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Malaysia opposition leader: Harassed by ‘desperate’ government sex accusations

The last time Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s opposition leader, was sent to prison, he read the complete works of Shakespeare, (five times), wrote essays and treatises, gave interviews and strategised about how best to lead the opposition party to victory against the ruling party, which has governed this south-east Asian nation…

Spain’s ‘Robin Hood’ takes from the banks and gives to the disenfranchised

They call him the Robin Hood of the banks, a man who took out dozens of loans worth almost half a million euros with no intention of ever paying them back. Instead, Enric Duran farmed the money out to projects that created and promoted alternatives to capitalism. After 14 months…

Childhood behind bars: 1500 Bolivian children raised in prison by parents

Rosy is a young working mother who drops her two daughters off at school each morning before scouring the markets for ingredients to make the meals she cooks and sells later in the day. Every afternoon she picks her daughters up from school and they head home to San Pedro,…

Russian politician orders aides to ‘violently rape’ pregnant journalist at press conference

A far-right Russian politician is facing legal problems after ordering two of his aides to ‘violently rape’ a pregnant Rossiya Segodnya journalist in front of other reporters at a press conference. Vladimir Zhironovsky, of the pro-Kremlin Liberal Democratic Party,  launched into an animated tirade against Rossiya Segodnya journalist Stella Dubovitskaya,…

Iranian authorities claim underground pop singer will be allowed to perform in public

Iran to let underground singer perform in public (via AFP) An underground Iranian pop singer will be allowed to perform in public for the first time, it was reported Sunday, prompting him to announce a concert that quickly sold out. Xaniar Khosravi, whose work has until now been confined to…

Desmond Tutu: Central African Republic ‘stands on the brink of genocide’

C.Africa on the ‘brink of genocide’, warns Tutu (via AFP) Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu warned Sunday that the Central African Republic was “on the brink of genocide”, as he urged warring sides to reconcile their differences and “re-learn to live together”. “Over the past 13 months, the nation’s seemingly……

Iranian President Rouhani insists women are not second-class citizens

Rouhani says Iranian women not second class citizens (via AFP) Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani admitted Sunday that women in his country still face discrimination and cultural barriers but he insisted they are not universally treated as second-class citizens. In a speech marking Women’s Day in Iran, Rouhani, seen…  …

Inexperienced third-mate in South Korea ferry disaster was ‘steering in tricky waters for first time’

The South Korean ferry that sank off the country’s coast on Wednesday, with the likely loss of more than 300 passengers, was being steered by an inexperienced young officer who was navigating the area, which is notorious for its fast currents, for the first time. The revelation lends weight to…

Pope pleads for Easter peace as violence breaks out in Ukraine, Jerusalem

Pope leads Easter celebrations marred by Ukraine (via AFP) Pope Francis celebrated Easter mass on Sunday with a message of social solidarity as the world’s Orthodox marked a holiday marred by bitter divisions over Ukraine and clashes broke out in Jerusalem. Francis led the ceremony for the holiest day in…

Fragile Easter truce in eastern Ukraine shattered by deadly gunfight

Russia ‘outraged’ as east Ukraine shootout shatters Easter truce (via AFP) A deadly gunfight in a town in restive east Ukraine on Sunday shattered a fragile Easter truce, with Russia declaring it was “outraged” at the return to violence in the crisis-hit former Soviet republic. Three pro-Russian militants and one…

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