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Art exhibit of kinky nuns, tattooed Christ, sparks protests in Spain

Catholics and conservatives have denounced as blasphemous two recent exhibitions in Madrid featuring kinky nuns in lingerie and tattooed and near-naked Christs. Catholic group AES called a demonstration for Friday evening outside the Fresh Gallery in Madrid against its latest exhibition: “Obscenity”, a collection of photographs by Canadian artist Bruce…

Libya marks revolution day as leader issues warning

Libyans celebrated on Friday the first anniversary of the uprising against Moamer Kadhafi with fireworks and slogans, even as their new leader vowed to act firmly against further instability. Hundreds gathered in Tahrir (Liberation) Square in Benghazi, the city which first rose against Kadhafi and his 42-year regime, after traditional…

Pakistan suicide attack kills seven: official

A suicide attack ripped through a Pakistani market on Friday, killing at least seven people and wounding 45 others near a mosque in the country’s tribal badlands, officials said. The bomb exploded near a Sunni Muslim mosque as the main Friday prayers were taking place in Parachinar, in the past…

Thai police seek new Iranian bomb suspect

Police in Thailand said Friday they were hunting for a fifth Iranian suspected in a failed bomb plot in Bangkok that has sent tensions between Israel and Iran soaring. The tourist magnet has stepped up security following Tuesday’s blasts, the third bomb incident to shake world capitals in less than…

Germany’s president resigns in blow to Merkel

Germany’s president resigned Friday after a string of scandals, handing Chancellor Angela Merkel a political headache at home as she battles to lead Europe from its debt crisis. “I am … today stepping down from the office of federal president to free up the way quickly for a successor,” Christian…

Western students lag Asians by three years: study

Western schoolchildren are up to three years behind those in China’s Shanghai and success in Asian education is not just the product of pushy “tiger” parents, an Australian report released Friday said. The study by independent think-tank The Grattan Institute said East Asia was the centre of high performance in…

Thousands stranded as Australian airline goes bust

SYDNEY — Budget carrier Air Australia collapsed Friday, stranding thousands of passengers as its domestic flights and international services to Honolulu, Bali and Phuket were all grounded. The news came a day after embattled Australian flagcarrier Qantas said it was slashing at least 500 jobs, cutting costs and closing two…

Libya marks revolution day as leader issues warning

BENGHAZI, Libya — Libya began celebrating on Friday the first anniversary of the uprising against Moamer Kadhafi, with fireworks and slogans, even as its new leader vowed to act firmly against further instability. The former rebels who, backed by NATO, toppled Kadhafi last year set up fresh check-points in the…

Hezbollah denies role in Israel diplomat attacks

BEIRUT — Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Thursday denied his Lebanese militant party had any role in a series of attacks on Israeli diplomats. “Regarding the explosions that took place in India, Georgia and Thailand, I can tell you categorically that Hezbollah has nothing to do” with them, he said…

Syria arrests top blogger, rights activist: lawyer

BEIRUT — Security forces on Thursday arrested blogger Razan Ghazzawi, symbol of the 11-month uprising in Syria, along with rights activist Mazen Darwish and 12 others, opposition figures said. Human rights lawyer Anwar Bunni said Ghazzawi, 31, was arrested in an early afternoon raid on the Syrian Centre for Media…

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