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5.3 million take part in Mexico pilgrimage

MEXICO CITY — More than five million people traveled to Mexico City’s Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe this year to pay their respects to one of Latin America?s most revered holy figures, authorities said Monday. Arriving on their knees, by bicycle or bus, more than 5.3 million pilgrims from…

Saudi woman beheaded for ‘practicing witchcraft’

RIYADH: A Saudi woman was beheaded Monday after being convicted of practising sorcery, which is banned in the ultra-conservative kingdom, the Interior Ministry said. Amina bint Abdulhalim Nassar was executed in the northern province of Jawf for “practising witchcraft and sorcery,” the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA…

Once a stray, Italian kitty inherits $13 million

A cat in Rome, Italy is officially part of the 1 percent after inheriting $13.3 million. Four-year-old Tommaso may have once been a stray, but he’s now the third-richest pet in the world. His 94-year-old owner was a childless widow who left the money to the kitty because no animal…

OECD detects world economy slowing down

Leading indicators all point to a slowdown in the world’s major developed economies, the OECD said on Monday. The composite index of leading indicators, designed to highlight turning points in performance, “point to a slowdown in economic activity in all major economies but with some variation” in individual countries, it…

Giving birth is a battle for survival in Afghanistan

HERAT, Afghanistan (Reuters) – She was 15 years old, heavily pregnant and had travelled eight days on the back of a donkey to reach hospital. Suffering from seizures and high blood pressure, she died soon after at the Herat Maternity Hospital in western Afghanistan, one of the thousands of women…

PM David Cameron’s camp ‘world’s stupidest’: French regulator

PARIS (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron proved the British political right is the world’s stupidest by refusing last week’s European summit deal on fiscal reform under pressure from narrow financial lobby interests, the head of France’s financial sector regulator said Monday. “For a long time it was said that…

Ex-strongman Noriega back in Panama, behind bars

Former strongman Manuel Noriega returned home to face justice in Panama after serving more than 20 years in prisons in the United States and France for drug trafficking and money laundering. Noriega, military dictator 1983-1989, now faces three separate sentences after being convicted in absentia for crimes committed in Panama,…

Japan launches new spy satellite

Japan launched a new spy satellite into orbit on Monday amid concerns over North Korea’s missile programme and to monitor natural disasters in the region, officials said. The Japanese H-2A rocket carrying an information-gathering radar satellite lifted off at 10:21 am (0121 GMT) from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern…

Deadly attack on NATO convoy in Pakistan

Gunmen attacked NATO oil tankers stranded in southwest Pakistan for the second time in days as Islamabad warned it could enforce its blockade of the US lifeline into Afghanistan for weeks. The attackers shot dead a driver and destroyed seven tankers in a blaze of fire late Sunday, the second…

Protests won’t alter Russia vote result: Putin aide

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said Monday the results of Russia’s contested parliamentary polls will stand despite massive street protests and a probe by the election authorities. “Even if you add up all this so-called evidence, it accounts for just over 0.5 percent of the total number of votes,” Putin’s…

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