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Greece develops cashless, Euro-free currency in tight economy

Jon Henley, The Guardian A determination to ‘move beyond anger to creativity’ is driving a strong barter economy in some places In recent weeks, Theodoros Mavridis has bought fresh eggs, tsipourou (the local brandy: beware), fruit, olives, olive oil, jam, and soap. He has also had some legal advice, and…

Archbishop of Canterbury to step down

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans, said Friday he will resign at the end of the year after struggling to maintain unity over women and gay bishops. After a decade at the head of the Church of England, Williams announced that he would take…

North Korea says it will launch long-range rocket

North Korea said Friday it would launch a long-range rocket next month to put a satellite into orbit, a move that would breach a United Nations ban imposed after previous launches. The announcement came just 16 days after the North’s new leaders agreed to suspend long-range missile tests as part…

Indonesia warns of ‘mistrust’ over U.S. Marine plan

SYDNEY — Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa on Friday said the stationing of US Marines in Australia needed to be better explained to all countries in Asia to avoid “mistrust”. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Natalegawa also called on Australia to “wage aggressive peace” in the region…

50 arrested as Chile education protest turn violent

SANTIAGO — At least 50 people were arrested in the Chilean capital Thursday amid clashes with police during a student demonstration over the quality and cost of higher education. The demo involving some 5,000 protesters also saw three policemen hurt, one of them seriously, in the hours-long clashes, police said.…

French Socialist seeks to retake momentum from Sarkozy

PARIS — French Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande, facing off against resurgent Nicolas Sarkozy, looked to make up ground Thursday with vows to boost taxes on the rich. In a three-hour appearance on France 2 public television, Hollande sought to cement his left-wing credentials with promises of tax hikes on…

U.S. gives $1 million to anti-drugs drive in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — The United States said Thursday it has contributed $1 million to a United Nations program to help probe, arrest and prosecute drug traffickers working in Afghanistan and Central Asia. The United States gave the funds Wednesday in Vienna to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) Regional…

Greece’s economy to exit recession only by 2014

WASHINGTON — Greece’s economy is expected to exit recession only by 2014, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday after announcing a new bailout loan for the heavily indebted country. The IMF projected the Greek economy would shrink about 4.8 percent this year, followed by zero growth in 2013 and a…

Shell admits 207 oil spills in 2011

Terry Macalister, The Guardian STANDFIRST: Shell said in its annual report that the number of spills increased to 207 during 2011, from 195 in 2010 Shell has revealed that its global oil spill record got worse over the last year, with 207 sizeable incidents in 2011. The revelations in the…

Italy court rules LGBT have right to ‘family life’

Italy’s highest civil court opened the way for homosexuals to have the same rights as heterosexual married couples Thursday, but it upheld a ban on gay marriage and said those celebrated abroad were not valid in Italy. In a ruling welcomed by gay rights groups, the court said that homosexuals…

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