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Pirates seize Italian tanker in the Gulf of Guinea

COTONOU — Pirates seized an Italian tanker with a crew of 23 off Benin in the Gulf of Guinea Sunday, the Benin navy said. Navy commander Maxime Ahoyo told AFP that after receiving distress signals from the vessel, the navy sent two patrol boats in pursuit of the pirates. “We…

Spain’s ‘indignant’ protesters rally in Madrid

MADRID — Two months after they launched a movement against the economic crisis and soaring unemployment, Spain’s so-called “indignant” protesters were converging on Madrid again on Saturday. Seven cross-country protest marches were set to reach the city’s Puerto del Sol square Saturday evening on the eve of a demonstration through…

Alleged rape sparks general strike in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India — A general strike paralysed India’s Muslim-majority Kashmir valley on Saturday in a second day of protest against the alleged rape of a woman by two soldiers in the revolt-hit region. The strike shut most shops, schools and offices in Srinagar and other major towns of the scenic…

Bloody clashes in Egypt despite democracy pledge

CAIRO — Bloody clashes erupted in Cairo on Saturday between protesters demanding political change and loyalists of the ruling military council, hours after the military ruler pledged democracy. Riot police fired tear gas at protesters who were being pelted with rocks and bottles by loyalists in the Abasseya district near…

Libyan women fight for freedom on the home front

ZINTAN, Libya — Libyan men have had to reassess how they view the fairer sex since the start of the uprising, and when the dust settles the role of women in the north African country may well have changed for ever. The women of Libya — especially in the Nafusa…

Iranian nuclear scientist shot dead in front of home

TEHRAN — A nuclear scientist was shot dead on Saturday by unknown assailants on a motorcycle, the latest expert with links to Iran’s controversial atomic programme to be targeted, local media reported. “A physics professor and nuclear scientist was assassinated a few hours ago in front of his house in…

U.S. forces to stop joint operations in Iraq’s north

TIKRIT, Iraq — In one week US troops will cease joint operations with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, begun in early 2010 to dampen tensions between Kurds and Sunni Arabs in disputed northern zones, a US military official said on Saturday. Colonel Michael Bowers said that from August 1, American forces…

China double high-speed train crash kills 16

A Chinese high-speed train derailed Saturday when it was hit by another express, state media said, throwing two carriages off a viaduct and killing at least 16 people. The derailed train had been crippled by a lightning strike and was stationary when the second one ploughed into it, the reports…

Asylum seeker cuts throat in Australia protest

An asylum seeker cut his throat and dozens more were on hunger strike at an northern Australian detention centre, refugee activists said, taking immigration protests into their fourth day. Two men had cut themselves, “one on his arm and one on his throat”, at the remote Scherger detention centre in…

U.S. ‘encouraged’ by Korea nuclear talks

The United States said Saturday it was “encouraged” by surprise talks between North and South Korea over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, but remained cool on resuming disarmament talks. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told regional foreign ministers at an Asian security forum in Indonesia that the onus remained squarely on…

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