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Thousands rally against nuclear power in Taiwan

TAIPEI — Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Taiwan Sunday calling on the government to shut down the island’s nuclear power plants, citing the painful lesson of Japan’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake one year ago. In the capital city of Taipei, the crowd observed a one-minute silence to pay tribute…

Candlelight events mark Japan disaster anniversary

FUKUSHIMA, Japan — Candlelight ceremonies were held across Japan Sunday night, wrapping up a day of commemoration as the nation marked the first anniversary of its devastating earthquake and tsunami. More than 300 people gathered for “Candle Night” in front of local government offices in Fukushima city hours after around…

Israel says Gaza strikes to go on ‘as long as necessary’

JERUSALEM — Israel will continue air strikes against Gaza “as long as necessary,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, giving no indication that a ground operation was likely for now. “We extracted a high price from them and will continue to do so,” he said at the start of…

Anglican leader, pope pray for unity, warn of greed

The Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Benedict XVI jointly prayed for the unity of Christianity in a rare gesture on Saturday despite simmering resentment over the Catholic Church’s move to recruit Anglicans. Anglican leader Rowan Williams and the pope celebrated vespers together in the monastery of San Gregorio al Celio…

Taliban Guantanamo inmates can be sent to Qatar: Afghanistan

The Afghan government will not oppose the transfer of five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar, a spokesman for President Hamid Karzai said on Sunday. Spokesman Aimal Faizi told AFP that the prisoners had expressed their willingness to be moved to Qatar, and the Afghan government would not oppose…

EU concerned about latest Gaza violence

The European Union on Saturday expressed concern at the worst Israeli-Palestinian violence in three years which left 14 Palestinians dead, calling on both sides to restore calm. A statement from EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the bloc “is following with concern the recent escalation of violence in Gaza…

Shimon Peres wants to be your Facebook friend …’for peace’

Jews are the people of the Book but also the “people of the Facebook,” Israeli President Shimon Peres joked about his flashy new page — complete with electro-pop video — on the site. “You have to speak the language of the young people,” the 88-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner laughed,…

Protests as Strauss-Kahn speaks at Cambridge University

Scuffles broke out Friday at Cambridge University as about 200 protesters demonstrated against a speech by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF chief accused of sexual assault. Angry students shouted “DSK, go away” and “shame on you” outside the debating society building where he made an address on the global economy,…

Japanese cabinet was warned of Fukishima meltown

Top Japanese cabinet ministers were warned of possible nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima hours after the tsunami hit last March, government papers have revealed, despite repeatedly denying the risk in public. A summary of a government meeting held about four hours after a giant earthquake sent huge waves crashing into the…

Syria pounds protest city hours before Kofi Annan visit

Syrian troops heavily shelled the northwestern protest city of Idlib early Saturday, in an apparent prelude to a ground assault just hours before the scheduled arrival of international peace envoy Kofi Annan, a watchdog and an activist said. “It’s the heaviest bombardment since troop reinforcements were sent to Idlib earlier…

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