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French forces rescue Japanese ambassador to Ivory Coast during firefight

ABIDJAN (AFP) – Heavy weapons fire erupted in Ivory Coast’s main city Abidjan on Thursday after Japan’s ambassador was rescued overnight from fierce battles involving fighters for would-be president Alassane Ouattara. Gunfire was heard around the presidential palace and the residence of strongman Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to cede power…

Scientists find New Delhi residents constantly exposed to drug-resistant bacteria

LONDON (Reuters) – A gene that makes bugs highly resistant to almost all known antibiotics has been found in bacteria in water supplies in New Delhi used by local people for drinking, washing and cooking, scientists said on Thursday. The NDM 1 gene, which creates what some experts describe as…

Hong Kong moves to restrict mainland babies

HONG KONG — Hong Kong says it will restrict the number of mainland Chinese women allowed to give birth in the city’s hospitals which are struggling to cope with the tens of thousands who arrive each year. The number of mainland women who opt to deliver across the border in…

Taiwan to legalize billion dollar sex trade

TAIPEI (AFP) – Taiwan’s government said Thursday it is planning to create legal red-light districts so that it can police the sex trade more easily and protect sex workers’ rights. Under the proposal, sex workers would be able to apply for licences to operate in authorised zones and would be…

First war crimes hearing for former Kenyan minister

THE HAGUE — Former Kenyan government minister William Ruto arrived at the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Thursday for the first hearing in his trial for crimes against humanity. Former higher education minister Ruto and two other co-accused, former industry minister Henry Kosgey and radio presenter Joshua Arap…

Rebels blame Gaddafi in oil pipeline bombing

AJDABIYAH, Libya (Reuters) – A NATO air strike killed at least five rebels near the Libyan port of Brega on Thursday, medics said, and insurgents reported Muammar Gaddafi’s forces killed five more in a bombardment of besieged Misrata. Wounded rebels being brought to the hospital in Ajdabiyah in rebel-held east…

At least 59 bodies found on Mexico ranch

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico (AFP) – At least 59 bodies have been found on a ranch in Mexico’s northern state of Tamaulipas, on the US border, authorities said Wednesday, warning that the grim toll could rise. The Tamaulipas state prosecutor’s office said 11 people had been arrested and another five kidnapping…

Yemenis mass against Saleh in flashpoint city

SANAA – Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis swarmed the flashpoint city of Taez on Wednesday in a fresh call for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign, as world anger mounted over a bloody crackdown on protests. “Leave Ali, leave” and “The people want to overthrow the regime,” the protesters chanted…

‘Unprecedented’ level of violence in Mexico: FBI

WASHINGTON – Using unusually blunt language, FBI Director Robert Mueller told US legislators on Capitol Hill Wednesday that there is an “unprecedented” level of violence in Mexico linked to the country’s drug wars. “I would not call it a full-scale war,” Mueller told members of the House of Representatives as…

Japan plugs leak from nuclear plant

TOKYO – Workers at Japan’s crippled atomic power plant on Wednesday plugged a hole spewing highly radioactive water into the ocean, boosting efforts to contain the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. But in an illustration of how fragile progress is at the Fukushima plant, operator Tokyo Electric Power said…

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