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Pulitzer Prize picture highlights ethics debate

WASHINGTON — It is a picture of pure horror that is difficult to look at. But Agence France-Presse photographer Massoud Hossaini’s gut-wrenching image of an Afghan girl crying in fear after a suicide bomber’s attack last December was widely disseminated and on Monday won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news…

Huge detention center to be Israel’s latest weapon in migration battle

A vast detention complex is rising from the sandy grounds of Ktzi’ot prison in the Negev desert, close to Israel’s border with Egypt, which will become the world’s largest holding facility for asylum seekers and migrants. When it is completed, at an initial cost of £58m to the Israeli government,…

Uncertain future for Japan’s cat cafes

For the young women whiling away their evenings with a cappuccino in hand and a cat on their lap, Tokyo’s “neko cafes” are the ideal place to unwind and soothe their stresses. “After a long day at work, I just want to stroke cats and relax,” said saleswoman Akiko Harada. “I…

Australia to withdraw troops from Afghanistan early

Australia said Tuesday it will bring its troops home fromAfghanistan a year earlier than planned with most soldiers withdrawn in 2013 after significant security gains over the past 18 months. Canberra, a key coalition ally of the United States, has repeatedly said it intends to remain in the war-wracked nation until 2014…

Yemen militants killed in suspected U.S. drone raid

A suspected US drone strike in Yemen’s southeastern Shabwa province has killed five Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants, a local government official said on Tuesday. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said a “US drone” targeted the five men late on Monday in Shabwa, a mostly lawless region of Yemen where the extremist group has expanded…

U.S. rules out easing Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday ruled out Iran’s call for a lifting of sanctions, saying that the Islamic republic must first address concerns over its nuclear program in “concrete” ways. Iran held talks with major powers on Sunday for the first time in 15 months. Foreign Minister Ali…

Pope celebrates 85th birthday with Bavarian singalong

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI on Monday sang along to the anthem of his native Bavaria in Germany to celebrate his 85th birthday, which makes him the oldest pope since Leo XIII who died in 1903 aged 93. The pope began his birthday with mass in the frescoed Pauline…

Doctors fight to save the life of six-legged Pakistani baby

Doctors in Pakistan are fighting to save the life of a baby boy born with six legs because of a rare genetic condition, hospital officials said Monday. The infant was born to the wife of an X-ray technician a week ago, Jamal Raza, the director of National Institute of the…

U.S. nominee Jim Yong Kim chosen to lead World Bank

The World Bank chose Korean-American physician Jim Yong Kim as its next chief Monday in a decision that surprised few despite the first-ever challenge to the US lock on the Bank’s presidency. The Bank’s directors chose Kim, a 52 year old US health expert and educator, over Nigerian Finance Minister…

Gay men kiss as Muslims protest atheist convention in Australia

A kiss between two gay men angered Muslims who were protesting outside the Global Atheist Convention in Australia over the weekend. Gregory Storer and his partner, Michael Barnett, were attending the convention in Melbourne when they were confronted by a group of Muslim protesters holding signs that that said, “Atheism…

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