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Egypt foils attempt to smuggle Jewish antiquities out of the country

Egypt has foiled an attempt to smuggle out of the country Jewish antiquities used during religious ceremonies, the antiquities ministry said on Friday. The artefacts were discovered in the Mediterranean city of Damietta as they were about to be shipped to Belgium, a ministry statement said. Among them are 11…

Crack-smoking Toronto mayor Rob Ford launches re-election bid

Toronto’s scandal-plagued mayor Rob Ford, who has admitted to binge drinking and smoking crack, has launched his bid for re-election. Ford kicked off his campaign for the October 27 election telling supporters at a rally in Canada’s largest city Thursday that he was grateful to those who have stuck by…

President Rouhani says Iran has no desire to attack other countries, only confront aggressors

Iran has no intention of committing acts of aggression but retains the right to defend itself militarily, President Hassan Rouhani said Friday. Speaking at a parade to mark Army Day, Rouhani delivered a peaceful message that referenced negotiations with leading powers aimed at securing a permanent deal to resolve a…

Pakistan to hold fresh talks with Taliban negotiators

The Pakistani government is planning a fresh round of talks with Taliban negotiators at the weekend, officials said Friday, despite the militants’ refusal to extend a ceasefire called to help peace efforts. Talks to end the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) bloody seven-year insurgency have been under way since February, with little…

Kandi kids and their kids: London’s ex-clubbers fuel new ‘family rave’ scene

The bass is pumping, the lights are low and the dance floor of the club is heaving. It’s the weekend and the young man is enjoying himself — until someone steals his balloon. Dressed in a Spiderman outfit, the four-year-old boy runs to his dad by the bar to complain,…

Anger spreads as rescue efforts for South Korean ferry stall

South Korean divers renewed efforts Friday to access a capsized ferry in which hundreds of schoolchildren are feared trapped, as the grief and frustration of anguished parents gave way to anger and recrimination. The confirmed death toll rose overnight to 25, but the focus of concern remained the 271 people…

Chuck Hagel: U.S. will send ‘non-lethal’ military aid to Ukraine

The United States will send helmets, medical supplies and other non-lethal military aid to Ukraine amid fears of another Russian incursion there, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday. Hagel said he had informed Kiev that President Barack Obama “has approved additional non-lethal military assistance for health and welfare items and…

Britain’s Labour Party hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod

David Axelrod, the mastermind behind US President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 election victories, is to advise Britain’s Labour Party in the run up to next year’s general election, the party announced Thursday. He will work alongside shadow foreign secretary and election strategist Douglas Alexander until the vote, expected to…

U.S. releases $450 million in frozen Iran funds for complying with nuclear deal

The United States has authorized the release of a $450 million installment in Iranian assets that were frozen as punishment for Tehran’s disputed nuclear program, the State Department said Thursday. It came after a new report by the UN’s nuclear watchdog found that Iran was complying with the terms of…

Russia agrees to surprise security deal in Ukrainian crisis

Russia, Ukraine and the West reached a surprise deal Thursday to try to ease the Ukrainian crisis, in a glimmer of hope for the former Soviet republic that risks splitting in two. The agreement laid out concrete steps to “restore security for all citizens” and crucially urged “all illegal armed…

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