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French soldiers killed in botched Somalia hostage raid

Two French soldiers died and 17 “terrorists” were killed in a failed bid to free a French hostage in southern Somalia from Islamists holding him since 2009, the French defence minister said Saturday. The overnight operation was launched by France’s elite DGSE secret service, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said…

1,000 Foxconn workers on strike in China

Over 1,000 workers went on strike over working conditions at a plant linked to Foxconn, a rights group said on Saturday, in the latest controversy to hit the Taiwanese technology giant. Hong Kong-based Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) said the strike erupted at a Foxconn factory in Fengcheng,…

Runaway boy, 13, drives father’s Mercedes across Europe

A 13-year-old boy ran away from his adoptive parents in Italy, taking his father’s Mercedes and driving 1,000 kilometres (more than 600 miles) towards his native Poland before being stopped in Germany. The boy — a go-kart enthusiast — managed to pass motorway toll booths and cross two international borders…

Bus torched in fresh Northern Ireland riots

Police in Northern Ireland fired plastic bullets and water cannon as pro-British loyalists furious over restrictions on flying the British flag torched a bus and hurled petrol bombs at officers. Violence also flared in towns outside the capital Belfast as loyalists — the Protestant community’s working-class hardcore — blocked roads…

Native leaders meet with Canada PM amid threat to bring economy ‘to its knees’

Indigenous Canadians marched on the capital and other major cities threatening to bring the economy “to its knees” as their leaders met with officials to try to resolve a row over extreme poverty on reserves. As many as 500 aboriginals protested in freezing rain outside parliament in Ottawa in support…

Walmart replaces Latin American chief after Mexico scandal

Walmart announced Friday it is replacing the head of its Latin America unit as the company faces probes for alleged bribery in its Mexico operations. Walmart said Eduardo Solorzano, who had overseen a rapid and powerful expansion in Mexico in the early 2000s that is clouded by allegations of corrupt…

Poachers hack apart 2-month-old rhino with axes and machetes

A two-month old rhino was hacked at least 18 times with axes and machetes when she got too close to poachers cutting off her slain mother’s horn in South Africa, a conservation NGO said Friday. “The poor baby had obviously tried to return to its mother while the poachers were…

Belgium becomes conception haven for French lesbians

As France braces this weekend for giant protests against gay marriage and adoption, neighbouring Belgium has become a haven for French lesbians, who flock there in their thousands to conceive babies they are denied at home. Some 2,000 babies conceived in Belgium through artificial insemination by donor are thought to…

6 million volunteers clean up garbage worldwide

More than six million volunteers from 96 countries collected an unprecedented 100,000 tonnes of garbage last year as part of a global, web-driven clean-up campaign, cyber-environmentalists said Friday. “Last year the most astonishing numbers of volunteers attended clean-ups in Sweden, Bulgaria and in Slovenia,” Tiina Urm, spokeswoman for World Cleanup…

Saudi King appoints woman to advisory council for first time

Saudi King Abdullah appointed 30 women to the previously all-male consultative Shura Council in decrees published on Friday, marking a historic first as he pushes reforms in the ultra-conservative kingdom. The decrees gives women a 20 percent quota in the Shura Council, a body appointed by the king to advise…

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