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Islamists pursue gains in Egypt’s phased election

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s rival Islamist groups sought more gains in the second round of a parliamentary election on Wednesday, with liberals also fighting for a voice in an army-led transition that began with the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. Egypt’s first free election in six decades is unfolding in three stages…

Epic race to South Pole remembered on 100th anniversary

One hundred years ago Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen won the race to the South Pole in a dramatic and ultimately fatal duel with British adventurer Robert Scott that captured the world’s attention. On December 14, 1911, not long before the outbreak of World War I as nationalism was on the rise in Europe, Amundsen and the…

Oil prices weaken as OPEC meets on output

World oil prices fell on Wednesday, dampened by eurozone worries and falling shares, as OPEC ministers began a production meeting which was widely expected to maintain output, traders said. Later in the day, traders will also digest the latest snapshot of energy inventories in the United States — the world’s top crude consuming…

Belgian gunman killed himself after spree: prosecutor

A lone gunman who went on a murderous spree in the Belgian city ofLiege committed suicide after slaying three youngsters in a crowded square and killing a cleaning-woman, the prosecutor said on Wednesday. “Nordine Amrani committed suicide with a bullet to the head,” saidDaniele Reynders at a press conference. “The coroner said he…

Lone Belgian gunman kills four, injures scores

LIEGE, Belgium — A lone gunman armed with grenades opened fire on a square packed with children and Christmas shoppers in the Belgian city of Liege on Tuesday killing three people and injuring scores more. Officials named the gunman — who was also killed in circumstances that are not yet…

Far-right author kills two, then self in Florence

ROME — An Italian far-right author shot dead two Senegalese vendors and wounded three in Florence on Tuesday before killing himself in a daylight shooting spree that prompted outpourings of grief in the historic city. Witnesses said they saw the gunman calmly getting out of a car at a street…

Gender-bending male model stars in Dutch bra ads

WASHINGTON — Gender-bending male model Andrej Pejic acknowledged Tuesday he’s the svelte blond “woman” featured in a Dutch advertising campaign for push-up bras. “Did I ever think I had enough booty to advertise a push-up bra? No. But am I working it or what??” the Bosnia-born Australian — a runway…

U.S. climate envoy upbeat on China relations

WASHINGTON — The top US climate negotiator on Tuesday gave an upbeat assessment of ties with China, saying the world’s two largest emitters found ways to work together at UN-led talks in Durban, South Africa. The tone contrasts with a recent harder line toward China from US President Barack Obama’s…

China halves executions to about 4,000 a year: NGO

China has halved its executions since 2007, when its high court began reviewing death row cases, but still puts around 4,000 people to death every year, a US campaign group said on Tuesday. The exact number of people executed in China every year is a state secret, but according to Amnesty International,…

UN estimates over 5,000 dead in Syria crackdown

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed at least 13 people on Tuesday, reports said after the UN estimated more than 5,000 have died in a nine-month crackdown on dissent. UN rights chief Navi Pillay gave the latest death toll — amounting to a jump of 1,000 in less than…

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