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Saudi interior minister named crown prince

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia’s powerful interior minister, 78-year-old Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, was named the new heir to the throne in a royal decree read out on state television Thursday. Nayef — who has been interior minister for nearly four decades and led a crackdown on Al-Qaeda in the…

French far-right Christians besiege ‘Jesus excrement’ play

PARIS — Paris police have arrested around 20 Christian fundamentalists who burst into a theatre and threw stink bombs to protest against a play featuring the face of Christ drizzled with fake excrement. Police made the arrests at the Theatre de la Ville, on the banks of the Seine near…

Activists occupy site of huge Brazilian dam

SAO PAULO — More than 400 activists on Thursday occupied the site of Brazil’s $11 billion Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, demanding that construction be halted on the controversial project in the heart of the Amazon. “Everything was peaceful — there were no guards or workers,” a spokesman for the Indigenous…

China suspect in U.S. satellite interference: report

WASHINGTON — NASA satellites were interfered with four separate times in 2007 and 2008, possibly by the Chinese military, according to a draft of an upcoming report for the US Congress. The latest draft of the report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said the computer hackers behind…

Inspector: $6.6 billion allegedly stolen in Iraq has been found

A sum of $6.6 billion allegedly stolen in Iraq has been found, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) said Wednesday. While it was thought to have gone missing, an earlier SIGIR report said the funds were not accounted for due to the “weaknesses” of the Pentagon’s management and…

UN ends Libya no-fly zone

The UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously voted to end the mandate for international military action in Libya, ending another chapter in the war against Moamer Kadhafi’s regime. NATO, which carried out the air strikes that played a key role in the downfall of Kadhafi, says it is studying new…

Snowfall in quake-hit Turkey as toll passes 500

Snow blanketed eastern Turkey Thursday, complicating rescue efforts and bringing more misery for the thousands left homeless by a devastating earthquake as the death toll surged past 500. Ninety-one hours after disaster struck in the eastern province of Van, rescuers pulled a 19-year-old from the rubble in the town of…

Bangkok exodus as floods advance on city center

Thousands of nervous Bangkok residents flocked to bus, rail and air terminals Thursday while heavy traffic snaked out of the sprawling Thai capital in an exodus from a mass of approaching floodwater. Water was seeping into central areas of the city of 12 million people, entering the grounds of the…

Outraged Brazilians ‘occupy’ downtown Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO — Around 150 Brazilian activists held signs with angry slogans in downtown Rio de Janeiro in an “Occupy Rio” protest inspired by similar demonstrations in Spain and the United States. “2012 Is the End of the Capitalist World,” read one sign. “Why is the world for everyone,…

U.S. threatens to cut off UNESCO over Palestinian bid

WASHINGTON — The United States warned Wednesday that a vote by UNESCO to accept the Palestinian Authority as a full member with state’s rights could force the United States to cut off funding to the organization. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that in individual and bilateral consultations, the United…

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