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Hezbollah denies role in Israel diplomat attacks

BEIRUT — Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Thursday denied his Lebanese militant party had any role in a series of attacks on Israeli diplomats. “Regarding the explosions that took place in India, Georgia and Thailand, I can tell you categorically that Hezbollah has nothing to do” with them, he said…

Syria arrests top blogger, rights activist: lawyer

BEIRUT — Security forces on Thursday arrested blogger Razan Ghazzawi, symbol of the 11-month uprising in Syria, along with rights activist Mazen Darwish and 12 others, opposition figures said. Human rights lawyer Anwar Bunni said Ghazzawi, 31, was arrested in an early afternoon raid on the Syrian Centre for Media…

Rio giving out 3 million free condoms during Carnival

The government of Rio de Janeiro state will distribute more than three million condoms free of charge during Brazil’s five-day carnival that begins Friday. State health officials said their “using a condom rates 10 in harmony” campaign aims to prevent AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, particularly among…

Netanyahu blasts Iran over nuclear program

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran on Thursday of being the most irresponsible country in the world and said sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme “haven’t worked.” “Iran has been exposed for being the most irresponsible power on earth today. The one that exports terror with abandon is…

War on drugs must be Afghan top priority: UN chief

UN chief Ban Ki-moon Thursday urged Afghanistan to make fighting drug trafficking a priority as opium harvests soar in the world’s top producer, and said the world must help in the effort. “Above all, the Afghan government must prioritise the issue of narcotics,” Ban said in his opening address in…

Libya struggles to revive economy

Oil exports are approaching pre-conflict levels and international sanctions have been lifted, but four months after fighting ended, experts warn that Libya’s financial situation remains fragile. The new leadership has inherited an economy in disarray, plagued by the corruption and mood swings of deposed ruler Moamer Kadhafi and his clan,…

Palestinian children die in W.Bank crash

At least eight Palestinian children from east Jerusalem were killed on Thursday when their school bus was hit by a truck on a road in the West Bank, Israeli police said. “There are between eight and 10 Palestinian children dead, aged between 10 and 16, and more than 30 injured…

Honduras dead identities sought after jail fire

Honduras medics and international experts on Thursday worked to identify the charred remains of inmates killed when fire swept through an overcrowded prison, killing more than 350 people. The first 115 bodies were transported to the mortuary in the capital Tegucigalpa overnight, Security Minister Pompeyo Bonilla told AFP, as relatives…

Woman charged over 13-year-old’s ‘random’ murder

A woman was remanded in custody on Thursday charged with the murder of a 13-year-old girl who was stabbed in a Doncaster park. Hannah Bonser, 26, made a brief appearance at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court over what police have called a “random, isolated attack” on Casey-Lyanne Kearney, 13, as the teenager…

Millions of flood victims still at risk in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD — A feeble international response to Pakistan’s second major flooding crisis in two years has left millions of people at serious risk of malnutrition and disease, aid groups warned Thursday. The Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF), a network of the 41 largest international charities in the country, called on the…

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