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Libyan security chief assassinated in Benghazi

Colonel Farag al-Dersi played key role in curbing militia power in wake of US ambassador Chris Stevens’ murder in September The Libyan security chief who led an anti-militia crackdown in the wake of the killing of the country’s US ambassador has been assassinated in Benghazi, raising questions about the government’s…

Court rules Christian Brothers Catholic order must share sexual abuse compensation costs

A Catholic diocese has successfully forced a Christian Brothers order to share the cost of compensating more than 170 victims of alleged physical and sexual abuse who attended a Yorkshire children’s home. The landmark decision in the supreme court confirms advances in the legal doctrine of “vicarious liability” under which…

Amsterdam to keep pulling in millions of foreign soft-drug users as Dutch ditch controversial ‘weed pass’ law

Dutch cities are to decide themselves whether to bar foreign drug tourists from so-called coffee-shops, after the government scrapped its unpopular “weed pass” law. The move will allow Amsterdam to keep pulling in millions of foreign soft-drug users, while allowing border towns to clamp down on crime related to drug…

UN chief urges halt to rocket attacks on Israel

UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate halt to rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, after talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday. “I reiterate my call for an immediate cessation of indiscriminate rocket attacks by Palestinian militants targeting Israeli populated centres. This is unacceptable,” he…

Victims of Hurricane Sandy forgotten in Haiti

Hurricane Sandy, the deadly storm that slammed into New York and New Jersey in October, tore through the Caribbean long before reaching America — and in Haiti, many still await help. Flooding from Sandy killed 54 people and left thousands homeless in Haiti, another woe for a country still struggling…

Turmoil after Church of England votes against women bishops

Church of England bishops were to host an emergency session on Wednesday after the church narrowly rejected the appointment of women bishops, triggering turmoil and setting back efforts to modernise the mother church of millions of Anglicans worldwide. Bishops were to consider the vote’s consequences, with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan…

Children pay high price for Gaza war

Thirteen-year-old Tasneem al-Nahal lies in the morgue of Gaza City’s Shifa hospital, dressed in the pink-and-blue tracksuit she was wearing when an Israeli air raid killed her. A few hours earlier, she was by the sea, playing with neighbours under a brilliantly blue sky. But when the air strike hit,…

Tel Aviv bus blast ‘injures 10′

Seventeen people were injured in an explosion on a bus near the defence ministry in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, Israel’s emergency services said, in what an official said was a “terrorist attack.” The blast took place as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Israel for talks with Prime…

‘Lord of the Rings’ volcano erupts in New Zealand

A New Zealand volcano used as a backdrop to “The Lord of the Rings” films erupted on Wednesday, spewing a column of ash three kilometres (1.9 miles) above the North Island, scientists said. Vulcanologists said Mount Tongariro rumbled to life at 1:25 pm (0025 GMT), in a five-minute burst that…

Britain recognizes Syria opposition as fighting rages

DAMASCUS — Britain formally recognised a newly formed opposition bloc as the sole representative of the Syrian people on Tuesday, as UN head Ban Ki-moon said he feared Syria could become a “regional battleground.” Britain’s recognition of the opposition National Coalition came as fighting raged across Syrian flashpoints, including in…

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