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Dispute over livestock slaughter in Poland reaches political stage

Banning the ritual slaughter of livestock for food, a bedrock of the Jewish and Muslim faiths, has split Poland into opposing camps of religious groups, animal rights campaigners and flourishing meat exporters. Animal rights activists backed by left-wing politicians last month won a key victory when Poland’s Constitutional Court voided…

Thousands protest Portugal’s austerity cuts

Several thousand people took to the streets of Lisbon on Saturday to protest austerity measures demanded by international lenders in the debt-ridden country. The march, called by the main CGTP union, ended outside the presidential palace, where protesters called on conservative President Anibal Cavaco Silva not to approve next year’s…

Chevron to pay $155 million for Brazilian oil spill

US oil giant Chevron has agreed to pay 310 million reales ($155 million) to Brazil for an oil spill last year that fouled beaches in Rio de Janeiro, officials said Saturday. Government news service Agencia Brasil said 90 million reales would be used exclusively for environmental cleanup and 220 million…

African migrants face ‘impossible’ life in Greece

Stuck in a small Athens flat all day to avoid being caught by police, earning another stint in prison and possibly a beating, 29-year-old Cameroonian Eugene Manaa rues the day he came to Greece. “Life is not just difficult here. It’s impossible,” says Manaa, who recently spent two months in…

Venezuela holds state elections as Chavez battles cancer

Venezuelans vote Sunday in state elections overshadowed by President Hugo Chavez’s latest and seemingly toughest battle against cancer. The balloting for governors of the 23 states in the country with the world’s largest proven oil reserves will be a test for Henrique Capriles, the opposition leader Chavez beat in presidential…

Rapper accuses Brazilian governor of letting cops kill black teens

Brazilian rapper Mano Brown is urging Sao Paulo legislators to impeach Governor Geraldo Alckmin over a police campaign allegedly targeting black youths in poor neighborhoods. The popular singer was being awarded the Santo Dias human rights prize, named after a black metal worker killed by the military dictatorship in 1979,…

Egypt’s Mubarak hurt after slipping in prison shower: report

Egypt’s ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak, who is serving a life sentence, was injured when he slipped in a prison shower on Saturday, the official MENA news agency reported. The former president, who was sentenced over the killings of protesters during the uprising that toppled him last year, was being treated…

On election’s eve, Japan’s conservatives appear poised for dramatic comeback

On election's eve, Japan's conservatives appear poised for dramatic comeback Japan’s political carousel is about to revolve yet again. By late on Sunday evening, the world’s third biggest economy is expected to install its seventh prime minister in six years, with polls predicting a dramatic comeback by the conservative opposition…

Last French combat troops leave Afghanistan: airport

France flew its last combat troops out of Afghanistan on Saturday, two years before allied nations in the 100,000-strong NATO mission led by the United States are due to recall their fighting forces. Around 200 soldiers of the 25th Belfort infantry regiment, responsible for overseeing the hastened French exit from…

Russia arrests opposition leaders at banned rally

Russian police Saturday arrested several opposition leaders, including well-known blogger Alexei Navalny, as hundreds of people packed a central Moscow square in defiance of an official ban to protest Vladimir Putin’s rule. Scores of Muscovites, many holding white roses, defied the authorities by turning up at Lubyanka Square, the seat…

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