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UN chief Ban Ki-moon called mounting journalist deaths ‘outrageous’

UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Thursday led international outrage at the growing number of journalists killed in the line of duty amid widespread calls for greater protection for reporters. Ban told a World Press Freedom Day event at the UN headquarters that journalists now face “dire threats” and highlighted that…

Egypt’s military promises fair election, power turnover

Egypt’s military rulers vowed Thursday that this month’s presidential election will be fair and moved to assure the public it will hand over power on schedule, a day after a deadly attack on an anti-military protest. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took power when president Hosni Mubarak…

Australia delays Lockheed fighter jet order to save money

Australia said Thursday it will delay its order of 12 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jets by two years to save money in an aggressive drive to return the budget to surplus. The move is a setback to defence contractor Lockheed Martin, which has struggled with delays and cost blowouts…

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…

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