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Rebellious villagers reject talks with Chinese government

The Chinese village of Wukan, which has been in open revolt since the death of its representative Xue Jinbo in police custody ten days ago, has rejected overtures from the government to discuss ending the standoff. “Leaders at a higher level of local government summoned me for talks,” village representative…

Dozens missing as Russian oil rig sinks in storm

By Thomas Grove and Melissa Akin MOSCOW (Reuters) – A drilling rig with 67 crew on board capsized and sank off Russia’s far eastern island of Sakhalin on Sunday while being towed through a winter storm, leaving more than 50 dead or missing in the icy Sea of Okhotsk. Emergency…

Tens of thousands of Pakistanis rally against U.S.

LAHORE, Pakistan — Tens of thousands gathered in one of the biggest-ever protests in the Pakistani city of Lahore Sunday to condemn NATO and United States over the killing of 24 soldiers along the Afghan border. The protestors, mainly from Islamist groups and political parties, vowed they would march to…

Iraq to launch mediation to end Syria crisis

DAMASCUS — Iraq’s foreign minister will hold talks with the Damascus regime and opposition groups to try to end months of unrest, as deadly clashes raged Sunday between deserters and regular troops. A senior Omani government official meanwhile said the Arab League was “optimistic” that by Monday Syria will sign…

Israel plans more than 1,000 new settlement homes

JERUSALEM — Israel’s housing and construction ministry said on Sunday it was to publish tenders for the construction of more than 1,000 housing units in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. According to the ministry’s website, the tenders are for 500 new units in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Har…

British Tory sacked as aide after Nazi-themed party

LONDON — A Tory MP who attended a stag party where guests dressed as Nazis and toasted the Third Reich has lost his post as an aide and been placed under investigation by Prime Minister David Cameron. Aidan Burley, 32, has been sacked from his role as a parliamentary private…

Czech revolution icon Vaclav Havel dies

PRAGUE — Former Czech president and hero of the Velvet Revolution Vaclav Havel, who steered his country to independence from Soviet rule in 1989, died on Sunday at the age of 75. Havel died in his sleep at dawn in his weekend house in the village of Hradecek, about 140…

Thousands protest against rigged polls in Russia

MOSCOW — Around 8,000 people protested in Moscow and Saint Petersburg on Sunday against what they say were rigged parliamentary polls handing victory to Vladimir Putin’s ruling party. The new rallies come on the heels of a wave of protests that swept Russia last weekend after the opposition and independent…

U.S. warns Nepal over political unrest

KATHMANDU — The United States warned Nepal on Sunday that political strikes threatening to paralyse the country could lead to its travel warning being reinstated. Opposition leaders called a countrywide shutdown on Saturday — forcing shops to close, crippling transport and sparking violence — after a senior party activist was…

Chinese villagers threaten to march on government offices

WUKAN, China — Protesting villagers in southern China said Sunday they will march on government offices this week unless the body of a local leader is released and four villagers in police custody are freed. The 13,000 residents of Wukan, in the wealthy province of Guangdong, are in open revolt…

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