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Protesters block Shell oil facilities in Nigeria

Protesters blocked facilities belonging to oil giant Shell on Thursday in Nigeria demanding improvements to communities in the area, including new roads and stable electricity supply. About 40 protesters accused Shell of breaching a 1999 accord on the provision of electricity and roads for the Oruma, Otuasega, Elebele and Imiringi communities in…

Moody’s puts U.S. ratings on review for downgrade

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States may lose its top-notch credit rating in the next few weeks if lawmakers fail to increase the country’s legal borrowing limit and the government misses debt payments, Moody’s Investors Service warned on Wednesday. Moody’s is the first of the big-three credit rating agencies to place the…

Indian PM vows revenge for terrorist attacks

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday vowed that those responsible for a series of bomb blasts that killed 17 inMumbai would be tracked down and prosecuted, as he visited the injured. “Perpetrators of (the) Mumbai blasts shall be pursued relentlessly and brought to justice quickly,” the premier said on a tour…

Murdoch could be compelled to sell off British newspapers

Rupert Murdoch built his vast fortune selling newspapers, expanding a single daily in his native Australia into a media and entertainment empire that spans the globe. But the phone-hacking scandal in Britain which led to the shock closure of the News of the World is raising the once-unthinkable possibility of a News…

Gaddafi has ‘suicide plan’ for capital: Russia envoy

MOSCOW — Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi has a “suicidal plan” to blow up the capital Tripoli if it is taken by rebels, the Kremlin’s special envoy to Libya told a Russian newspaper Thursday. “The Libyan premier told me: if the rebels seize the city, we will cover it with missiles…

U.S. monitors detect mass graves in Sudan’s S. Kordofan

KHARTOUM — New satellite images support eyewitness accounts that mass graves were dug in the capital of Sudan’s South Kordofan state to bury 100 or more people killed last month, US monitors said Thursday. “Based on an analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery and eyewitness reports obtained by the Satellite Sentinel…

Israel deports all but two ‘flytilla’ activists

JERUSALEM — Israel said on Thursday it had deported all but two pro-Palestinian activists who flew into the country last week, but activists said dozens remained in jail, with several challenging deportation orders. “There are only two who are still being detained,” interior ministry spokeswoman Sabine Hadad told AFP, adding…

Maritime Bureau: Pirate attacks on the rise

Attacks on the world’s seas are soaring as armed and dangerous pirates become increasingly emboldened, seizing more ships than before and taking even bigger risks, an international body said Thursday. In the first six months of 2011, there were 266 piracy attacks compared with 196 incidents over the same period…

Global warnings intensify stakes of debt rift

President Barack Obama and Republicans prepared for more tough talks Thursday to avert an August debt default, after Moody’s held out the threat of downgrading the sterling US credit rating. The credit ratings agency sparked worldwide concern when it placed Washington’s triple-A debt rating on a downgrade watch because of…

Man wins right to wear pasta strainer on head in driver’s license photo

VIENNA — Pasta strainers are now considered suitable religious headgear in Austria … at least as far as the transport authorities are concerned. Three years after applying for a new driver’s licence, an Austrian man has finally received the laminated card. And the picture shows him sporting an upturned pasta…

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