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Israel general strike ends after four days

JERUSALEM — Israeli unions announced on Sunday they were ending a general strike on its fifth day, after reaching an agreement with treasury officials that will boost salaries and benefits for contract workers. At a joint news conference, the head of the Histadrut trade union confederation and Finance Minister Yuval…

Palestinian unity deal a mistake: Gaza Hamas leader

Senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahar slammed a Palestinian unity deal as a “mistake” that has thrown the Islamist movement into crisis, in an interview with Egypt’s official MENA agency published on Sunday. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal signed an agreement with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas earlier this month placing Abbas at…

Venezuela’s Chavez faces challenge as opposition votes

Venezuelan opposition parties are holding their first primary on Sunday to pick a unity candidate to battle ailing President Hugo Chavez, in power for more than a decade, in an October vote. Five candidates are running in the opposition contest with the favorite Henrique Capriles, 39, the energetic governor of…

Castro meets with Cuban intellectuals in 9-hour meeting

AVANA (Reuters) – Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro held his second lengthy public event in a week, this time a nine-hour session with writers and intellectuals, Cuban state media said on Saturday, in another showing he is doing well after serious health problems. “Fidel with intellectuals: More than nine hours…

Arab ministers to meet over escalating Syria crisis

Arab League foreign ministers will meet on Sunday in Cairo to discuss their next move over the Syrian crisis with the bloodshed showing no signs of abating, even spilling over into Lebanon. The Syrian National Council (SNC) said Arab recognition of the opposition umbrella group was imminent after Syrian authorities…

Thousands rally against nuclear power in Japan

Thousands demonstrated in Tokyo on Saturday against nuclear power generation, 11 months after a massive earthquake and tsunami sparked reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Kenzaburo Oe, the 1994 Nobel prize winner for literature, told a central rally at Yoyogi Park, “Radioactive waste from nuclear power plants will…

Niger will not extradite Kadhafi son

Niger will not extradite Saadi Kadhafi even though the son of the slain Libyan leader violated his asylum conditions with “subversive” comments in a television interview, officials said on Saturday. “Our position remains the same — we will hand Saadi Kadhafi to a government that has an independent and impartial…

Greek cabinet approves austerity deal amid resignations, general strike

Greece’s cabinet Saturday approved tough austerity measures demanded by EU and IMF creditors after the prime minister warned that a failed debt deal and default would spark “uncontrolled chaos”. The coalition government, hit by defections on Friday, approved the belt-tightening measures on a day that saw renewed street clashes between…

Germany delays signing anti-piracy treaty as opposition mounts

Opposition has been mounting worldwide to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which would creative a new set of international standards for enforcing so-called “intellectual property” rights. Many opponents see the provisions of the agreement as threatening the integrity of the Internet by promoting censorship and criminalizing everyday online activities. It was…

Russia alarmed over teen suicide rate

Top Russian psychiatrists on Friday called for urgent measures to battle the soaring teenage suicide rate, one of the world’s highest. The number of 15 to 19-year-olds taking their own lives is almost three times higher than the world average at 19 to 20 per 100,000, the health ministry’s chief…

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