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Rio awash with revelers for Carnival

The Rio Carnival came alive Saturday with hundreds of thousands of revelers in outlandish costumes pouring into the city center for a mammoth, samba-driven Brazilian street fest. Drawing huge crowds a day after legendary King Momo declared the Carnival officially open was the Cordao da Bola Preta, the official name…

Poachers slaughter hundreds of elephants in Cameroon

Poachers have slaughtered some 200 elephants in a national park in northern Cameroon, about a third of the population, and the massacre is still going on, according to a wildlife protection group. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said a gang of Sudanese poachers had killed the free roaming…

Pope creates 22 new cardinals

Pope Benedict XVI led a solemn ceremony in Saint Peter’s Basilica on Saturday to induct 22 new cardinals into the prestigious college that will one day elect his successor. The 84-year-old pope, who entered the vast basilica on a rolling platform wearing red and gold vestments, presented the new “princes…

Art exhibit of kinky nuns, tattooed Christ, sparks protests in Spain

Catholics and conservatives have denounced as blasphemous two recent exhibitions in Madrid featuring kinky nuns in lingerie and tattooed and near-naked Christs. Catholic group AES called a demonstration for Friday evening outside the Fresh Gallery in Madrid against its latest exhibition: “Obscenity”, a collection of photographs by Canadian artist Bruce…

Libya marks revolution day as leader issues warning

Libyans celebrated on Friday the first anniversary of the uprising against Moamer Kadhafi with fireworks and slogans, even as their new leader vowed to act firmly against further instability. Hundreds gathered in Tahrir (Liberation) Square in Benghazi, the city which first rose against Kadhafi and his 42-year regime, after traditional…

Pakistan suicide attack kills seven: official

A suicide attack ripped through a Pakistani market on Friday, killing at least seven people and wounding 45 others near a mosque in the country’s tribal badlands, officials said. The bomb exploded near a Sunni Muslim mosque as the main Friday prayers were taking place in Parachinar, in the past…

Thai police seek new Iranian bomb suspect

Police in Thailand said Friday they were hunting for a fifth Iranian suspected in a failed bomb plot in Bangkok that has sent tensions between Israel and Iran soaring. The tourist magnet has stepped up security following Tuesday’s blasts, the third bomb incident to shake world capitals in less than…

Germany’s president resigns in blow to Merkel

Germany’s president resigned Friday after a string of scandals, handing Chancellor Angela Merkel a political headache at home as she battles to lead Europe from its debt crisis. “I am … today stepping down from the office of federal president to free up the way quickly for a successor,” Christian…

Western students lag Asians by three years: study

Western schoolchildren are up to three years behind those in China’s Shanghai and success in Asian education is not just the product of pushy “tiger” parents, an Australian report released Friday said. The study by independent think-tank The Grattan Institute said East Asia was the centre of high performance in…

Thousands stranded as Australian airline goes bust

SYDNEY — Budget carrier Air Australia collapsed Friday, stranding thousands of passengers as its domestic flights and international services to Honolulu, Bali and Phuket were all grounded. The news came a day after embattled Australian flagcarrier Qantas said it was slashing at least 500 jobs, cutting costs and closing two…

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