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Idle No More: Canada’s indigenous ‘Occupy’ movement

Idle No More: Canada's indigenous 'Occupy' movement Canada’s First Nations peoples and their supporters have been loudly protesting federal legislation that, they say, strips protections from dozens of Canada’s lakes and waterways and ignores the government’s treaty obligations to its indigenous inhabitants. Since November, dozens of demonstrations…   [Idle No…

Billions in Afghan aid could be wasted: U.S. inspector

Billions of dollars in American assistance to Afghanistan could ultimately go to waste without better planning and security in the war-torn nation, a US investigator said Thursday. John Sopko, the congressionally mandated Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, aired his concerns as Afghan President Hamid Karzai held talks in Washington…

Tensions rising in Canada over aboriginal living conditions

Canada’s governor general on Thursday invited native chiefs to meet with him amid growing tensions with aboriginal peoples over squalid living conditions on reserves. The “ceremonial meeting” at Rideau Hall, the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in this former British colony, is scheduled for Friday evening after planned…

Catholic bishops slam Israel’s security barrier

A delegation of Roman Catholic bishops from Europe and North America pledged on Thursday to press their governments to act against the “injustice” of Israel’s West Bank separation barrier. During a three-day trip ending on Thursday, the eight prelates visited Christian congregations in the Gaza Strip, Bethlehem, the West Bank…

94-year-old man breaks out of Munich hospital in search of a birthday beer

A 94-year-old pensioner broke out of hospital in Munich so he could belatedly celebrate his birthday in one of the German city’s famous beer halls, police said Thursday. A passer-by noticed the elderly man at an underground rail station on Wednesday as he still had an intravenous drip needle implanted…

Chinese state media mocks ‘repulsive’ government cliches

Chinese state media turned on the government’s own use of language Thursday, mocking a list of “repulsive” official cliches submitted by social media users. The public shaming of bureaucrat-speak — hosted on the microblog of the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily — came after China’s new leaders slammed the…

Unusual heavy snowfall hits Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — Jerusalem was transformed into a winter wonderland on Thursday after heavy overnight snowfall turned the Holy City and much of the region white, bringing hordes of excited children onto the streets. As temperatures plummeted, the bitter winds and rain that have battered the Middle East since Sunday turned…

EU moves to end state monopolies of railways

In proposals likely to infuriate Germany, the EU executive will this month urge an end to Europe’s last rail monopolies and so open the lucrative passenger market to competition from 2019. The toughest opposition to the European Commission plan is likely to come from Germany and its rail giant Deutsche…

Mexico City officials blame pack of wild dogs for string of gruesome deaths

By Jo Tuckman, The Guardian Official explanation of marauding wild dogs for deaths of five people found with horrific flesh injuries prompts public backlash Crime scene tape strung between trees in a hilly park in the working class Mexico City suburb of Iztapalapa marks the place where a teenage couple…

UN: Developing countries face mercury exposure risks

Communities in developing countries are facing increased health and environmental risks linked to mercury exposure, the United Nations Environment Programme said Thursday. “Mercury … remains a major global, regional and national challenge in terms of threats to human health and the environment,” said UNEP head Achim Steiner. Parts of Africa,…

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