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Thousands riot in China’s Guizhou province: Xinhua

BEIJING — Thousands of rioters took to the streets in southwestern China, with some smashing and burning vehicles, after a city official injured a female cyclist, state news agency Xinhua reported on Friday. The riots broke out late Thursday in Guizhou province and carried on all night, with 10 police…

Strong 5.9 quake jolts Japan disaster zone

TOKYO — A 5.9-magnitude earthquake shook northeast Japan Friday, jolting the area devastated by a quake and tsunami in March, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties and no tsunami warning. The quake hit at 3:22 am (1822 GMT Thursday) at a depth of 38 kilometres (24…

Pfizer begins long-delayed payouts over Nigerian drug trial

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Thursday began long-awaited compensation payments to families over a 1996 drug trial blamed for the deaths of 11 children and disabilities in dozens of others. But even as the compensation process began, the company faced further criticism since only four families were paid in the…

U.S. urges Israel, Palestinians not to jeopardize talks

The White House on Thursday urged Israel and the Palestinians to avoid actions that jeopardize efforts to restart stalled peace talks as both sides feuded over a planned settlement expansion. Spokesman Jay Carney ducked a question on whether Israel’s approval for the construction of 1,600 new settler homes in east Jerusalem would make it harder to convince the…

Gaddafi unable to launch offensive: NATO commander

Forces loyal to Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi are no longer able to launch a credible military offensive, the commander of NATO-led Libyan operations told AFP in an interview Thursday. “The Kadhafi regime’s forces continue to be weakened, both in strength and their will to fight,” Canada’s Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard said, speaking from his Italy headquarters,…

British PM suggests quelling riots by disconnecting social media

In a move that calls to mind the start of the most serious unrest in nations across the Middle East over the last year, David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister, told Parliament Thursday that authorities may shut down social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, in hopes that it would return…

Afghan president will not seek third term

President Hamid Karzai, who has been the only leader in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taliban, will not seek a third term in office, his palace said Thursday. “The constitution of Afghanistan does not allow anyone to run for the presidency for more than two terms,”…

The truth is out there: U.K. X-Files put online

LONDON (Reuters Life!) – Men in black, Mork and Mindy, shining lights in the sky and more than 20 years of other alien visitations and bizarre sightings recorded in Britain’s own “X-Files” were made available online to the public on Thursday. The nearly 9,000 pages of UFO-related documents, drawings, letters…

Israel okays 1,600 E. Jerusalem settler homes

Israel’s interior minister has given final approval for the construction of 1,600 new settler homes in east Jerusalem, his spokesman said Thursday, prompting a furious reaction from Palestinian officials. Spokesman Roei Lachmanovich said Interior Minister Eli Yishai had endorsed the construction of 1,600 units in the Ramat Shlomo neighbourhood and…

Croatia offers nudists their own ‘piece of paradise’

Three quarters of a century after a “royal skinny dip” made it a pioneering nudist destination, Croatia is striving to attract more of the world’s growing army of “nakationers”. “At Kandarola nudists can find their own piece of paradise, with peace and a little space just for themselves without being…

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