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Paris prosecutor taking on new Strauss-Kahn allegations

PARIS/NEWYORK (Reuters) – The Paris prosecutor’s office said on Friday it has opened a preliminary inquiry into a complaint filed by French writer Tristane Banon alleging an attempted rape by former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The case throws up a new headache for the Frenchman, who is in New York…

UK Prime Minister’s former aide arrested over phone hacking

British police on Friday arrested Andy Coulson, the prime minister’s former communications chief and ex-editor of the News of the World tabloid, over the phone hacking scandal, Scotland Yard said. London’s Metropolitan Police said a 43-year-old man was in custody at a South London police station “in connection with allegations…

Egypt protesters demand ‘civil marriage’

CAIRO — Dozens of Egyptians protested on Thursday to demand the introduction of civil marriages, in order to be able to divorce or remarry. Protesters — Coptic Christians as well as Muslims — want the next parliament elected in September to adopt a law to to allow civil marriages. Currently,…

Smoking bans on the rise but more needed: WHO

Anti-smoking measures have become so widespread that they now affect some 3.8 billion people — just over half the world’s population, the World Health Organization said Thursday. But the WHO called for more action, warning that tobacco use could kill a billion people or more over the course of the…

China dismisses reports Jiang has died

China’s official media said Thursday that reports claiming former president Jiang Zemin had died were “pure rumour”, after days of intense speculation about his health. The state-run Xinhua news agency quoted “authoritative sources” in its report denying the rumour, which emerged last Friday after the 84-year-old failed to appear at…

U.N. report: Renewable energy investment soars 540% since 2004

Investment in renewable energy last year amounted to a record 211 billion dollars, a rise of 32 percent over 2009 and 540 percent over 2004, a UN-backed report said on Thursday. China, investing 48.9 billion dollars, up 28 percent, accounted for more than a fifth of the total, marking a…

Murdoch to close News of the World over phone hacking scandal

British tabloid News of the World will print its last issue on Sunday, closing down after an investigation revealed it had participated in the phone hacking of celebrities, British politicians, the families of terrorist attack victims, dead soldiers and others. According to Sky News, the closure was announced on Thursday…

World food prices rise as cost of sugar soars

World food prices rose by one percent in June, the UN’s food agency said on Thursday. “A strong rise in international sugar prices” was behind much of the increase, the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation said in a statement. The agency said that its index of food prices rose to…

‘All-out war’ erupts between DSK accuser and DA’s office

The case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been thrown into further disarray as an all-out war has erupted between the district attorney’s office and the former IMF chief’s accuser. Lawyers for the maid who says Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in a Manhattan hotel room demanded a new prosecutor Wednesday, accusing…

Greeks stop third freedom flotilla ship bound for Gaza

ATHENS (Reuters) – The Greek coastguard intercepted a small French boat with Pro-Palestinian activists aboard on Thursday, the third flotilla ship to be prevented from sailing to Gaza to challenge an Israeli blockade. Greece, just over a year after nine people were killed when Israeli marines stormed a pro-Palestinian flotilla,…

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