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Carter: Egypt polls ‘encouraging’ despite constraints

CAIRO — Former US President Jimmy Carter, who is leading a delegation monitoring Egypt’s first post-revolt presidential election, said on Saturday the process was “encouraging” despite unprecedented constraints. “I would say that these (elections) have been encouraging to me,” he told a news conference in Cairo, but added that his…

India’s Hampi heritage site families face eviction from historic ruins

Hampi’s 2,000 temples and ancient stones attract half a million pilgrims and tourists each year. Conservationists want the site in Karnataka restored to its medieval glory – but the price is the eviction of those who live in its old bazaar, reports Gethin Chamberlain The men came in the middle…

Queen Elizabeth marks diamond jubilee on popular wave

Millions of people will celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee in Britain as the monarch marks 60 years on the throne in the knowledge that the royal family has never been more popular. The celebrations reach a climax over four days from June 2 to June 5 with a 1,000-boat…

Law meant to stifle demonstrations buoys Quebec’s student protesters

A wave of student protests against tuition hikes in Quebec is evolving into a broader campaign against a hastily passed law that aimed to stifle the demonstrations but has so far reinvigorated them. Protesters took to the streets in pouring rain Friday for a 32nd consecutive night as the focus…

Thousands take part in ‘Slut Walks’ in Brazil

Several thousand scantily clad women staged boisterous “Slut Walks” in several Brazilian cities Saturday to protest sexual violence against women. With horns, drums, chants and placards denouncing sexism, nearly 3,000 took to the streets in Brasilia, the nation’s capital, according to organizers and police. “This march is to call for an end to…

Afghan parliament approves strategic pact with U.S.

Afghanistan’s parliament on Saturday voted by an overwhelming majority to ratify a strategic partnership agreement with the United States signed earlier this month, lawmakers said. “We voted with a majority in favour of the strategic pact,” MP Shukria Essakhil told AFP. “Only five MPs voted against it,” she said, adding…

Top Nazi war criminal dies at 90

A Nazi war criminal who escaped from a Dutch jail after the war and evaded all attempts by the Netherlands to get him back has died at the age of 90 in Germany, a hospital source said Saturday. Klaas Carel Faber, who was second on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s list…

Everest season ends with 150 reaching summit

A near-record number of climbers reached the summit of Everest as the season ended Saturday without a repeat of last week’s deadly accidents, which had raised fears of overcrowding on the world’s highest peak. Around 150 people reached the top of the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) mountain at the end of the…

UN observers warn of Syria civil war after massacre

The head of a UN mission warned on Saturday of “civil war” in Syria after his observers counted more than 92 bodies, 32 of them children, in the central town of Houla following reports of a massacre there. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined a chorus of international condemnation amid…

Chen Guangcheng’s brother goes missing after fleeing to Beijing

Blind activist’s brother Chen Guangfu disappears after leaving village to seek help for son facing murder charge The brother of the blind activist Chen Guangcheng has gone missing after fleeing his village in north-eastern China to seek help for his son who is facing an attempted murder charge. Chen Guangfu,…

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