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In world’s most religious country, humanists rally for secular space

In world's most religious country, humanists rally for secular space In Ghana, where deeply held religious beliefs unite much of the population, a new group has formed around a shared disbelief in religion. The Humanist Association of Ghana practices a philosophy that is mostly unheard of in Ghana, which a…

Chris Hayes: U.S. helps terrorism ‘brings strategic benefits’ in Middle East

Good news “can sometimes seem in short supply” in the Middle East, said Chris Hayes during his MSNBC show, Up with Chris Hayes. But a recent ceasefire was celebrated by many Gazans, although met with mixed opinion from Israelis, as 49 percent were opposed to the ceasefire. Gazan’s suffered over…

Palestinian cars vandalized in apparent ‘revenge’ hate crime

Palestinian cars were vandalised overnight in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, in an attack that bore the hallmarks of a hate crime by rightwing Israeli extremists, victims and police said on Sunday. Eight vehicles belonging to the same family had their tyres slashed, and one was daubed with the slogan in Hebrew…

Germany’s Merkel eases Jewish concerns over circumcision ruling

Angela Merkel sought to ease the concerns of Germany’s Jews Sunday over a disputed ruling against circumcision as she became the first chancellor to address the Jewish community’s annual council meeting. “The respecting of religious ritual is a fundamental good,” she told the annual gathering of the Central Council of…

France’s former first lady supports same-sex marriage push

Former French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy backed controversial plans for France to legalise gay marriage in an interview with Vogue that sees the 44-year-old return to her supermodel roots. In an interview appearing in the magazine’s December issue with a 20-page photo shoot reminiscent of Bruni-Sarkozy’s time as a top…

Peru opens up Incan sanctuary of Pachacamac to tourists

LIMA — Peru has opened up a tourist attraction in which hikers view a site that held an oracle consulted by Incan leaders pondering big decisions such as whether to go to war. The sanctuary, known as Pachacamac, features a series of pyramids with ramps to climb up and a…

Countess of Wemyss winning support to change world’s drug laws

The proud owner of a country estate and an aristocratic title, Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss and March, might seem an unlikely campaigner for the reform of laws criminalising recreational drugs. But no one can say she hasn’t put the hours in. For the past 15 years, as part of…

Hamas arsenal hit during conflict but rocket know-how still intact

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — The distinctive whoosh of a longer-range rocket leaving Gaza set sirens wailing in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem within minutes, as Hamas militants broke new ground in the fight against Israel. And although the Islamists’ firepower was hard hit during its eight-day confrontation with Israel, Hamas…

Mexico’s outgoing president: Drop the ‘United States’

MEXICO CITY — Nothing against the neighbors, really. Mexico’s outgoing President Felipe Calderon has suggested that the United States of Mexico change its name to, well, just plain Mexico. “It is time for us Mexicans to reclaim the beauty and simplicity of our country’s name: Mexico. A name we chant,…

China conducts first landing on aircraft carrier

BEIJING — China has conducted the first landing of a fighter jet on its new aircraft carrier in a move that extends Beijing’s ability to project its growing military might in territorial disputes. The Chinese-made J-15 made the successful landing on the Liaoning, a former Soviet carrier, during recent exercises,…

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