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Greek anti-austerity protesters surround parliament

ATHENS (AFP) – Thousands of Greek protesters surrounded the parliament building in Athens on Wednesday as a general strike paralysed the country and the prime minister held emergency talks on a controversial reform package. Riot police and barricades blocked approaches to parliament as 20,000 people gathered in the capital, summoned…

British juror faces jail over Facebook chat

LONDON – A British juror was warned by a judge on Tuesday that she faces jail for contacting a defendant on the social networking site Facebook, causing the collapse of a major drugs trial. In what is believed to be the first case of its kind in Britain involving the…

Canada’s spy chief: Espionage has reached Cold War-level

OTTAWA — Canada’s spy chief warned Tuesday that state-sponsored espionage against his country has reached “levels equal to, or greater than those witnessed during the Cold War.” Richard Fadden, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said in a report presented to parliament on Monday that foreign governments “continue to…

UN denies halting Khmer Rouge investigation

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations on Tuesday strongly denied that it had ordered Cambodia war crimes judges to reject a new case involving the Khmer Rouge. With the country gearing up for a major Khmer Rouge era trial this month, Cambodian media reports said five UN staff have resigned…

Turkey arrests 32 alleged members of ‘Anonymous’

Turkish police have detained 32 suspected members of the online cyberactivism collective Anonymous, over possible links to attacks on a number of websites. The arrests were in response to a complaint from Turkey’s Directorate of Telecommunications, whose website was taken down last Thursday as part of a protest against what…

Gunmen, suicide bombers storm Iraq council building

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Gunmen and suicide bombers stormed a provincial council in central Iraq on Tuesday after exploding a car bomb outside, killing at least 8 people before U.S.-assisted Iraqi forces regained control of the building. The assault in Diyala province’s capital Baquba, 40 km (65 miles) northeast of Baghdad,…

Italians ‘turned their backs’ on Berlusconi

ROME (AFP) – A trouncing in referendums that have wiped out Italy’s plans to return to nuclear power after a shock local election defeat mean Silvio Berlusconi has lost his magic, Italian newspapers said on Tuesday. “The magic flute is broken. After 20 years, Italians have stopped following Berlusconi’s music,”…

Japan poll finds 74% support nuclear phase-out

TOKYO (AFP) – Almost three-quarters of Japanese respondents to a newspaper poll published Tuesday favour a gradual phase-out of nuclear energy in the wake of the Fukushima atomic accident. The Asahi Shimbun daily said in its weekend opinion poll that only 14 percent were against such a gradual reduction. The…

U.S. Congress votes against Libya funding

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US House of Representatives voted to prohibit the use of funds for American military operations in Libya. Lawmakers adopted the amendment to a military appropriations bill by a vote of 248 to 163. A number of members of Congress have recently expressed their dissatisfaction at President…

Teacher jailed for sexually abusing pupils

LONDON — A primary school teacher who filmed himself sexually abusing girls during one-on-one reading sessions was jailed on Tuesday. Nigel Leat was given an indeterminate sentence and told he would serve at least eight-and-a-half years for sexually abusing five girls over the course of five years at Hillside First…

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