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The EU authorizes ground strikes in Somalia

The European Union authorised its navies to strike Somali pirate equipment on land as foreign ministers on Friday beefed up the anti-piracy mission and extended it until December 2014. The EU’s Operation Atalanta has deployed between five and 10 warships off the Somali coast since 2008 to escort humanitarian aid…

U.S. backs Dartmouth College president for World Bank chief

The United States is nominating the president of Dartmouth College, Korean-born Jim Yong Kim, to head the World Bank, a US official said Friday. The successful candidate in the race will succeed World Bank president Robert Zoellick, who announced in February he was stepping down at the end of his…

U.S. intelligence: Future shortages will lead to ‘water as a weapon’

The world may see the failure of key states and even regional wars dotting the globe, all over one thing that’s seemingly ubiquitous today in most industrialized societies: water. A report (PDF) by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, released Thursday but originally prepared for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary…

Sweden’s Bildt warns against ‘blowing up’ talks with Iran

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, hailing plans to resume talks between global powers and Iran on its suspect nuclear drive, warned Friday against a “blow up” of the negotiations. “We’re looking foward to a resumption of the dialogue,” Bildt said when asked for comment on a recent agreement to restart…

AIDS orphanage revives Swazi ghost town

Lost in the mountains of Swaziland, Bulembu became a ghost town when the local mine closed, cutting off its lifeblood. Now the town is coming back, centred on an orphanage taking in children whose parents have often died of AIDS. “The babies are abandoned, maybe put in a plastic bag…

UK’s Cameron to bring in minimum price for alcohol

UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the government will introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol in England and Wales to tackle binge-drinking. Cameron said a minimum price of around 40 pence ($0.60, 0.50 euros) per unit would help stop the “scourge of violence” caused by rowdy revellers…

Japan prepares defenses against N. Korean rocket

Japan on Friday readied its missile defence systems to shoot down a North Korean rocket if it threatens the country, as the UN chief warned that next month’s launch could jeopardise food aid. “I have ordered officials to prepare to deploy the PAC-3 and Aegis warships,” Japan’s Defence Minister Naoki…

New Zealand police seize marijuana vending machine

WELLINGTON — New Zealand police said Friday that they seized a marijuana vending machine during a raid on a “cannabis club” in Auckland which campaigns for the drug’s legalisation. The vending machine at The Daktory in suburban New Lynn had been set up to dispense one gram (0.035 ounce) bags…

Nuclear watchdog chief accused of pro-western bias over Iran

Former senior officials warn of parallels between IAEA approach to Iran and mistakes over Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the nuclear watchdog at the heart of the growing Iranian crisis, has been accused by several former senior officials of pro-western…

300,000 Quebec students protest tuition hike

MONTREAL — Tens of thousands of students protested Thursday against a 75 percent tuition hike at universities in Canada’s mostly French-speaking Quebec province, bringing downtown Montreal to a standstill. “We want to study, not go into debt,” shouted the demonstrators, who converged on the metropolis from across the province, packing…

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