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Iraq unearths mass grave of 900 bodies

DIWANIYAH, Iraq — Iraqi authorities uncovered a mass grave with 900 corpses near the central city of Diwaniyah on Wednesday, believed to be Kurds killed during the rule of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, an official said. The corpses were found in the Shanafiya region, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of…

Tsunami warning for New Zealand after 7.7 quake

A tsunami warning was issued for New Zealand and Tonga after a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck off the coast of the Kermadec Islands at 7:03 a.m. local time Thursday (3:03 p.m. ET Wednesday.) The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initially reported the quake had a magnitude of 7.9, but that was…

UK Prime Minister Cameron backs call for investigation of newspaper’s phone-hacking scandal

Prime Minister David Cameron backed calls for a public inquiry into phone-hacking by the News of the World on Wednesday, amid claims that it targeted relatives of murdered children and victims of the London bombings. But he said police should first complete their investigations into “absolutely disgusting” claims about the…

Violence, discrimination slow advances by women: UN

Women around the world enjoy more rights than ever before but still face discrimination in the workplace and far too often fall victim to violence at home, a UN report said Wednesday. The document issued by UN Women, the new agency headed by Chile’s former president Michelle Bachelet, hailed the…

Huge crowds launch Spain’s Pamplona bull-run fiesta

Tens of thousands of revellers packed Pamplona and soaked each other in sangria Wednesday to kick off Spain’s best-known fiesta: the San Fermin bull-running festival. Swilling gallons of beer, wine and sangria, Spaniards and foreigners jammed into the main Plaza del Ayuntamiento to hear the traditional shout from a City…

Iceland’s Hekla volcano ‘ready to erupt’

One of Iceland’s most feared volcanoes, Hekla, looks ready to erupt, with measurement instruments showing likely magma movement, an Icelandic geophysicist told AFP on Wednesday. “The movements around Hekla have been unusual in the last two to three days and have been recorded in five very precise metres placed around…

South Korea’s Pyeongchang wins vote to stage 2018 Games

IOC President Jacques Rogge announced Pyeongchang’s victory at the IOC’s session in Durban. It will be the first time a Korean city has staged the Winter Games and only the third time it will have been held in Asia. “This is one of the happiest days for our country, our…

Strauss-Kahn lawyers to meet prosecution: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New York prosecutors are scheduled to meet with the lawyers for former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Wednesday to discuss whether the sexual assault case against him can be resolved through a dismissal or a plea agreement, The New York Times reported. The next scheduled court appearance…

British drone kills four Afghan civilians

LONDON — A British Royal Air Force drone killed four Afghan civilians and injured two more during an attack on a Taliban commander, the Ministry of Defence confirmed Wednesday. The defence department verified a report in Britain’s Guardian newspaper which revealed that four civilians died when a Reaper drone being…

Britain to pull 500 troops from Afghanistan

Britain will withdraw a further 500 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, bringing its contingent there to 9,000, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday. Cameron said he had taken the decision because Afghanistan’s fledgling army and police had showed significant progress ahead of the deadline for the…

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