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Latin American leaders urge review of U.S. pro-marijuana referenda

MEXICO CITY — The leaders of Mexico and three Central American nations called Monday for a review of anti-drug policies after two US states voted to legalize marijuana. The presidents of Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and Belize called on the United Nations to hold a special session by 2015 to…

Tower of London changes locks after intruder steals two sets of keys

Some of the locks at the Tower of London — home to Queen Elizabeth II’s crown jewels — have had to be changed after two sets of keys were stolen from the grounds, red-faced officials said on Monday. Police have launched an investigation after an intruder gained access to the…

Red Cross to launch website to reunite families torn apart by crisis

GENEVA — The Red Cross is preparing to launch a new website to help reunite families ripped apart by conflicts and natural disasters all around the world, it said Monday. “War, disaster and migration separate thousands of family members every year,” the International Committee of the Red Cross said in…

World anti-doping agency complains its budget is smaller than some pro athletes’ salaries

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday called for wider efforts to tackle the use of banned substances in sport, warning that lack of funding was hampering its fight against increasingly sophisticated cheating. “With $25-30 million (20-24 million euros of funding) a year, WADA’s budget is less than some European…

Iran launches air defense exercises to serve as ‘strong warning’ to threats

Iran on Monday launched an air defence exercise a general said was aimed at optimising its deterrent capabilities as well as sending a “strong warning” to those threatening it with military strikes. The start of the manoeuvres, originally scheduled for early October but postponed without an official explanation, was announced…

Google, Amazon and Starbucks facing British inquiry over tax evasion

Campaigners, MPs and Taxpayers’ Alliance agree large companies are exploiting loopholes in international tax regimes.  Google, Amazon and Starbucks will face aggressive and detailed questioning by MPs on Monday over their decision to base their European businesses outside the UK to avoid paying full UK tax. Responding to a growing…

Israel army confirms tank shell strikes in Syria

JERUSALEM — Israeli troops fired tank shells into Syria on Monday in retaliation for a mortar round that struck near an army post in the Golan Heights, scoring “direct hits” on the source of the fire, the army said. “A short while ago, a mortar shell hit an open area…

Australia sets up national child sex abuse inquiry

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Monday announced a national inquiry into institutional responses to child sex abuse after a series of scandals involving paedophile priests. Gillard made the announcement following claims by a senior policeman that the Catholic Church in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales destroyed evidence and…

Newly united Syria opposition bids for recognition

The leader of Syria’s newly united opposition headed to Arab League headquarters in Cairo to push for diplomatic recognition on Monday, buoyed by the hard-won unity deal among the disparate factions. Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, 52, a moderate Muslim cleric who quit Syria three months ago, was to be accompanied on…

China not ‘serious’ in Tibet immolations probe: Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama said Monday that China is more interested in criticising him than finding the reason behind a spate of Tibetan self-immolations threatening to mar the Communist Party’s leadership change. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader told reporters in Japan that Beijing is not looking “seriously” at the protests taking…

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