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Moqtada al Sadr: U.S. military trainers could be targets post withdrawal

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s fiercely anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has warned that U.S. military trainers will be targets if they stay in the country beyond a year-end deadline for American troops to leave. The statement from Sadr, whose Mehdi Army militia fought U.S. troops until 2008, follows a deal by…

Dozens killed as Assad defends Syria crackdown

DAMASCUS — Syrian forces backed by tanks killed at least 27 people on Sunday, activists said, as President Bashar al-Assad defended what he termed the state’s duty to crack down on “outlaws” despite mounting condemnation. Security forces killed at least 20 civilians in the city of Deir Ezzor, activists said,…

NATO investigating deadly Afghanistan helicopter crash

KABUL (Reuters) – NATO troops tried to ascertain on Sunday if Taliban insurgents had shot down a troop-carrying helicopter in Afghanistan, killing 38 people in the largest loss of life suffered by foreign troops in a single incident in 10 years of war. In what has proved to be a…

Iran arrests 17 young boys and girls over water fight

TEHRAN — Iranian police arrested 17 boys and girls over a water fight at a seaside park in the Islamic republic’s south, a senior judicial official said on Sunday. “Seventeen young boys and girls who were squirting water at each other were arrested on Friday in one of the beach…

UK banks must ‘resume lending’ to avoid fresh recession

LONDON — Britain risks falling back into recession unless its banks increase the amount they are lending to businesses and individuals, Business Secretary Vince Cable said in an interview with The Sunday Times. “The top priority now, to boost growth and jobs and avoid a double dip (recession), is making…

Tens of thousands march in Stockholm’s gay pride parade

STOCKHOLM — Tens of thousands people from all walks of life, including government ministers and uniform-clad gay police officers and army personnel, marched in Stockholm’s gay pride parade Saturday. Police said 35,000 to 50,000 people paraded through the Swedish capital’s centre and that the event took place with no incidents.…

Post-riot London looks ‘like the Blitz’, 42 arrested

Police in London arrested dozens of people on Sunday after 26 officers were injured in the city’s worst riots in years. Rioters in Tottenham, north London, torched vehicles and buildings and looted shops in response to the fatal shooting of a local man by police. Scotland Yard said 42 people…

Sudan accuses U.S. of damaging its image

KHARTOUM — Sudan on Saturday strongly criticised the United States for intentionally distorting and damaging the country’s image, and urged the US State Department not to be a “tool of war.” “We call on activists in the US Congress committees and in US foreign policy-making institutions, led by the ministry…

Madonna’s Malawi school a barren field of dreams

The abandoned site looks more like a quarried mine than a pop superstar’s multi-million-dollar dream to groom girls into Malawi’s next leaders and doctors. But the bleak, levelled terraces of gravelly sand near Malawi’s capital are the only evidence of Madonna’s $15 million (10.6 million euros) academy that was ditched…

Majority of Britons want death penalty restored: poll

A majority of Britons back the restoration of the death penalty, according to a survey out Sunday, as a petition looks likely to force lawmakers to debate the issue. In a Survation poll for The Mail on Sunday newspaper, 53 percent said they wanted capital punishment back, with 34 percent…

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