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WWF opens investigation into dark underbelly of illegal tuna trade

Thousands of tonnes of Atlantic bluefin tuna traded through Panama over a decade were never reported to the global body tasked with protecting the threatened fish, green group WWF claimed Wednesday. Some 14,300 tonnes of processed bluefin traded over the period 2000 to 2010, a figure obtained from official trade…

Authorities hunt for missing spare keys to 180 cells at Belgium’s Leuven prison

Spare keys to 180 cells in Belgium’s Leuven prison went missing a week ago, raising fears one of the inmates may have laid hands on them, the daily Het Laatste Nieuws said Wednesday. Staff have been quietly on the lookout for the prison chaplain’s keys since last Thursday, one being…

Protests begin outside Parliament after Portugal passes austerity budget

The Portuguese parliament adopted on Wednesday a 2013 austerity budget that includes draconian tax increases required by international creditors, in the teeth of swelling street protests. The country’s ruling centre-right coalition had the votes to push the budget through despite opposition from the Socialist and extreme left parties. Several thousand…

Two NATO troops killed in Afghan insider attack

KABUL — Two soldiers in the NATO-led coalition fighting insurgents in Afghanistan were shot dead Tuesday by a man in an Afghan police uniform, the alliance’s International Security Assistance Force said. It is the latest in a series of insider attacks that have seriously undermined trust between NATO forces and…

Libya assembly stormed in new blow to forming government

TRIPOLI — Protesters stormed Libya’s national assembly on Tuesday derailing a vote on a cabinet line-up in a new blow to efforts to form a government after a landmark July election. As he adjourned the session amid chaotic scenes, assembly president Mohammed Megaryef angrily denounced a situation he said was…

Czech hockey fans hurl racist insults at NHL player

The Czech Ice Hockey Association said Tuesday it had fined top-flight Pirati Chomutov after its fans showered racist insults on black NHL player Wayne Simmonds during a game. Canada’s Simmonds, the Philadelphia Flyers’ right wing, joined another Czech top-flight side Bili Tygri Liberec amid the NHL lock-out sparked by failed…

Amsterdam’s pot shops saved after new Dutch government scraps ‘weed pass’

The Dutch city of Amsterdam, a famous hotspot for marijuana tourism, won’t be forced to stop selling weed to tourists any time soon thanks to a pact between the country’s liberal and labor parties, which came together this week to form a new coalition government. Under the new arrangement, the…

Poland accused of creating ‘climate of fear’ for environmentalists

‘EurActiv: Polish government attacked for ‘harassment and bullying’ of green NGOs opposed to shale gas and coal power Polish environmentalists say that they are operating in a ‘climate of fear’ involving harassment by the country’s security police, and denunciations from government ministers for “working against the public interests of the state”.…

Rwanda jails opposition leader for ‘denying genocide’

Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire was jailed for eight years Tuesday after a court found her guilty of terror charges and denying the genocide. “She has been sentenced to eight years for all the crimes that she was found guilty of,” judge Alice Rulisa told the court, adding however that…

Georgian teacher converts airplane into kindergarten classroom

A headteacher in the Georgian city of Rustavi has found an unusual way to get children’s early education off the ground — by transforming an aeroplane into a kindergarten. Gari Chapidze bought the old but fully functional Yakovlev Yak-42 from Georgian Airways and refurbished its interior with educational equipment, games…

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