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India to amend hate speech law after Facebook controversy

India is set to amend its hate speech laws following a public outcry over two women arrested for posting comments on Facebook after the death of hardline politician Bal Thackeray. The new guidelines by the communications and information technology ministry will make it harder for police to arrest people who…

China to be world’s largest film market by 2020

Industry driven by China’s increasingly wealthy population looks set to overtake the US, claims Ernst & Young report China’s film market – already the second biggest in the world – will surpass that of the US by 2020, according to a new report by Ernst & Young. The report suggests the…

Al-Qaeda figure killed by drone had been in custody

US-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, killed in a US drone attack in Yemen last year, had been in US custody at least twice in prior years but was released, a human rights group said. Judicial Watch, an accountability watchdog group, said it had learned this through Freedom of Information lawsuits…

Chinese demand fuels illegal logging: report

The preservation of the world’s forests “is in China’s hands”, a top environmental campaign group said Thursday, accusing the biggest wood importer and consumer of fuelling the illegal timber trade. “China’s role as the world’s biggest timber trader means that further progress against illegal logging depends on the nation taking…

Afghan girl’s throat slit over refusal to wed

Two men have been arrested for slitting the throat of a 15-year-old Afghan girl after her family refused a marriage proposal, police said Thursday. The girl was carrying water from a river to her village home in northern Kunduz province on Wednesday when she was murdered, police spokesman Sayed Sarwar…

Russia bans access to Pussy Riot videos

A Russian court issued an order Thursday to limit access to the videos of performances by the jailed feminist punk band Pussy Riot, ruling the films to be extremist. A Moscow court declared the videos, including the infamous “Punk Prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, to be “extremist”…

Only path to Palestinian state is direct talks: Clinton

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that the only path towards a Palestinian state was through direct negotiations, on the eve of a contentious United Nations vote. “I have said many times that the path to a two-state solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Palestinian people is…

South Korea to attempt space flight for third time

SEOUL — South Korea braced Thursday for its third attempt to send a satellite into orbit and lay down a national marker in the high-cost world of commercial space technology and exploration. After two previous failures in 2009 and 2010, the 140-tonne Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV-I) was scheduled to…

Dutch zoo looks to give away elephants after power struggle splits up herd

A Dutch zoo said Wednesday it was looking to give away four outcast elephants after a power clash of jumbo proportions forced the park to split up the herd. The drama at the Noorder Animal Park in the northeastern town of Emmen unfolded after the herd’s undisputed matriarch died in…

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy caught in Twitter flap over comment about not ‘needing feminism’

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was caught in the eye of a Twitter storm on Wednesday after telling French Vogue that her generation had no need for feminism. “In my generation we don’t need to be feminist,” said the former first lady, who is making a public comeback after her husband Nicolas Sarkozy’s…

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