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Debris found on Australian beach not from missing Malaysia Airlines jet

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau ruled out Thursday any link between material found on a beach in southwestern Australia and the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. Debris described as “unidentified material” was found Wednesday on a beach near Augusta, more than 300 kilometres (180 miles) south of Perth, by a member…

Bishop Desmond Tutu tells South Africans: I’m not voting for Nelson Mandela’s former party

Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu Wednesday celebrated 20 years of freedom in South Africa as a “heck of an achievement”, while confirming that he would not vote for the ruling party in upcoming elections. Anglican archbishop emeritus Tutu, 82, is still regarded as a moral beacon for South Africa in…

Rome braces for 800,000 to make pilgrimage to double canonization ceremony

Rome is getting ready for hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and dozens of foreign delegations visiting the Vatican on Sunday for an historic event — the double canonisation of popes John Paul II and John XXIII. Italy’s interior ministry said it is expecting 19 heads of state, 24 heads of…

Syrian lawmaker becomes Assad’s first presidential challenger

A communist lawmaker has registered as the first challenger for the Syrian presidency in an upcoming election expected to return incumbent Bashar al-Assad to power, the speaker of parliament said Wednesday. “We have received information from the higher constitutional court that member of parliament Maher Abdel Hafiz Hajjar has filed…

Russia threatens response if pro-Kremlin rebels attacked in Ukraine

Russia issued a blunt warning Wednesday it would respond if its interests are attacked in Ukraine, as pro-Kremlin rebels in the restive east of the country braced for a new military offensive by Kiev. The threat by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, recalling the 2008 war with Georgia over South…

Venetians fight to save historical, ‘haunted’ Poveglia island from luxury developers

Andrea Barina, the owner of a no-frills restaurant on the Giudecca canal, serves up mouth-watering plates of seafood antipasti and exquisitely fresh fish to a loyal clientele. But, one night earlier this month, the genial 50-year-old was confronted with an idea that was profoundly indigestible: the potential transformation of his…

Canadian woman’s letter arrives — after 45-year delay

A 45-year-old letter arrived in the mailbox of a Canadian woman, who received the correspondence from her younger sister decades after it was sent, Canadian media reported. The missive, mailed by her then nine-year-old sibling, was sent in 1969 with a six-cent stamp, Anne Tingle told public radio CBC. It…

Mexico arrests 110 people for posing as anti-cartel vigilantes

Mexican authorities have detained more than 110 people posing as vigilantes battling a drug cartel in the western state of Michoacan in the last two weeks, an official said Tuesday. At least 46 suspected members of criminal groups were arrested in recent days in the town of Huetamo, where they…

Violent protest hits fabled Rio beach district after dancer is beaten to death

Violent protests broke out in Rio’s landmark beachfront district, Copacabana, on Tuesday following the death of a resident, an AFP photographer said, less than two months before the World Cup. Two main thoroughfares were closed after angry demonstrators from a slum set ablaze barricades of tires to protest the death…

Venezuelan government to resume negotiations with opposition on Thursday

A Venezuelan opposition coalition and President Nicolas Maduro’s government will meet for new talks aimed at ending more than two months of deadly anti-government protests, officials said Tuesday. “We have a date, Thursday, but we still do not have a time and place,” said Ramon Guillermo Aveledo of the Democratic…

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