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Nearly 700 arrested in Quebec student protests

Nearly 700 people were arrested overnight in rowdy demonstrations in Montreal and Quebec over a planned hike in student tuition fees with rocks being hurled at police, a spokesman said Thursday. Police in Montreal had said the unsanctioned protest would be tolerated if there was no trouble but after some…

U.S. drone strike kills 8: Pakistani officials

A US drone strike on Thursday killed eight militants in a Taliban stronghold of Pakistan’s tribal belt, bringing the death toll from such strikes to 12 in two days, Pakistani officials said. “The drone fired two missiles on a house in Hassokhel town,” 25 kilometres (16 miles) east of Miranshah,…

Mountain climber engages in Twitter war with students who had to read his book

Even the most successful authors have to suffer the occasional fit of spite from critics and readers. Few, however, have to contend with the twin indignities of being branded a “crevasse wanker” and having their accounts of preternatural mountain endurance rubbished by sulky teens. Fortunately, as befits a man who…

Chen’s brother flees east China village for Beijing

The brother of a blind Chinese activist who triggered a diplomatic row between Beijing and Washington arrived in the capital Thursday after escaping his heavily guarded home, a rights lawyer said. Chen Guangfu, the elder brother of Chen Guangcheng, fled his home village of Dongshigu in eastern China’s Shandong province…

‘Indecent’ Zuma painting difficult to ban: judge

South African President Jacob Zuma’s bid to ban a painting in which his genitals are exposed on Thursday suffered a setback with a court saying it would not be easy to enforce any order. Satirical artist Brett Murray’s depiction of Zuma in a Vladimir Lenin pose — branded “indecent” by…

2 dead, 7 people hurt in Beirut shootout

Lebanese security forces stormed a building in Beirut early Thursday after a nighttime shootout with gunmen holed up inside a flat, in an incident which left two dead and seven wounded, security sources said. One gunman was killed in the shootout and the body of another man was found inside…

Philippine farmer who shot, ate rare eagle fined

Conservationists on Thursday slammed the “pathetic” fine handed to a Philippine farmer who shot and ate one of the world’s rarest eagles, saying it could embolden other hunters. In the first case brought under the country’s 2001 wildlife act, Bryan Balaon, 26, was fined 100,000 pesos ($2,300), Philippine Eagle Foundation…

EU vows to keep Greece in the fold but plans for exit

European Union leaders pledged support for Greece on Thursday, vowing to keep the debt-wracked country in the eurozone as officials prepared behind the scenes for a possible doomsday scenario of exit. After a growth-oriented EU summit dominated by fears of a “Grexit” that went into the early hours of the…

Egyptians vote on second day of presidential elections

Egyptians swarmed polling stations on the second day Thursday of a gripping presidential election in which candidates are pitting stability against the ideals of the uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s rule. Long queues formed outside the voting centres after they opened at 8:00 am (0600 GMT), with authorities declaring Thursday…

Iran nuclear talks go down to the wire

Crunch Iranian nuclear talks went down to the wire on Thursday, with Tehran threatening to walk away unless world powers ease sanctions in return for a partial suspension of its atomic activities. The P5+1 — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany — want to persuade Iran to…

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