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US captain of Gaza ship held in ‘shocking conditions’

The captain of a US vessel intercepted after it tried to defy a ban and sail for Gaza from Greece was being held in “shocking conditions” Sunday and has not received consular assistance, a lawyer said. Captain John Klusmer was arrested when the US boat Audacity of Hope — the…

Europe clears urgent aid to save Greece from default

Eurozone finance ministers cleared the way for Greece to receive urgent funds to avoid imminent bankruptcy, but warned it would take weeks to conclude a new bailout for the debt-hit nation. Greece is expected to receive 12 billion euros from the eurozone and IMF by July 15 after the ministers…

Japan officials draw up Tepco breakup plan: report

TOKYO (Reuters) – A group of Japanese government heavyweights have written a secret proposal to break up Tokyo Electric Power Co and nationalize its nuclear operations, a newspaper said on Sunday. The plan, drawn up by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku, would force Tokyo Electric sell its power distribution…

Chavez foes say his absence a security risk

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s opposition said on Saturday President Hugo Chavez’s prolonged convalescence from cancer in Cuba put the country’s security and sovereignty at risk and it stepped up calls for him to delegate his powers. “It is clear Chavez does not have the capacity to fully exercise his power…

Activists suspect Israeli spies behind flotilla woes

ATHENS (AFP) – Jumpy activists on the ill-fated mission to Gaza insist the evidence is mounting that Israeli secret services are behind the slew of mishaps that have dogged the flotilla. Two “sabotaged” boats and a stream of bureaucratic obstacles have prevented the convoy from setting sail from Greece to…

Libyans ‘executed’ for shunning Kadhafi rally: relative

Hours after thousands packed Tripoli’s Green Square cheering for Moamer Kadhafi, Mohammed said the still warm body of his nephew was dumped outside the family home with two bullets in his head. Mohammed told AFP why he is certain 30-year-old’s Ahmed’s fate was sealed while green flags were waving on…

Chavez health scare leaves dependent Cuba on edge

HAVANA — A health scare for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who underwent surgery for cancer in Cuba, has generated deep concern in the Americas’ lone communist country which depends politically and economically on him. Chavez, 56, has been in Cuba for three weeks. Officials say he has undergone two rounds…

Dozens protest William and Kate’s visit to Montreal

MONTREAL — Dozens of anti-monarchists protested the arrival of Britain’s Prince William and his bride Catherine at a Montreal children’s hospital Saturday during the royals’ tour of Canada. The protesters were outnumbered, however, by hundreds of well-wishers at the Sainte-Justine hospital seeking a glimpse of the newlyweds on day three…

China hit by two mining accidents

BEIJING — China suffered two mining accidents on Saturday that left three workers dead and 40 trapped underground, state media said, the latest incidents to hit the nation’s dangerous collieries. One mine collapsed in Heshan city in the southern region of Guangxi, and rescuers sent to help the trapped workers…

‘Billions worth’ of treasure found in Indian temple

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM — A treasure trove of gold and silver jewelry, coins and precious stones said to be worth billions of dollars has been found in a Hindu temple in southern India, officials said on Saturday. The valuables have an estimated preliminary worth of over 500 billion rupees ($11.2 billion), said…

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