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Activists hurl stink bombs, paint at Japan whalers

Environmental activists threw paint and foul smelling acid at whaling ships in the Antarctic ocean in a fresh bid to halt the annual hunt, Japanese authorities said Thursday. The Institute of Cetacean Research, a quasi-public body that runs Japan’s whaling programmes, said members of militant environmentalist group Sea Shepherd threw…

Taliban back peace talks but warn no surrender

Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents warned Thursday that their support for peace talks did not mean they had surrendered in the 10-year war against US-led coalition forces. The comment came as the United States announced that it would send a senior official to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai next week to see…

Top Greek union calls austerity strike

Greece’s main union on Thursday called for a strike in Athens next week as the government upped pressure on labour unions to accept wage cuts to avert bankruptcy. The GSEE union said Tuesday’s strike would send a “strong message” to the government, employers and Greece’s institutional creditors “who are planning…

Spaniards to launch gay retirement homes

Spanish gays and lesbians are uniting to build Spain’s first homosexual retirement residence, driven away from traditional homes by prejudices that linger since the decades of dictatorship. Gays who say they must return to the closet at risk of being isolated and insulted when they enter a care home have…

Furious Iran wants action over scientist’s killing

The assassination of one of Iran’s nuclear scientists sparked deep fury in Tehran on Thursday against prime suspect Israel and against the United States, which said it had nothing to do with the murder. Some hardline newspapers even called for retaliatory action, with one, Keyhan, saying in an editorial that…

New sex scandal hits Australian defence force

SYDNEY — The Australian military was rocked Thursday by a new sex scandal, including allegations of assault, child porn, rape and drug-dealing within its ranks. Documents obtained by Channel Seven News under the Freedom of Information Act detail what it called “ongoing, often major, breaches of discipline in Australia’s armed…

North Korea says Kim’s body to lie in state

SEOUL — North Korea Thursday announced plans to honour late leader Kim Jong-Il, saying his body would lie in state in a Pyongyang palace and memorial towers would be built nationwide. Kim died on December 17 of a heart attack at age 69 after 17 years in charge of the…

In Cuba, Iran leader says capitalism ‘in decay’

HAVANA — Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad slammed capitalism as bankrupt and called for a new world order Wednesday on a visit to Cuba, steering clear of the controversy over his country’s nuclear program. The Iranian leader arrived in Cuba for talks with his counterpart Raul Castro as the Islamic republic…

U.S. denies blame in killing of Iranian scientist

WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday denied that it was to blame for the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist by a car bomb, after Tehran said Washington and Israel were responsible for the attack. “I want to categorically deny any United States involvement in any kind of act…

Marines to probe video of soldiers urinating on corpses

Military officials said Wednesday that they’re investigating a video published online showing four men in U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) uniforms urinating on several lifeless bodies purported to be dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. “While we have not yet verified the origin or authenticity of this video, the actions portrayed are not…

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