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Heavy snow, avalanches kill 16 in Afghanistan

Heavy snow and avalanches have killed at least 16 people in mountainous northeastern Afghanistan, leaving dozens more trapped in their homes, according to an official. A week of heavy snowfall cut off main roads in remote Badakhshan province, making it difficult for rescue workers to reach affected villages. “So far 16 people have been killed…

Radical cleric Abu Qatada wins extradition appeal

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday blocked the extradition by Britain of Jordanian national Abu Qatada, who is alleged to have been Osama Bin Laden’s right-hand-man in Europe. The court in its judgement said there was a “real risk” that evidence against Abu Qatada, a radical British-based Muslim cleric, had been “obtained by torture…

Charge dropped for Aussie who ‘mooned’ queen

BRISBANE, Australia — A man who allegedly flashed his buttocks at Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Australia last year had a charge of wilful exposure against him dropped. Sydney man Liam Warriner, 22, was arrested in October and charged with exposing himself as the British monarch, who is…

Rwandan genocide suspect denied bail in Canada

OTTAWA — A Rwandan accused of helping to incite the 1994 genocide was denied bail Monday while Canada considered a request to stay his deportation so the UN can probe a claim that he faces persecution at home. Leon Mugesera — who made an infamous speech in 1992 that is…

Warnings of ecological timebomb after Italy ship wreck

GIGLIO ISLAND, Italy — Fears rose of an environmental disaster from a wrecked cruise ship in an area of outstanding natural beauty in Italy on Monday as hopes faded of finding any more survivors on board. “This is an ecological timebomb,” Sergio Ortelli, mayor of the picturesque Tuscan island where…

Protesters rally in Romania for fifth day

BUCHAREST — Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Romania on Monday for the fifth day in a row, calling on President Traian Basescu to step down after weekend protests marred by violence. Waving Romanian flags, protesters in central Bucharest chanted “Down with Basescu” and “Thieves”. Some of them carried a coffin…

Libya clashes end with prisoner swap, ceasefire

GHARYAN, Libya — Rival Libyan fighters who clashed in towns south of Tripoli have settled their deadly dispute through a prisoner swap and agreed to a ceasefire, local officials said on Monday. “Last night (Sunday) we carried out a prisoner swap… since then, the fighting has stopped,” Colonel Ahmed Omar…

Tunisian ex-PM says Ben Ali wanted to kill protestors

LE KEF, Tunisia — Tunisia’s ex-prime minister Mohamed Ghannouchi told a tribunal Monday that toppled strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had wanted to kill at least 1,000 protestors demanding his exit. Ghannouchi appeared as a witness in the trial probing manslaughter charges against Ben Ali and his key aides,…

Social inequality in wealthy nations on the rise: WHO

Social inequality in wealthy nations is increasing while in parts of the developing world many diseases are on the wane, Margaret Chan, head of the World Health Organization said Monday. “In some wealthy countries, the difference in the quality of life between the older generation and today’s youth is the…

Israel rattled as hackers hit stock exchange, key outlets

(Reuters) – Hackers disrupted online access to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, El Al Airlines and three banks on Monday in what the government described as a cyber-offensive against Israel. The attacks came just days after an unidentified hacker, proclaiming Palestinian sympathies, posted the details of thousands of Israeli credit…

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