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S. America weighs next moves over breast implants

South American health authorities weighed their next moves Friday after France recommended that 30,000 women with implants from troubled French firm PIP have them removed. Tens of thousands of women in over 65 countries around the world have the same implants, made from industrial rather than medical quality silicone. Most of them…

44 dead in Damascus suicide bombings

Suicide bombers hit two security service bases in Damascus on Friday, killing 44 people, in attacks the regime blamed on Al-Qaedabut which the opposition said were the work of the regime itself. The attacks were the first against the powerful security services in the heart of the capital since an uprising against President Bashar…

Siku the abandoned polar bear becomes Internet sensation

A video of an abandoned polar bear named Siku has been viewed over 100,000 times in less than 24 hours. Born at the Scandinavian Wildlife Park last month, Siku’s mother did not make enough milk so he is being raised by humans at the Danish Zoo, according to The New…

Foreigner in North Korea a witness to surreal scenes

A member of the small foreign community in Pyongyang has described surreal scenes of organised mourning, as thousands wail under floodlights and the gaze of state TV cameras after Kim Jong-Il’s death. The aid worker who lives in the North Korean capital, and spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity,…

Egypt’s activists gather for mass rally against army

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian protesters gathered in Cairo for a mass rally they called for on Friday against the military’s handling of protests that killed 17 people and have drawn international criticism of the ruling generals. Protesters who fought soldiers and police in the capital for five days until calm…

Russia warns of religious rift after Arab Spring

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is concerned that the Arab Spring revolutions could sow further turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa by provoking a potentially catastrophic rift between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. In written answers to Reuters, Lavrov said the events in the region…

World leaders attend Czech hero Havel’s funeral

World leaders gathered in Prague on Friday for the funeral of Czech Velvet Revolution hero Vaclav Havel, who died on Sunday at the age of 75. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton joined…

Powerful quakes rock New Zealand’s Christchurch

WELLINGTON — The earthquake-devastated New Zealand city of Christchurch was rocked by two powerful 5.8 magnitude tremors Friday, sending terrified residents onto the streets and forcing the airport to close. The first quake struck at 1:58 pm (0058 GMT) as stores were packed with Christmas shoppers, turning their festive mood…

UN ‘concerned’ about beatings of women in Egypt

UNITED NATIONS — The UN women’s agency on Thursday expressed “great concern” over the recent attacks on women protesters in Egypt and called on military to respect their civil rights. “Women, along with men and children, have been victims of the excessive use of force against peaceful protesters over this…

Iraq will overcome ‘heinous’ attacks: U.S.

WASHINGTON — The United States insisted Thursday that an increasingly tense Iraq would be able to overcome attacks like the “heinous” rash of strikes that killed 67 people earlier in the day. The attacks took place less than a week after the last US soldiers left Iraq, and as US…

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