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Ultra-Orthodox Jews wear Holocaust garb at religious protest

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews, some wearing yellow stars or the uniforms of Holocaust death camp inmates, demonstrated Saturday against what they called media attacks against them over their efforts to segregate the sexes in public. The bearded men and young boys in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighbourhood were ostensibly gathered…

Huge wildfire ravages Patagonia

Chilean firefighters on Saturday tried to contain a massive wildfire that has ravaged tens of thousands of acres of pristine Patagonia and forced authorities to close a popular national park. High winds fanned the blaze at the Torres del Paine National Park, a 2,400-square-kilometer (927-square-mile) paradise of mountains, glaciers, natural…

Palestinians to seek UN, Arab league talks on settlement

Palestinian leaders decided on Saturday to seek sessions of the UN Security Council and the Arab League, hoping for action to halt Israeli settlement. A statement by the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation said continued settlement growth in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem was liable “to…

Karzai welcomes Biden’s ‘Taliban not our enemy’ remarks

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday welcomed US Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks that the Taliban “per se is not our enemy”. Biden’s comments to Newsweek magazine last week caused uproar in the US, which has been fighting a 10-year war against the Taliban-led insurgency, but reflected an increasing focus…

Dozens arrested in Russia New Year protests

Russian riot police arrested dozens of people on Saturday in Moscow and Saint Petersburg who tried to stage unsanctioned New Year’s Eve protests against 12 years of Vladimir Putin’s dominant rule. The show of police force marked the first time the authorities had cracked down on members of the Russian…

Iran delays Gulf of Hormuz missile test

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran said it had delayed promised long-range missile tests in the Gulf on Saturday and signaled it was ready for fresh talks with the West on its disputed nuclear program. Iran’s state media initially reported early on Saturday that long-range missiles had been launched during naval exercises,…

Lockheed to build missile defense system for United Arab Emirates

The Pentagon has awarded US defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp. with a $1.96 billion contract to supply the United Arab Emirates with a missile defense system. Under the contract, Lockheed will deliver two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense or Thaad systems that include radar, interceptors and launchers, according to a Pentagon statement. The UAE will also receive…

Maliki declares ‘Iraq Day’ to mark U.S. pullout

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki declared “Iraq Day” on Saturday to mark the end of a pact allowing US forces to stay in the country, two weeks after they left and with Iraq mired in a political row. Maliki called for Iraqis to unite, and said the country’s days of dictatorship…

Aussie adventurers reach South Pole in Antarctic record bid

Two Australian adventurers who once kayaked to New Zealand said Saturday they had reached the South Pole, the halfway point in their bid to be the first to trek unsupported from Antarctica to the pole and back again. James Castrission, a 29-year-old accountant, and Justin Jones, 28 and a scientist,…

Britain plagued by baffling epidemic of metal theft

Great Britain has recently been hit by a wave of metal thieves who appear to spare nothing in their path. Manhole covers, lead from church roofs, electric cables, even memorial statues and plaques with the names of war dead are vanishing in the face of rising demand from Asia and…

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