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Strauss-Kahn sex probe to continue with pimping charges

A probe into allegations that Dominique Strauss-Kahn procured prostitutes for sex parties will continue after a French court on Wednesday rejected a request for pimping charges against the former IMF chief to be dismissed. Lawyers for the disgraced politician said they would appeal the court’s decision. “Mr Strauss-Kahn’s defence is…

Police fire water cannon at gang-rape protest in Delhi

Indian riot police fired water cannon during a demonstration in New Delhi over the gang-rape of a 23-year-old student on a bus, witnesses said. The police hosed the protesters as some of them tried to tear down steel barricades outside the official residence of New Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.…

UNICEF suspends anti-polio campaign in Pakistan after new attacks

Gunmen in Pakistan mounted fresh attacks Wednesday on health workers carrying out polio vaccinations, taking the death toll to nine and prompting UNICEF and WHO to suspend work on a campaign opposed by the Taliban. Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio is still endemic,…

Doomsday myth obscures plight of indigenous Mayans

At its peak, the Maya civilization had one of the richest cultures in the Americas. Today, ethnic Mayas in central America and Mexico suffer from discrimination, exploitation and poverty. In Guatemala, where nearly half of the population is indigenous, descendants of the once-mighty ancient civilization have even fallen victims to…

In bid to restore peace, Mexico changes stance in drug war

Mexico’s new president has outlined a security strategy aimed at reducing drug war-related violence that, rhetorically at least, contrasts starkly with the emphasis his predecessor placed on using force to go after the country’s cartels. “Our primary objectives are reducing the violence and recuperating the peace and tranquility of Mexicans,”…

Secular ‘church’ provides religion-free weddings in Denmark

Danish couples keen on a church wedding but without all the religious trappings will soon be able to tie the knot in a converted church, dressed however they wish and saying ‘yes’ to the music of their choice. “Civil weddings take about six minutes and that’s it. Not very romantic,”…

Israel poised to build thousands of new settler homes

Israeli authorities on Tuesday rejected a plan to build around 800 new settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem, but were expected to approve more constructions elsewhere, triggering the ire of Washington. Settlement watchdog Peace Now told AFP that authorities were due to endorse a far larger project on Wednesday and…

Ireland to amend draconian abortion restriction

Ireland will introduce draft legislation and regulations to provide limited abortion in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, the government announced Tuesday. It follows a 2010 European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling that found Ireland failed to implement properly the constitutional right to abortion where a woman’s…

Critical art exhibit looks at man’s relationship with food as a billion starve

A contemporary art show opening this week in Geneva aims to spark a dialogue on man’s intricate relationship with food in a world where nearly a billion people are undernourished, the curator said Tuesday. “The relationship we have with food is much more complex and important than the simple connection…

Qatar-based company to make $1 billion 7-film Prophet Mohammed biopic

Qatar-based company Alnoor Holding has said it will raise the budget for a planned movie series on the life of Prophet Mohammed to $1 billion dollars from the $1.5 million announced three years ago. The biopics will be produced as a series of “seven films — instead of three films…

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