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Final push begins to head off Palestinian crisis

By Arshad Mohammed and Patrick Worsnip NEW YORK (Reuters) – A last-ditch international push began in New York on Sunday to try to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and avert a crisis over Palestinian statehood at the United Nations. Officials met two days after President Mahmoud Abbas said he would demand…

Pirate Party wins seats in local Berlin elections

When elections were held for the Berlin parliament on Sunday, the established parties generally showed relatively small gains or losses of a couple of percentage points compared to five years ago. The most significant gain was registered by the Green Party, which jumped by over four points to take 18%…

Egypt bans exporting palm fronds for Israeli holiday

JERUSALEM — An Egyptian decision to ban the export of closed palm fronds used in an upcoming Jewish festival is forcing Israel to seek ways to make up the shortfall, its agriculture minister said on Sunday. In the past, Israeli dealers imported between 600,000 and 700,000 fronds, the vast majority…

Sweden hit by ‘substantial’ oil spill

STOCKHOLM — A recent oil spill near the Sweden’s southwest coast is the worst in the area in years and the clean up will take weeks, the Swedish coast guard said Sunday. Authorities first learnt of the spill on Thursday, but its magnitude was not immediately clear. “The accidental oil…

Indonesian women don miniskirts in rape protest

JAKARTA — About 50 women in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, donned miniskirts to protest remarks by the Jakarta city governor who blamed a recent gang rape on the victim’s choice of clothing. Fauzi Bowo called on women Friday not to wear miniskirts when riding on public transport…

Strauss-Kahn in primetime bid to escape trial shame

PARIS — Four months after he was paraded hand-cuffed by New York police, former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was Sunday to try to put two attempted rape accusations behind him in a television interview. Since returning home, the former presidential frontrunner has been under pressure to explain himself, and chose…

Egypt’s ex-tourism minister gets 3-year jail term

CAIRO — A Cairo court sentenced former tourism minister Zuheir Garana on Sunday to three years in prison for illegally issuing operating licences to tourism companies, the state news agency MENA reported. Garana had been previously convicted in May on different corruption charges to five years in prison. He is…

Monster crocodile gets own park in Philippines

BUNAWAN, Philippines — A monster crocodile which is reputedly the world’s largest is the star attraction at its own nature park which opened in the Philippines this weekend, weeks after the beast’s capture. People are already paying 20 pesos (46 cents) to enter the compound in the town of Bunawan…

‘Violent protests’ over China pollution

BEIJING — Hundreds of Chinese have mounted violent protests against a solar panel factory in eastern China over three days, accusing it of cancer-causing pollution, state media reported Sunday Around 500 protesters gathered in Haining city, Zhejiang province, on Thursday, demanding an explanations for the death of large numbers of…

Germany’s Siemens renounces nuclear activity

BERLIN — German industrial giant Siemens is turning the page on nuclear energy, the group’s CEO Peter Loescher told the Der Spiegel weekly in an interview published on Sunday. “We will no longer be involved in overall managing of building or financing nuclear plants. This chapter is closed for us,”…

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