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UN talks to focus on food prices, land-grabbing

Global food price volatility will be the focus of World Food Day celebrations in Rome on Monday which will also address the issue of massive farmland purchases by rich countries in the developing world. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) talks coincide with a meeting of the Committee on…

Wal-Mart China head steps down after pork scandal

The head of Wal-Mart’s China business has quit, the US retailer said Monday, after Chinese authorities temporarily shut down over a dozen stores found to be selling pork falsely labelled as organic. Ed Chan left “for personal reasons,” Wal-Mart said in a statement, adding that Clara Wong, senior vice president…

Canon of St. Paul’s protects Occupy London, tells police to move on

The British counterpart of Occupy Wall Street has found a welcome in the church square of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is located near the London Stock Exchange. On Saturday, the protesters had tried to set up camp in a privately-owned square just outside the Stock Exchange but had been driven…

Hollande wins French left’s presidential primary

French Socialist lawmaker Francois Hollande was crowned favourite for next year’s presidential election on Sunday, winning the left’s primary to choose a challenger for Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy, the right-wing incumbent, is all but certain to run for re-election, but recent opinion polls show him on course to lose, and Hollande’s…

Saudi king hospitalized again, raising concerns for nation’s future

RIYADH — Saudi King Abdullah was hospitalised for a new back surgery in Riyadh, following two similar operations last year in the United States, the SPA news agency early Monday. The 87-year-old was operated in November for a debilitating herniated disc complicated by a haematoma that put pressure on his…

‘Occupy’ protesters remain camped out in Frankfurt and London

Protesters in Frankfurt and London who were inspired by the ongoing “Occupy Wall Street” demonstration in New York City have vowed to remain encamped until something is done about the world’s financial system and economic injustice. Those upset with corporate greed launched worldwide street demonstrations Saturday following America’s “Occupy Wall…

Struggle to get oil off stricken New Zealand ship

TAURANGA, New Zealand — Salvage workers struggled to begin pumping oil from a stricken container ship off the New Zealand coast as approaching foul weather threatened to disrupt the recovery. Meanwhile, authorities began to reopen sections of popular beaches near where the cargo vessel Rena ran aground 11 days ago…

Israel names 477 prisoners to go free in Shalit deal

JERUSALEM — Israel on Sunday released a list of 477 Palestinian prisoners to be released next week as part of the deal to secure Gilad Shalit’s freedom, many of whom were involved in bloody militant attacks. Hundreds of them are serving life terms after being convicted of involvement in attacks,…

Kenyan troops enter Somalia to attack rebels

NAIROBI — Kenyan troops have crossed the border into war-torn Somalia to attack Islamist Shebab rebels they accuse of being behind several recent kidnappings of foreigners, Kenyan officials said on Sunday. “We have crossed into Somalia in pursuit of the Shehab, who are responsible for the kidnappings and attacks on…

Hundreds protest flag ruling in disputed Iraq town

KHANAQIN, Iraq — Hundreds rallied in the disputed Iraqi town of Khanaqin on Sunday to demand the reversal of a central government ruling barring the flag of the autonomous Kurdish region in official buildings. The town, which has refused to follow the directive, lies within territory claimed by both the…

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