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British survivors recount terror in Algeria

British survivors returning from the Algerian gas plant hostage crisis have told of their experiences, with the mother of one saying that her son will have nightmares for life. One Briton has been confirmed killed in the attack by Islamist militants, while a further five British nationals and one UK…

‘Political coward’ Binyamin Netanyahu sees rift with Barack Obama widen

Israeli prime minister’s aides accused American president of interfering in Israel’s elections Already fractious relations between Binyamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama have been further strained in the runup to the president’s inauguration on Monday and the Israeli prime minister’s anticipated victory in Tuesday’s election. Netanyahu aides accused Obama of interfering…

India’s Sonia Gandhi slams ‘shameful’ attitudes towards women

Sonia Gandhi, president of India’s ruling Congress party, on Sunday condemned “shameful” social attitudes that led to crimes like the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi. “We cannot tolerate shameful social mindsets that lead to unspeakable atrocities on women and children… every woman in the country has the…

Japan’s grandmother poet Toyo Shibata dies at 101

Japanese poet Toyo Shibata, who started writing at the age of 92 and whose first anthology sold almost 1.6 million copies, died Sunday aged 101, her son said. Shibata died at a nursing home near her residence in Utsunomiya north of Tokyo, said her eldest son Kenichi Shibata. She had…

Hundreds rally against spread of Neo-Nazi influence in Greece

Hundreds of people held a rally against racism and fascism in central Athens on Saturday as mourners gathered to pray over the body of a man killed in a suspected racist attack. Nearly 3,000 people, according to state broadcaster NET, joined the peaceful protest that ended with a concert and…

Libyan defense minister survives firefight with former rebels

Libya’s defence minister was unhurt Saturday after being caught in a firefight between his bodyguards and ex-rebels at an airbase in the east of the country, his deputy told AFP. Mohammed al-Barghati was leaving the airport in Tobruk, eastern Libya, when the shooting occurred, said Khaled al-Sherif. “As the minister…

Slovakian steel hub remaking itself as ‘European Capital of Culture’

Known mainly for its steelworks, the gritty industrial hub of Kosice in east Slovakia is hard at work reforging itself as a centre of creativity and the arts as it enters 2013 with the tag “European Capital of Culture”. A two-day gala blastoff featuring fireworks and gigs by international and…

Saudi minister: Economic summit must tackle Arab Spring

A two-day economic summit that opens Monday in Saudi Arabia must break with tradition and tackle people’s aspirations in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings, the Saudi foreign minister said. “Our meeting should not be mired in routine,” Prince Saud al-Faisal said at a meeting Saturday to prepare for…

Europe hit by blizzards, air traffic havoc, deaths

Extreme winter weather swept across western Europe Saturday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded at London’s main international airport and claiming several lives in Spain, Portugal and France, including those of three Mali-bound soldiers. The frigid temperatures also caused delays and cancellations on major railway lines including the Eurostar train service,…

Spain ‘stolen baby’ finds mother 50 years on: police

A Spanish woman was reunited with her mother nearly 50 years after being abducted as a newborn, one of numerous alleged cases of “stolen babies” from the Franco era, police said Saturday. Francisco Franco’s regime allowed children to be taken away at birth if the parents were left-wing opponents or…

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