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100 years after Titanic, dangers remain for cruise ships

PARIS — The Titanic was the pride of the industry when it went down off the coast of Canada on its maiden voyage a hundred years ago with the loss of 1,514 lives, a giant of a ship. These days, the trend is for even bigger and grander vessels, especially…

U.K. feminists hail explosion in new grassroots groups

Dozens of new organisations are springing up around the UK, campaigning on issues from lads’ mags to benefit cuts It was the lads’ mags – with semi-naked women in suggestive poses on their covers – being sold at eye level at her corner shop that did it. “I just don’t…

U.S. wants ‘concrete steps’ from Iran over nuclear program

WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday said Iran needed to take “concrete steps” to assure the United States and the international community that it was not pursuing nuclear weapons. “We’re looking forward to these talks creating a conducive environment for concrete progress,” Jay Carney, spokesman for President Barack Obama,…

U.S. hails constitutional transfer of power in Malawi

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday congratulated Joyce Banda on becoming Malawi’s new president following what it hailed as a peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. In Lilongwe, Banda on Saturday told supporters there was no room for revenge as she was sworn in as Africa’s second female head…

UK schools working to educate students about forced child marriages

When pupils are at imminent risk of forced marriage, schools sometimes have to take desperate measures. For Liz Coffey, principal of Landau Forte college in Derby, helping children to escape the fate decreed by their families has meant anything from “literally bundling them into a car and away” to stretching…

First Arab sumo wrestler chases glory in Japan

With legs resembling tree trunks and packing the body weight of two average-sized men, sumo wrestling’s “Great Sandstorm” would seem a good fit for the wildly popular Japanese sport. But Egypt’s Abdelrahman Ahmed Shaalan, the first professional sumo wrestler from both the African continent and Arab world, faces some mighty challenges as he embarks…

Iran urges ‘honesty’ in crucial nuclear talks

Iran on Monday urged “honesty” at crucial talks with world powers due to be held this week in order to defuse a tense international showdown over its disputed nuclear activities. “We hope the P5+1 will come to the negotiating table with honesty, and we also will make an honest effort so that…

Northern Ireland pinning hopes on Titanic resurgence

A century after the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage, Belfast is counting on a new visitor attraction about the iconic ship to put the city that built it back on the tourist map. The Northern Irish capital hopes the Titanic Belfast complex will entice holidaymakers to spend time — and, crucially, money —…

Mr Gay World pageant dazzles South Africa

One came from the Philippines with mechanical wings, another from Mexico in a rhinestoned Mayan headdress, and one from Finland simply wrapped in a sauna towel. But for the first time, the contestants in Mr Gay World came to Africa, a continent where most countries still maintain sodomy laws, sometimes…

Indian forest-dwellers take battle against mining conglomerate to supreme court

By Jason Burke The leaders of thousands of forest-dwelling tribesmen who have fought for years to preserve their ancestral lands from exploitation by an international mining corporation have promised to continue their struggle whatever the decision in a key hearing before India’s supreme court on Monday. Dubbed the “real life…

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