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Iraq archives chief moves to seal controversial Saddam-era files

The terror of Saddam Hussein’s secret police has lived on long after his fall through their millions of reports, which are still dragged up by Iraqi politicians and the media, often with damaging results. But Saad Iskander, the head of Iraq’s national archives, thinks the documents have been used for…

Uruguay takes step toward legalizing abortion

Uruguay took a step toward legalizing abortion as lawmakers in the lower chamber of parliament narrowly passed a bill allowing the procedure under certain conditions. The vote was 50-49 and came as proponents and critics of the bill yelled out from the gallery in the chamber. The bill now goes…

British government pledges £1 million to stop rape in war zones

The Foreign Secretary William Hague has unveiled a £1 million pledge to help stop sexual violence against women in war zones, where thousands of women and girls are raped every day. “We are determined to raise international awareness of these issues,” Hague told journalists shortly after a meeting on the…

Strong earthquake forces more than 1,000 tourists to flee hotels in Baja, Mexico

A strong 6.2-magnitude earthquake rattled Mexico’s Baja California peninsula Tuesday, forcing more than 1,000 tourists to flee their hotels and take refuge on beaches and in gardens. No damage or victims were immediately reported after the earthquake and an aftershock struck the west coast region. The quake was centered 75…

Hong Kong tycoon offers $65 million bounty to marry off lesbian daughter

A Hong Kong tycoon has offered a $65 million “marriage bounty” to any man who can win the heart of his lesbian daughter, a report said Wednesday. Cecil Chao announced the financial reward of HK$500 million after his daughter, Gigi, married her same-sex partner of seven years in France earlier…

Global financial system as risky as before credit crunch, warns IMF

The global financial system remains as risky as it was before the credit crisis, with the necessary “reboot” of the banking sector delayed by the emergency measures taken to prop up economic growth, the International Monetary Fund has warned. In its twice-yearly Global Financial Stability Report, published on Tuesday, the…

British minister predicts long showdown over Julian Assange

UNITED NATIONS — Britain and Ecuador face a prolonged showdown over the asylum bid by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the South American nation’s London embassy, Britain’s foreign minister William Hague said Tuesday. Assange is to speak by videolink to a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly…

Police fire rubber bullets at Madrid protest

MADRID — Spanish riot police fired rubber bullets at baton-charged protesters Tuesday as thousands rallied near parliament in Madrid in anger at the economic crisis, in clashes that left 14 people wounded. Riot police in helmets charged to clear thousands of protestors who swamped the Plaza de Neptuno square yelling…

Same sex marriage weighs heavily as Anglican church chooses new leader

As Anglican Church picks new leader, gay marriage weighs heavily (via The Christian Science Monitor) Looking back recently on a 10-year tenure marked by bitter conflicts between liberals and traditionalists, the leader of the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion suggested that his job might really call for…

LGBT Germans tap Oktoberfest to make push for marriage rights

Gay Germans tap Oktoberfest to make push for marriage rights (via The Christian Science Monitor) By early afternoon on the first Sunday of Oktoberfest this past weekend, the Bräurosl beer tent in Munich was already filled with thousands of merry revelers in  lederhosen, singing and drinking. At one table, Christian…

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