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Israeli PM aims to deport tens of thousands of Africans

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he aims to repatriate tens of thousands of African illegal migrants and that the inflow into Israel from the Sinai peninsula has been brought to a halt. “Our aim is to repatriate tens of thousands of infiltrators now in Israel to their countries of…

Cancer treatment might not derail Venezuelan president’s inauguration

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez could be sworn in before the Supreme Court even if his cancer treatment keeps him out of the country beyond his January 10 inauguration date, his vice president said Monday. Nicolas Maduro said the constitution will be applied, without indicating whether Chavez would be sworn in…

Pope Benedict XVI hits back at critics in Christmas Eve mass

Pope Benedict XVI said in his Christmas Eve mass on Monday that religion can be corrupted, leading to violence and wars, but refuted critics who claim that denying God’s existence would lead to peace. “It is true that religion can become corrupted… when people think they have to take God?s…

Israel recognizes first settler university in the West Bank

Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Monday confirmed a government decision to officially recognise the status of the first settler university established in the occupied West Bank. “Defence Minister Ehud Barak tonight ordered General Nitzan Allon, the military commander of the central region (covering the West Bank), to proclaim the university…

Former British PM Thatcher set to spend Christmas in hospital

Britain’s former prime minister Margaret Thatcher was in hospital for a fifth day on Monday as she recovers from bladder surgery, a spokeswoman said. There was no change in Thatcher’s condition from Sunday when the 87-year-old was said to be “in good spirits”, the spokeswoman added. The former premier was…

Three years after the quake, Haitian refugees fight Christmas misery

While people around the world celebrate the arrival of Christmas, residents of a refugee camp in Haiti say hunger and want will mark the holiday, like every other day of the year. “There are no wreaths, no Christmas trees,” said Titelma Cherival, 54, still living in a makeshift refugee camp…

‘Lost tribe’ members migrate from India to Israel

Fifty members of an Indian community believed to be descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel arrived on Monday in the Jewish state, completing their immigration. Linking up with family members who have already settled in Israel, they are among the first wave of the 7,200-strong Bnei Menashe…

Muslim scholars and clerics plan January trip to Kabul to condemn suicide bombings as un-Islamic

Suicide bombers in Afghanistan have shown little restraint: Wedding parties and even mosques and children have witnessed gruesome targeting by the Taliban against civilians. But as attacks soared in the summer and fall, killing scores of civilians every week – including at least 40 Muslim devotees…  …

Ongoing preservation of Lenin’s body stirs debate on remains

The mausoleum for Russia’s revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin must undergo major repair work after its foundation suffered water damage, the Kremlin said Monday. The communist icon’s body will also undergo preservation work, a move that adds fuel to a debate in Russia about whether his remains should be buried. The…

Iran to citizens: avoid U.S. travel due to ‘targeted Iranophobia’

Iran has issued a travel warning to its citizens against visiting arch-foe the United States, an official said, after the death of an Iranian national reportedly following a grilling by US customs officials. “Iranian citizens are advised to avoid non-essential travels to the US and, in case of visit, to…

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