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Internet restored in Syria after three-day blackout

Internet and telephone services resumed in Damascus on Saturday after a three-day blackout, an AFP reporter and state news agency SANA said, as a watchdog said they were up in most parts of Syria. “Internet is back in Damascus and in parts of Damascus province,” the correspondent said, adding that…

Former Georgian PM investigated over fake passport

Georgian police on Saturday questioned a former prime minister over the alleged use of a fake passport, further raising tensions between the government and President Mikheil Saakashvili, who says his allies are being persecuted. “An investigation was opened into the use of a forged document and an attempt of illicit…

Egyptian President Morsi calls for December referendum on constitution

President puts faith in popular vote to silence critics of government’s sweeping powers as about 50,000 rally in Cairo Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has announced a snap referendum on a new constitution that has already deepened divisions in a country still struggling to find its identity more than a year…

Ahmadinejad reshuffles controversial aides

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shifted two of controversial aides into new jobs on Saturday, state news agency IRNA reported. Chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie was appointed as an advisor and secretariat head of the Non-Aligned Movement, whose presidency Iran took over this past summer. Mashaie, the bane of ultra-conservatives…

Ecuadorian president warns of risks to Assange health

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa warned Friday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is at risk of deteriorating health if he remains holed up for much longer in Quito’s embassy in London. In an exclusive interview in the Peruvian capital Lima, Correa said Assange’s health concerns could worsen dramatically if his now…

Stigma for Central America’s HIV-positive kids

Four-year-old Carlos, who makes a lengthy trip every two weeks with his teenage aunt to a special clinic in El Salvador’s capital, has no notion of the cruel stigma that comes with his HIV diagnosis. Governments and aid groups across the region are organizing official parades and cultural events Saturday…

South Africa marks World AIDS Day with record ribbon

South Africa, home to the world’s largest HIV caseload, on Saturday unveiled a 1.5 kilometre AIDS ribbon in Johannesburg, with activists and officials pledging to curb the epidemic. Created from over 6,000 red T-shirts pinned together, the ribbon was rolled out at Constitution Hill, which houses the country’s Constitutional Court,…

Israeli settlement expansion ‘sets back’ peace bid: Clinton

The United States criticized Israel’s decision to build 3,000 settler homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling it a setback for peace. The White House earlier called the move — which came in response to a historic vote in the UN General…

Give back our money, savers yell at Spain banks

Furious Spaniards who say banks cheated them of their savings took to the streets Saturday demanding that the bailed-out lenders give them their money back. “Thieves! Where is our money?” bellowed a crowd of some 1,000 protesters, many of them elderly, outside the central bank in Madrid before marching on…

Mexico inaugurates new President Peña Nieto, but takes on ‘old’ party reputation

Mexico inaugurates new President Peña Nieto, but takes on 'old' party reputation Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto takes office today, but when Mexicans chose him as president in July, they voted for more than just a presidential platform. Voters elected to bring back to power a party that ran the…

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