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UN: New generation of secret British courts could conceal torture collusion

The new generation of secret courts proposed by the government could suppress evidence of British collusion in torture, according to the chief UN official responsible for investigating wrongdoing by security and intelligence agencies. Concern about the government’s plan – contained in the justice and security bill – was expressed by…

Poll: Distrust of Americans spreads beyond Middle East

American influence on the world stage is being sapped by widespread distrust of US intentions, not just in the Middle East and south Asia but also among traditional European allies, according to a survey of global opinions. Suspicion of America outweighed faith in its good intentions by large margins in…

Egyptian protesters tore down U.S. embassy flag

Thousands of Egyptian demonstrators angered by a film deemed offensive to Islam tore down the US flag during a protest at the embassy in Cairo on Tuesday, an AFP photographer reported. Nearly 3,000 demonstrators, most of them hardline Islamist supporters of the Salafist movement or football fans, gathered at the…

Polish exorcism boom leads to launch of ‘Egzorcysta’ magazine

With exorcism booming in Poland, Roman Catholic priests have joined forces with a publisher to launch what they claim is the world’s first monthly magazine focused exclusively on chasing out the devil. “The rise in the number or exorcists from four to more than 120 over the course of 15…

British police: Naked Prince Harry photos not as ‘inappropriate’ as they appear

Photographs of Prince Harry nude in a Las Vegas hotel room were not as they appeared, Britain’s top police officer said on Tuesday. The prince made headlines around the world when the images of him frolicking nude with an unidentified naked woman in a VIP hotel room were published on…

Sloths catch some rest in a Costa Rica sanctuary

They often arrive in bad shape — hit by cars, zapped by high-voltage wires as they climb trees, or orphaned because superstitious locals have killed their moms. But life gets sweet once the gates open at Costa Rica’s sloth sanctuary, one of few in the world specializing in the study…

European Union plans to trim biofuel targets to combat global warming

The European Union plans to trim targets on biofuel use, once seen as a potential source of cheap alternative energy but now widely blamed for soaring food prices, according to a draft proposal. In 2009, the EU fixed a target for renewables to account for 20 percent of all the…

Australia acts to stop super-trawler

The Australian government Tuesday announced plans to change its environmental protection laws to prevent a controversial super-trawler from fishing in its waters. The 9,500-tonne FV Margiris, recently reflagged as the Abel Tasman, is currently docked at Port Lincoln in South Australia, but under the new laws would not be able…

Two Saudis beheaded for armed robbery

Saudi Arabia beheaded two nationals in the southwestern city of Jizan on Tuesday after they were convicted of armed robbery, the interior ministry announced. “Mohammed bin Ahmed Kharmi and Musa bin Mohsen Kharmi lured a man and opened fire on him,” the ministry said in a statement published by SPA…

Al-Qaeda leader confirms deputy’s death

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has released a video coinciding with the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, confirming for the first time the death of his deputy, US monitors said. The 42-minute video is Zawahiri’s first release in three months, and confirms that Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed in a…

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