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German artist to buy defunct power plant

BERLIN — German contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer said Sunday he planned to snap up a mothballed atomic power plant in the belief that Germany’s nuclear history should be preserved for future generations. In an interview with news weekly Der Spiegel, Kiefer said he was buying “at least the cooling tower”…

Iraq general says forces not ready ‘until 2020′

BAGHDAD — Iraq will not be fully able to defend its borders and airspace until at least 2020, a watchdog quoted Iraq’s top general as saying in a report on Sunday, months before US troops are to leave. The Iraqi military’s chief of staff, Lieutenant General Babaker Zebari, “estimated that…

Gaza truce agreed after flareup kills 10

Islamic Jihad on Sunday said it would observe an Egyptian-brokered truce in and around Gaza after a day of violence which killed nine Palestinian militants and an Israeli. The ceasefire, which came into effect shortly after dawn on Sunday, appeared to be holding, with Israeli police and the military saying…

World of ‘contradiction’ awaits 7 billionth person

The world’s seven billionth person will be born Monday into what UN leader Ban Ki-moon calls a “world of contradiction” — and facing an uphill battle if it is on the wrong side of the poverty line. While many countries around the world will be choosing their own symbolic baby,…

Student visa scams at sham U.S. colleges exposed

A case working its way through a federal court in California has exposed huge student visa scams by “sham” universities cashing in on Indians and other foreigners looking for a quick path to jobs in the United States. Enrollment at Tri-Valley University, an unaccredited self-styled Christian graduate school, surged from…

Arab teens rap out angry politics in Nazareth

Mai and Amane, Arab Israeli teenagers living in Nazareth, are happy to leave talk about boys and make-up to their peers. They have a political message and they’re telling it through rap music. The girls, only 15 and 16, make up the duo “Damar” — Arabic for “destruction” — whose…

Saudis swear allegiance to new crown prince

Saudis swore allegiance on Saturday to new Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, described by the local press as the “man for the job” and praised in Washington for his commitment to fight terrorism. Nayef, who served as interior minister for nearly four decades and led a crackdown on Al-Qaeda…

Angry at World Bank, Ecuador leader exits summit

Ecuador’s leftist president stormed out of a summit of leaders of Latin America, Spain and Portugal on Saturday, demanding apologies from a World Bank representative. Leaders from Spanish and Portuguese-speaking nations wrapped up a two-day event here on how to weather the effects of the global economic slowdown. President Rafael…

China coal mine blast kills 29: media

A gas explosion at a coal mine in central China has killed 29 miners, according to state media, the latest in a series of deadly accidents to hit the country’s mining industry. Some 35 miners were working in the state-owned mine at the time of the blast, which happened early…

Tens of thousands stranded as Qantas grounded

Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded around the world Sunday after Australian airline Qantas made a shock decision to ground its fleet indefinitely in a bid to end a bitter industrial dispute. Stunned flyers who had been booked on Qantas queued up at airports around the world to find…

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