Tareq al-Hashemi was to go on trial in absentia Thursday on charges he says are politically motivated. Hashemi, the country’s top Sunni official, stands accused along with several of his bodyguards of running a death squad but the vice president…

China sends more ships to disputed shoal: Philippines

The Philippine military on Thursday accused China of sending more ships to a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, describing the move as an insult that would further inflame tensions. Four Chinese surveillance ships and 10 fishing boats have anchored off the disputed Scarborough Shoal, with the fishermen taking giant clams and corals that are…

Campaigning on hold after 20 dead in Cairo clash

Campaigning for Egypt’s first post-uprising presidential poll was temporarily on hold after thugs attacked an anti-military protest near the defence ministry in Cairo, leaving 20 people dead. Four presidential candidates announced they were temporarily suspending their campaigns over the killings. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi told reporters he decided to stop campaigning for 48…

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