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Russia, China have let Syrians down: Britain

Russia and China’s UN Security Council veto has let the Syrian people down by backing President Bashar al-Assad’s “brutal suppression”, Foreign Secretary William Hague said Saturday. Their action would only encourage further bloodshed, said Hague in a strongly worded statement responding to their veto of a UN Security Council resolution…

Europe cold snap claims 260 lives, causes ferry scare

Hundreds of people were rescued Saturday after a ferry caught in a snow storm hit a breakwater off Italy, as a vicious cold snap that has claimed over 260 lives across Europe tightened its grip. Ukraine has suffered the heaviest toll with 122 deaths, including many who froze to death…

Thousands mass in Moscow for rival Putin rallies

Tens of thousands took to the streets of Moscow Saturday for rival rallies opposing and supporting Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s political domination one month ahead of presidential polls. Police said between 87,000 and 90,000 turned up for the pro-Putin rally in the west of the capital and put the number…

Army attacks Syria’s Homs, 200 killed: activists

The Syrian army unleashed a massive attack on the city of Homs early Saturday, bombing the protest hub and killing at least 260 people in a bloody “massacre”, activists and witnesses said. The Syrian government denied involvement in the violence, blaming “armed gunmen”, as television stations showed images of bodies…

Record civilian death toll in Afghan war last year: UN

A record number civilians were killed in Afghanistan’s decade-long war last year, with a dramatic rise in the number of deaths from suicide attacks, according to the United Nations. A total of 3,021 civilians died — mostly at the hands of insurgents — up eight percent from 2,790 in 2010,…

Homeless go underground to survive deep freeze

Stanislaw clutches a soup pot as he sticks his head up above the rim of a manhole just long enough for police to fill it with steaming stew before he ducks back into the heating duct he calls home on the outskirts of Warsaw. Night-time temperatures have plunged to a…

UN ‘blood diamond’ group aims to salvage campaign

The new chief of the UN-sponsored Kimberley Process that aims to stop “blood diamonds” reaching market said she was in talks to regain support of a campaign group that recently quit the scheme. Kimberley Process chairwoman Gillian Milovanovic on Friday said she was “continuing discussions” with London-based Global Witness, which…

Muslim sales manager arrested as terrorist for call to ‘blow away’ the competition

MONTREAL — A Muslim businessman in Canada became a terror suspect for telling his sales staff in a text message to “blow away” the competition at a New York City trade show, a religious association said Friday. Moroccan-born Saad Allami, who works as a telecommunications company sales manager, was arrested…

Iran arresting relatives of journalists working for BBC

LONDON — The Iranian government has arrested relatives of Persian-language journalists working abroad for the BBC in a bid to silence them, the British Broadcasting Corporation said Friday. BBC Director General Mark Thompson said the sister of a BBC Persian journalist was arrested last week and held in solitary confinement…

Greenpeace chief warns of ‘perfect storm’ of crises

The head of environmental pressure group Greenpeace warned Friday the world faced a “perfect storm” of crises and was heading for what he termed a crisis of “epic proportions.” Speaking for the first time at the Munich Security Conference, Kumi Naidoo presented an apocalyptic version of the state of the…

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