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‘Most-wanted’ gang leader killed in Brazilian gem heist

Military police killed the leader of a gang that had spectacularly blasted its way into a gem-cutting plant in Brazil, before trading fire with police and making off with nine hostages who were later safely freed. Three of the assailants died in the shoot-out in the state of Rio Grande…

Iran stages cyber warfare drill

Iranian forces have carried out what they called cyber warfare tactics for the first time as the Islamic republic’s naval units staged manoeuvres in the key Strait of Hormuz, media reports said on Monday. The navy “launched a cyber attack against the computer network of the defensive forces in order…

US drone strike kills 3 Qaeda suspects in Yemen: official

A US drone strike has killed three suspected Al-Qaeda militants in the central Yemen province of Al-Bayda, in the fourth such attack in a week, a local official said on Sunday. The unmanned plane fired missiles at a vehicle near the village of al-Manaseh, in the area of Rada, late…

Brazil pledges to clean up decades of pollution for Olympics

Near Rio’s future 2016 Olympic village the Marapendi lagoon emits a foul stench from waters that have been turned into a cesspool by unfiltered sewage from surrounding upscale condominiums. Brazil has pledged the athletes will see a much different sight when they descend on the country for the Summer Games…

Israel court overturns ban on Arab politician

Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday overturned a decision by the Central Elections Committee banning Arab-Israeli politician Haneen Zuabi from standing in next month’s snap general election. “Following a hearing on 27/12/2012, it was decided unanimously to reject the Central Elections Committee’s decision… to prevent representative Haneen Zuabi from standing for…

Afghans angry at US soldiers who drove away in the night leaving rent unpaid

Only sign of huge US base is pile of rubbish and broken vehicles – and a festering land dispute in a volatile province US forces left behind piles of equipment, an unpaid rent bill and a festering land dispute that threatens to undermine the Afghan government when they moved out…

Swedish lawmaker resigns after racist antics caught on film

A Swedish lawmaker once seen as a future leader of the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party announced Sunday he was quitting parliament and the party after a racist scandal. Erik Almqvist, 31, was one of three party officials caught on film hurling racist abuse at two men, arming themselves with iron…

Robbers take hostages after blasting into gem-cutting plant in Brazil

Robbers in Brazil blasted their way into a gem-cutting plant Sunday, fought a gun battle with police then fled with nine hostages, prompting a massive manhunt, officials said. Three of the assailants died in the assault in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, a military police official told AFP…

French paper to publish comic book life of Mohammed

A French weekly known for publishing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed to the ire of conservative Muslims said Sunday it plans to release a comic book biography of Islam’s founder that will be researched and educational. Satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo has on several occasions depicted Islam’s prophet in an effort…

Cash-starved Sudan to double minimum wage

Sudan’s cash-starved government on Sunday ordered a doubling of the minimum wage after months of rising prices left consumers struggling to make ends meet. The order by President Omar al-Bashir reversed earlier official rejections of an increase despite inflation which reached 46 percent in November. “President Bashir gives directive for…

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