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Top accused says Khmer Rouge not ‘bad people’

The Khmer Rouge were not “bad people”, the regime’s highest-ranking surviving member said on Monday as Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes tribunal began hearing evidence in a long-awaited atrocities trial. “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, seen as the chief ideologue of the brutal 1970s movement, was the first of three accused…

Putin’s party may lose parliamentary majority in close vote

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian voters have dealt Vladimir Putin’s ruling party a heavy blow by cutting its parliamentary majority in an election that showed growing unease with his domination of the country as he prepares to reclaim the presidency. Incomplete results showed Putin’s United Russia was struggling even to win…

Seven Israeli women held over right-wing violence

JERUSALEM — Seven young Israeli women, six of them minors, have been arrested on suspicion of participating in the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian olive trees, Israeli police said on Sunday. The women are also accused of taking part in demonstrations against the dismantling of illegal settlement outposts in the…

More than 100 detained in Moscow vote protest

MOSCOW — More than 100 people were detained in central Moscow on Sunday during an unsanctioned opposition rally against the conduct of Russia’s parliamentary elections, city police said. “After repeated warnings about the illegal nature of the event, more than 100 people were detained,” the Interfax news agency quoted a…

Websites downed in Russia poll ‘hack attack’

MOSCOW — Websites which exposed violations in Russia’s parliamentary polls were inaccessible Sunday in a hacking attack their operators said was aimed at preventing them revealing the extent of election day fraud. Popular Russian radio station Moscow Echo and election monitoring group Golos said their websites were the victims of…

‘SlutWalkers’ hold rare rally in Singapore

SINGAPORE, Singapore — Supporters of the global SlutWalk movement against sexual violence held a rally Sunday in Singapore, attracting dozens to a rare protest in the strictly policed city-state. The event was restricted to a free-speech park called Speakers’ Corner in line with strict laws on street demonstrations, but supporters…

Egypt’s Christians worried by Islamist surge

CAIRO — Egyptian Copts, the Middle East’s biggest Christian community, headed to mass on Sunday fearful of what an Islamist landslide in the country’s election will mean for their community. In churches across the capital, the community gathered for its first Sunday service since the opening stage of the country’s…

British embassy attack ‘illegal’ says top Iran cleric

Top Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami has sharply criticised the storming of the British embassy in Tehran by hundreds of pro-regime protesters, calling the attack “illegal,” media reports said Sunday. “I explicitly say that I am against attacking embassies and occupying them,” he was quoted as saying by the ISNA…

Chavez wants Chile, Cuba to help lead new Americas bloc

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday urged Chile and Cuba to join him in a “troika” of core nations at the forefront of a new Americas bloc that excludes the United States and Canada. “The troika has to immediately assume responsibility,” said Chavez, the driving force behind the Community of…

Brazil probes Petrobras role in Chevron spill: report

(Reuters) – RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Brazilian prosecutors are probing the possible involvement of state-led oil company Petrobras in a November offshore oil spill in a field operated by Chevron, the No. 2 U.S. oil company, the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported on its Web site.…

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