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Arab Spring cyberactivists hold convention in Tunis

TUNIS — Some 200 Arab bloggers involved in cyberactivism will gather in Tunis Monday to discuss the role of the Internet and social networking in political change following the “Arab Spring”, organisers said. Following on gatherings in Beirut in 2008 and 2009, the third meeting of Arab bloggers will focus…

Israeli writer wins right to have ‘no religion’

JERUSALEM — An Israeli writer has won a historic court victory granting his request to be officially registered as “without religion” rather than “Jewish,” Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Sunday. Yoram Kaniuk turned to the courts in May after the interior ministry refused to alter his official religious status from…

Egypt ‘committed to free market’ after investor fears

CAIRO — Egypt’s deputy prime minister said on Sunday that his country was committed to a free market economy, after the ownership of three companies was returned to the state, sparking fears among investors. “The government will not backtrack on a free market economy,” said Hazem al-Beblawi, who is also…

Fears of violence shake Mexico schools

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Mexican schools appear increasingly vulnerable to the country’s drug violence, with five human heads dumped outside one school and threats of a grenade attack on another in the past week alone. From northern border areas to Acapulco, on the Pacific coast, to the port of Veracruz, on…

A year after polls, Bosnia still without government

SARAJEVO — A year after last October’s general election, Bosnia is still without a central government, with the inability of political leaders to agree on a future cabinet hampering the bid for EU integration. “Instead of seeking a compromise, the six parties (taking part in the negotiations) are stuck in…

Bolivia Amazon natives resume protest after crackdown

Indigenous Bolivians angry at plans to build a highway through an Amazon nature preserve resumed their protest march Saturday after a violent police crackdown a week ago, a top demonstration leader said. The march began at daybreak in the town of Quiquibey, some 300 kilometers (186 miles) northeast of the…

Thousands rally against Portugal’s austerity plans

LISBON — Tens of thousands of people rallied in Portugal Saturday against the government’s austerity measures, protest organisers said, amid projections that the economic situation was far worse than expected. Government and private sector workers demonstrated in Lisbon and Porto, following a call by the country’s largest trade union federation…

From cannabis beer to seeds, Spanish fair has it all

MADRID — Aitor Hernandez has been looking to buy a new glass pipe to smoke cannabis since June but waited for an annual cannabis fair which got underway Friday near Madrid to make his choice. “You can see all the types of pipes that exist, the newest styles, in one…

Egypt military rulers agree to amend election law

CAIRO — Egypt’s military rulers agreed on Saturday to amend a controversial electoral law following threats of a poll boycott by dozens of political parties and a rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for reforms. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took power when president Hosni Mubarak was ousted…

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