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Racy Putin videos woo ‘first time’ Russia voters

Under the racy slogan “the first time is just for love”, Vladimir Putin supporters have posted a series of videos aimed at young voters in an increasingly intense presidential election campaign battle. The professional-quality videos initially seem to show young women worrying about losing their virginity before it turns out…

‘Xena’ actress boards ship in New Zealand oil drill protest

WELLINGTON — “Xena: Warrior Princess” actress Lucy Lawless and a group of Greenpeace activists boarded an oil-drilling ship in New Zealand Friday in a bid to disrupt plans to search for oil off Alaska. Lawless and six other protesters boarded the ship Noble Discoverer early Friday in a bid to…

Obama keeps Libya sanctions in place

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Thursday extended by one year the national emergency order allowing sanctions against Libya to remain in place, the White House announced. In a letter to congressional leaders, Obama said he was concerned by ongoing threats posed to US interests by the family of…

UN handed list of Syria crimes against humanity suspects

International investigators on Thursday handed the UN a list of Syrian officials suspected of crimes against humanity, as a defiant regime brushed off an outcry over the killing of two journalists. Fifty-two people were killed across the country, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as activists spoke of…

Slovaks vote to name bridge after Chuck Norris

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) – Slovaks have been voting overwhelmingly in favor of naming a new pedestrian and cycling bridge near their capital for 1980s action film and TV star Chuck Norris. The two other top names in the running for the bridge, which will span the Morava river and cross the…

‘Iran Cyber Army’ hits state TV site

Hackers calling themselves the ‘Iranian Cyber Army’ have attacked the website of mainly Muslim neighbour Azerbaijan’s state television station, the communications ministry said on Thursday. In the overnight attack, the hackers replaced AzTV’s homepage with the message: “Life is a game. Game over!” The state airline AZAL was also hit…

War and neglect leaves 500,000 Afghans homeless: Amnesty

Half a million Afghans displaced by war have been left homeless and struggling to survive because of government and international neglect, Amnesty International said Thursday. Around 400 people join makeshift shelters around the country every day, Amnesty said in a report entitled “Fleeing war, finding misery”, based on three years…

‘Terrifying explosions’ in Syria’s Homs

Syrian regime forces pounded rebel districts of the flashpoint central city of Homs for a 20th straight day on Thursday, a watchdog said, as activists spoke of “terrifying explosions”. The neighbourhood of “Baba Amr, as well as parts of Inshaat have been shelled since 07:00 am (0500 GMT), while mortar…

Britain probes sex-selective abortion claims

LONDON — The British government on Thursday vowed to investigate newspaper reports that doctors illegally approved abortions that were requested due to the sex of the unborn child. Thursday’s Daily Telegraph claimed that it had hidden camera footage which showed doctors at British clinics offering to falsify paperwork in order…

Legalization of gay sex challenged in India court

NEW DELHI — India’s Supreme Court on Wednesday began hearing more than a dozen petitions filed to overturn a 2009 ruling that decriminalised gay sex between consenting adults. Homosexuality was ruled lawful three years ago by a Delhi High Court order that declared the colonial-era ban was unconstitutional, in a…

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