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Mother of WikiLeaks founder to protest Obama visit

The mother of Australian-born whistleblower Julian Assange on Wednesday said she would picket a visit of US President Barack Obama to the capital, Canberra, to rally support for her son. Christine Assange said she would take protests in support of the founder of WikiLeaks to Parliament House next Thursday, where Obama is…

Iran remains defiant on nuclear program

Iran vowed Wednesday it “will not budge an iota” from its nuclear path despite a new UN report hardening suspicions it is seeking atomic weapons, as an Iranian general warned Israel of “destruction” if it launched an attack. The words of defiance fell while the United States and its allies said they were…

IMF chief warns world economy risks ‘downward spiral’

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Wednesday warned the world risked plunging into a “downward spiral” of financial instability and urged Asian economies to be on their guard. Lagarde said Asia was not immune to problems currently sweeping the eurozone, as she began a two-day visit to China likely to focus on the deepening debt…

Global oil demand to rise 14% by 2035: IEA

Global oil demand is set to grow by 14.0 percent by 2035, pulled byChina and emerging economies and the price could reach 120 dollars per barrel, the IEA said in its annual report on Wednesday. “Without a bold change of policy direction, the world will lock itself into an insecure, inefficient and high-carbon…

London police brace for violence as students march

Thousands of students headed to London Wednesday to march against cuts to higher education funding, as a huge police operation sought to head off any repeat of violent protests one year ago. Scotland Yard has deployed 4,000 officers to police the demonstration against cuts to university funding and a hike in tuition…

Saudi hails ‘success’ of this year’s hajj

Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdel Aziz hailed the “success” of this year’s hajj despite fears of “chaos” in the wake of the Arab Spring, as remaining pilgrims continued final rites on Wednesday. “We thank God for the success of this year’s hajj, which was the bestpilgrimage season to ever pass,” Nayef told…

News of the World spied on huge scale: report

LONDON — News of the World engaged in covert surveillance on a huge scale, targeting figures including Prince William and ex-footballer Gary Lineker, a report said Thursday. Private investigator Derek Webb told the BBC that he was hired by the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid and paid to follow more than 90…

Bin Laden successor making limited impact, say analysts

Four months after succeeding Osama bin Laden at the head of Al Qaeda, Ayman Al Zawahiri is spreading jihadist propaganda over the Internet but must mainly be preoccupied with his own survival, experts say. On June 16, six weeks after Al Qaeda founder bin Laden was killed in a US raid, 59-year-old Egyptian Zawahiri was…

Syrian death toll tops 3,500: UN rights office

More than 3,500 people have been killed in the Syrian regime’sbrutal crackdown on dissent, the UN human rights office said Tuesday, deploring the slaughter that went on despite a peace plan. “The brutal crackdown on the dissent in Syria has so far claimed the lives of more than 3,500 Syrians,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the UN…

Botswana pushes to legalize prostitution

For 15 years Thato Serite has made her living as a prostitute alongBotswana’s busiest highway, hired by truckers plying the main route to South Africa. The 35-year-old is an expert at dodging police patrols, but Botswana’s former president Festus Mogae wants to put an end to their cat-and-mouse game by legalising prostitution in hopes of bringing…

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