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Putin ‘pleased’ by Russian protests

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday said he was pleased with the protest wave that shook his 12-year domination of Russia but rejected opposition claims that parliamentary elections were rigged. In his annual phone-in session, Putin sought to show he was relaxed about the mass protests alleging fraud in parliamentary…

Iraqis burn U.S. flags to celebrate troop pullout

FALLUJAH, Iraq — Hundreds of Iraqis set alight US and Israeli flags on Wednesday as they celebrated the impending pullout of American forces from the country in the former insurgent bastion of Fallujah. Shouting slogans in support of the “resistance,” the demonstrators held up banners and placards inscribed with phrases…

Nazi hunters launch new drive to prosecute war criminals

BERLIN — The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center launched a new drive in Germany Wednesday to catch the last perpetrators of the Holocaust still at large based on a major legal precedent set this year. Efraim Zuroff told a news conference that the Center would offer a reward of up to…

French woman faces two years in jail for wearing veil

A 32-year-old mother in France could go to jail for two years after she refused to perform 15 days of “citizenship” service for wearing an Islamic veil. Hind Ahmas was arrested outside Elysee Palace in Paris on April 11 after she disobeyed an order to remove her niqab. Magistrates in…

Desperate British students ‘turning to prostitution’

LONDON (Reuters) – Desperate British students, faced with rising costs on the back of government austerity measures, are turning to prostitution, gambling and other dangerous pursuits to fund their studies, support workers and student leaders said on Wednesday. The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), a welfare body for sex workers, said it estimated…

Islamists pursue gains in Egypt’s phased election

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s rival Islamist groups sought more gains in the second round of a parliamentary election on Wednesday, with liberals also fighting for a voice in an army-led transition that began with the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. Egypt’s first free election in six decades is unfolding in three stages…

Epic race to South Pole remembered on 100th anniversary

One hundred years ago Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen won the race to the South Pole in a dramatic and ultimately fatal duel with British adventurer Robert Scott that captured the world’s attention. On December 14, 1911, not long before the outbreak of World War I as nationalism was on the rise in Europe, Amundsen and the…

Oil prices weaken as OPEC meets on output

World oil prices fell on Wednesday, dampened by eurozone worries and falling shares, as OPEC ministers began a production meeting which was widely expected to maintain output, traders said. Later in the day, traders will also digest the latest snapshot of energy inventories in the United States — the world’s top crude consuming…

Belgian gunman killed himself after spree: prosecutor

A lone gunman who went on a murderous spree in the Belgian city ofLiege committed suicide after slaying three youngsters in a crowded square and killing a cleaning-woman, the prosecutor said on Wednesday. “Nordine Amrani committed suicide with a bullet to the head,” saidDaniele Reynders at a press conference. “The coroner said he…

Lone Belgian gunman kills four, injures scores

LIEGE, Belgium — A lone gunman armed with grenades opened fire on a square packed with children and Christmas shoppers in the Belgian city of Liege on Tuesday killing three people and injuring scores more. Officials named the gunman — who was also killed in circumstances that are not yet…

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