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Egypt’s activists gather for mass rally against army

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian protesters gathered in Cairo for a mass rally they called for on Friday against the military’s handling of protests that killed 17 people and have drawn international criticism of the ruling generals. Protesters who fought soldiers and police in the capital for five days until calm…

Russia warns of religious rift after Arab Spring

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is concerned that the Arab Spring revolutions could sow further turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa by provoking a potentially catastrophic rift between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. In written answers to Reuters, Lavrov said the events in the region…

World leaders attend Czech hero Havel’s funeral

World leaders gathered in Prague on Friday for the funeral of Czech Velvet Revolution hero Vaclav Havel, who died on Sunday at the age of 75. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton joined…

Powerful quakes rock New Zealand’s Christchurch

WELLINGTON — The earthquake-devastated New Zealand city of Christchurch was rocked by two powerful 5.8 magnitude tremors Friday, sending terrified residents onto the streets and forcing the airport to close. The first quake struck at 1:58 pm (0058 GMT) as stores were packed with Christmas shoppers, turning their festive mood…

UN ‘concerned’ about beatings of women in Egypt

UNITED NATIONS — The UN women’s agency on Thursday expressed “great concern” over the recent attacks on women protesters in Egypt and called on military to respect their civil rights. “Women, along with men and children, have been victims of the excessive use of force against peaceful protesters over this…

Iraq will overcome ‘heinous’ attacks: U.S.

WASHINGTON — The United States insisted Thursday that an increasingly tense Iraq would be able to overcome attacks like the “heinous” rash of strikes that killed 67 people earlier in the day. The attacks took place less than a week after the last US soldiers left Iraq, and as US…

Pakistan PM hits out at army amid coup fears

Pakistan’s embattled Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Thursdaysaid conspirators were plotting to bring down his government and delivered an unprecedented tirade against the powerful military. In astonishing confirmation that he fears being ousted, he angrily denied the government was subservient to the army, long considered the chief arbiter of power in Pakistan as his administration grapples with…

Communist Cuba set to end travel restrictions

President Raul Castro is Friday expected to announce an end to onerous, unpopular travel restrictions that have been in place for almost 50 years and which keep most Cubans from traveling abroad. The Roman Catholic Church and regime-friendly musicians like Silvio Rodriguez and Pablo Milanes have joined a chorus of Cubans calling…

Attacks kill 67 as Iraq mired in political crisis

A wave of attacks across Iraq killed 67 people Thursday as it faced a political crisis, with its vice president accused of running death squads and the premier warning he could break off power-sharing. Apparently coordinated blasts in the capital and the slaughter of a family of five in restive Diyala province…

U.N. watchdog worries about Gaddafi’s uranium stock

The UN atomic watchdog has told Libya to urgently find a home for yellow cake uranium from the Moamer Kadhafi era left in thousands of deteriorating barrels, a UN envoy said Thursday. Kadhafi renounced efforts to make weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear bombs, in 2003, but a major storage base with the raw uranium was found…

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