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Soldiers to destroy Mexico’s largest marijuana farm

TIJUANA, Mexico — Mexican soldiers will begin destroying the country’s largest ever marijuana plantation under the watchful eyes of state prosecutors, officials said Friday, as hundreds of troops descended on the site. “We estimate that it will take at least eight days” for soldiers to destroy the 120 hectare (nearly…

Japan nuclear reactor halted over pressure drop

TOKYO — A Japanese power firm said it would halt operations at a nuclear reactor because of a technical failure, placing further strain on the country’s power supply. Kansai Electric Power Co. said it would manually shut down reactor No. 1 at its Ooi plant in central Japan because of…

Monks try to teach ‘maleness’ to Thai ladyboys

CHIANG KHONG, Thailand — The 15-year-old aspiring “ladyboy” delicately applied a puff of talcum powder to his nose — an act of rebellion at the Thai Buddhist temple where he is learning to “be a man”. “They have rules here that novice monks cannot use powder, make-up, or perfume, cannot…

Israel aircraft raid Gaza for fourth day in row

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Israeli aircraft struck Gaza overnight for the fourth time in as many days, wounding a militant who was about to fire a rocket, Palestinian security sources said on Saturday. The Palestinian was admitted to hospital but his injuries were not life-threatening, the sources said. An…

Mumbai blasts death toll rises to 19

MUMBAI — Indian detectives trawled for leads on Saturday to the triple blasts which rocked the country’s financial hub, Mumbai, as the death toll from the coordinated explosions rose to 19. Two men who sustained serious injuries in Wednesday’s rush-hour bombings died in hospital, a home ministry statement said. Twenty…

Hillary Clinton slams Turkey over media freedom

ISTANBUL — The United States is concerned about media freedom and free speech in Turkey amid the arrest of dozens of journalists and Internet restrictions, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Saturday. “If there is an area that I’m concerned about with recent actions in Turkey … it’s the area…

Libya rebels’ raid reaches Brega

AJDABIYA, Libya — Libyan rebels were preparing on Saturday to try to retake the oil refinery town of Brega after breaching its defences in a late night reconnaissance raid. Rebel military spokesman Mohammed Zawi told AFP that a light mobile force had breached loyalist positions around Brega late on Friday,…

4,600 evacuated in Indonesia volcano eruption

More than 4,600 people have been evacuated since an Indonesian volcano erupted on Thursday and its alert status was placed on the highest level, an official said. Mount Lokon on Sulawesi island spewed grey ash up to 800 metres (2,600 feet) high early on Saturday as it continued to rumble.…

Tokyo to bid for 2020 Olympics

Tokyo formally announced its bid to host the 2020 Olympics as a symbol of Japan’s determination to recover from the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The announcement was made on Saturday, at a reception marking the 100th anniversary of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) and in the presence of…

Syria faces more pressure as killing goes on

Syria faced mounting international pressure, a day after at least 28 civilians were killed, including 16 in the capital Damascus and a child, as security forces opened fire to quell the largest anti-regime rallies in four months. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Syria cannot now return to the…

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