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India gang-rape victim’s companion will testify in murder trial

The companion of an Indian medical student who died after being gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi was to begin giving evidence on Tuesday in the trial of five adults accused of her murder, his father said. The 28-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, arrived at the…

North Korea ‘may stage multiple nuclear tests’

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak believes North Korea could detonate multiple devices when it goes ahead with a nuclear test expected in the coming weeks or even days. In an interview published Tuesday in the Chosun Ilbo daily, the outgoing president also acknowledged the huge challenge the international community faces…

North Korea video shows city resembling New York under missile attack

North Korea, poised to conduct a nuclear test any day now, has posted a video on YouTube depicting a US city resembling New York engulfed in flames after an apparent missile attack. The footage was uploaded Saturday by the North’s official website, Uriminzokkiri, which distributes news and propaganda from the…

Volgograd to vote on reverting back to Soviet-era name ‘Stalingrad’

It is a name synonymous with perhaps Moscow’s greatest military triumph, an internecine six-month standoff that killed well over 1 million people. But in 1961, Stalingrad was quickly renamed Volgograd as part of incipient efforts to remove the cult of Stalin from the Soviet Union. Locals, however, have long agitated…

Kashmir cleric calls all-girl rock group ‘un-Islamic’

Indian Kashmir’s most senior Muslim cleric has called for the plug to be pulled on an all-girl rock group, calling the band “un-Islamic” and accusing them of “indecent” behaviour. Pragaash (First Light) sprang to prominence last December when the high school trio, all of whom are Muslim, won an annual…

Study: Israeli and Palestinian textbooks offer one-sided view of conflict

Israelis and Palestinians rarely demonise each other in their schoolbooks but each side’s texts offer children a one-sided view of their conflict, says a joint study released on Monday. “Dehumanising and demonising characterisations of the other are rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books,” according to the study funded by…

Romanian cancer patients demand better access to treatment

Cancer patients in Romania on Monday called on the government to make the latest treatments for the disease affordable to end what they called an “inhumane situation”. The call by Romania’s federation of cancer patient associations came on World Cancer Day. “There is a huge discrepancy between the treatments available…

‘Lamb of God’ singer pleaded not guilty to manslaughter of fan in Prague court

Randy Blythe, frontman of US heavy metal group Lamb of God, pleaded not guilty in court in Prague on Monday on the first day his trial on involuntary manslaughter charges for the 2010 death of a fan. The singer also told a municipal court in the Czech capital he wanted…

Notorious Belgian child serial killer seeks release

Notorious Belgian child serial killer Marc Dutroux appeared Monday before a special court seeking to be released and placed under house arrest with an electronic tag. His appeal for early release comes just three months before he completes 16 years of his life sentence for the kidnap and rape of…

Ahmadinejad ready to be ‘first man in space’ with Iran’s space program

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday he is ready “to be the first man in space” under Iran’s ambitious programme which aims to send a human being into orbit by 2020. “Our youth are determined to send a man into space within the next four, five years and I’m sure…

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