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Egypt wraps up first round of post-Mubarak poll

Egypt on Tuesday wrapped up the opening round of the firstparliamentary elections since Hosni Mubarak’s fall, with Islamistswinning a landslide victory at the expense of weakened and divided liberals. Turnout was low for the final day of run-off elections between individual candidates standing for the new parliament, which is to be chosen in a further…

Afghan shrine blasts kill 58 on Shiite holy day

Twin blasts at Afghan shrines on the Shiite holy day of Ashura left at least 58 people dead on Tuesday, with one massive suicide attack inKabul ripping through a crowd of worshippers including children. The attack in the capital and another in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif came a day after an international…

Chinese go online to vent anger over pollution

Millions of Chinese went online Tuesday to vent their anger over the thick smog that has blanketed Beijing in recent days, raising health fears and causing hundreds of flights to be cancelled. Sales of face masks were reported to have surged as residents of China’s heavily polluted capital sought to…

Russia shaken by anti-Putin rally

Moscow police were Tuesday holding several Russian opposition figures after breaking up an unprecedented protest against polls monitors said were slanted in favour of Vladimir Putin’s ruling party. Several thousand people took to the streets in central Moscow late Monday despite pouring rain for a rally against the results of…

Australia expands sanctions on Iran

SYDNEY — Australia expanded sanctions against Iran to restrict business with the country’s petroleum and financial sectors as concern mounts over Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons programme. Britain, Canada and the United States slapped fresh sanctions last month on Iran following a UN agency report that strongly suggests the country is…

London police listed ‘Occupy’ protesters as potential terrorists

The City of London Police listed “Occupy London Stock Exchange” (OLSX) as a domestic terrorist threat in a bulletin sent to businesses, according to The Independent. The protesters have been camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London’s financial district since October 15, as part of a global wave of demonstrations…

Human rights key in combating AIDS among gay men: WHO

ADDIS ABABA — Vast improvements in human rights and access to treatment are needed to protect gay men against HIV/AIDS, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Monday. “If you want to achieve zero new infections, you have to address the human rights issues,” WHO official Ying-Ru Lo said after a…

Brazil says Amazon deforestation down to lowest level

BRASILIA — Brazil said Monday that the pace of deforestation in its Amazon region fell to its lowest level since authorities began monitoring the world’s largest tropical rainforest. The head of the National Institute of Space Research (INPE), Gilberto Camara, said deforestation dropped to 6,238 square kilometers (2,408 square miles),…

Clinton to meet Syrian opposition in Switzerland: officials

VILNIUS — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet Syrian dissidents in Switzerland on Tuesday, officials said, as Washington sees Damascus increasingly isolated over its crushing of pro-democracy protests. A State Department official told reporters on condition of anonymity Monday that Clinton will meet with seven political opponents of…

Belgian king names new government after 18-month crisis

BRUSSELS — Belgian King Albert II named Socialist Elio Di Rupo to head a new government Monday, turning the page on 540 days without a government — the longest political crisis in the country’s history. A palace statement said “the King this evening received Elio Di Rupo at Belvedere castle…

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