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Loggers threaten Brazil Amazon residents: Amnesty

RIO DE JANEIRO — Communities in remote corners of Brazil’s Amazon jungle are facing repeated assaults and death threats from illegal loggers who want to steal their lands, Amnesty International said Wednesday. The human rights group said there was no police presence in parts of Brazil’s northwestern Amazonas state and…

Donald Trump’s appearance sparks near-riot outside Scottish parliament

It started quite calmly but ended with a near riot, as supporters and critics traded applause and insults. Donald Trump, ever the crowd-pleasing showman, the brusque, blunt wheel-dealer, had his wish. After a relatively understated appearance at the Scottish parliament to decry Scotland’s rush for windpower, where he in effect…

Rupert Murdoch calls British PM’s son ‘retarded’

During a media ethics inquiry on Wednesday, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch described David Cameron’s disabled son as “retarded” while trying to praise the British Prime Minister as a family man. In the wake of a hacking scandal at News Corp.’s now-defunct News of the World, Lord Justice Brian Leveson…

Israel military chief: Iran not pursuing nuclear weapon

JERUSALEM — Israel’s military chief toned down the rhetoric over Iran’s nuclear programme on Wednesday, describing the Iranian leadership as “very rational” and unlikely to take the decision to build a bomb. Speaking to the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said Iran was systematically approaching the point at…

Kenyans allege British involvement in rendition and torture in Uganda

Claims by two Muslims accused of role in bomb attack during 2010 World Cup date from after coalition came to power Two men facing terrorism charges in east Africa are accusing the British government and its intelligence agencies of being involved in their abduction, unlawful rendition and torture. The allegations…

Battle over EU budget set to turn ugly

Negotiations over the European Union budget looked set to turn ugly Wednesday as a drive to ramp up 2013 funding ran into a push to impose a decade of austerity on Brussels. The European Commission is expected to call at 1100 GMT for a budget next year of 138 billion…

Murdoch denies seeking favors from UK leaders

Media baron Rupert Murdoch tried on Wednesday to downplay his influence on British politics, saying in his first appearance at a press ethics inquiry he had never asked a prime minister for anything. His testimony on oath at the Leveson inquiry in London came a day after claims emerged during…

S&P downgrades India outlook to negative

Standard & Poor’s on Wednesday downgraded India’s credit outlook to negative as a weakening economy and gaping fiscal deficit put the country’s prized investment-grade rating at risk. The agency maintained India’s rating at BBB-, but warned it faces at least a one-in-three chance of losing its status if its financial…

China shuts ‘rumor’ blogs in Internet crackdown

One of China’s most popular microblogging services has shut several accounts for spreading “malicious” rumours, as Beijing tightens control over the Internet after the ouster of a top leader. The move followed a broad crackdown on the Internet after rising political star Bo Xilai’s downfall in March, sparking a series…

Sarkozy says no deal with far-right

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday he would not do a deal with the far-right, but insisted those who vote for Marine Le Pen’s National Front should not be demonised. Both Sarkozy and his Socialist challenger Francois Hollande finished ahead of Le Pen in Sunday’s first round vote in…

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