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China shuts some Wal-Mart stores over ‘green pork’

Authorities in southwest China have closed a number of Wal-Mart stores after they were found to be selling pork falsely labelled as organic, the US retail giant and state media said on Monday. Investigators found 10 Wal-Mart stores and two Trust-Mart outlets owned by the US company in the mega-city Chongqing had been selling regular pork…

Iraq ‘may bar’ U.S. trainers from 2012: top official

Iraq is considering multiple options regarding the future of the US military presence, ranging from a limited mission to no trainers whatsoever, a top official told AFP on Monday. The remarks from Ali al-Alaak, the general secretary of the cabinet, come amid an apparent impasse between Washington’s requirement of legal immunity for any US…

Crackdown on Coptic protest in Cairo leaves 23 dead

By Samer al-Atrush and Ines Bel Aiba CAIRO — Twenty-three people, mostly Coptic Christians, died in clashes Sunday between Coptic Christians and Egyptian security forces, the health ministry said, sparking fears of renewed sectarian strife. A total of 174 people were injured in violence during a Coptic Christian protest in…

UK criticized for keeping teenaged rioters in prison before sentencing

An unusually high percentage of adolescents detained as a result of last August’s riots in Great Britain are still being held prior to sentencing, and the United Nations Childrens Fund (Unicef) has warned that this may put the UK in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.…

Israeli cabinet approves economic reforms in response to mass protests

JERUSALEM — Israel’s cabinet on Sunday approved the outline of economic reforms intended to address rising frustrations about the cost of living and income disparity in the Jewish state. The proposals, which passed 21-8, were laid out by a committee appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this year, as…

Israel police out in force after Muslim tombs defaced

JERUSALEM — Israeli police deployed reinforcements around Muslim and Christian sites in Jaffa on Sunday after graves in the mixed port town were found to be desecrated, a police spokeswoman said. “Police reinforcements have been deployed around the Muslim and Christian religious sites which are considered to be sensitive,” spokeswoman…

Iranian filmmaker banned from travel to Lebanon

BEIRUT — The director of an Iranian film documenting violence in the runup to the 2009 presidential vote has been banned from travel to Lebanon, where his film was set to be screened, an organiser said on Sunday. “Today we found out that Iranian director Nader Davoodi will not be…

Libya forces on verge of claiming capture of Sirte

SIRTE, Libya — Forces of Libya’s new regime were on the verge of claiming full control of Moamer Kadhafi’s hometown Sirte after seizing its showpiece conference centre and university from his diehards on Sunday. The fortress-like Ouagadougou conference centre, constructed to host pan-African summits, has been a major objective of…

Indian police detain Tibetans outside China embassy

NEW DELHI — Indian police detained 13 Tibetan students on Sunday at a protest outside the Chinese embassy in New Delhi after two men reportedly set themselves on fire at a monastery in southwest China. About 20 young protesters from India’s large Tibetan exile community climbed lamp posts and raised…

Opposition urges UN to break Yemen deadlock

SANAA — An opposition spokesman on Sunday urged the UN Security Council to break the political deadlock in Yemen, scoffing at a statement from President Ali Abdullah Saleh that he was ready to step down. Mohammed Qahtan, spokesman for the parliamentary opposition Common Forum, said regional efforts to resolve the…

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