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HIV-positive patients lose hope after Guinea Bissau loses access to aid

HIV-positive people in Guinea Bissau have been without access to treatment since the Global Fund to fight AIDS suspended funding over an April military coup, the west African nation’s AIDS boss said Wednesday. “Our main funders, the Global Fund, suspended financial aid” following the April 12 coup, said Joao Jose…

Hamas and Israel agree to cease fire

A deal to end a deadly week-long conflict between Hamas and Israel in and around the Gaza Strip was agreed on Wednesday, a senior Hamas official told AFP. “The deal has been agreed. There will be an announcement in half an hour,” the official said on condition of anonymity. UPDATE…

Swiss woman restores Transylvanian organs

In the medieval fortified churches of Transylvania, dozens of majestic church organs have fallen prey to rodents and the ravages of time. But thanks to the dedication of Swiss restorer Barbara Dutli, these imposing instruments — “whole orchestras by themselves”, as French writer Honore de Balzac used to say —…

Artists stage exhibit of trash found on Mount Everest

A group of artists is staging an exhibition of sculptures made from tonnes of trash collected on Mount Everest, highlighting the toll that decades of mountaineering have taken on the world’s highest peak. Discarded oxygen and cooking gas cylinders, ropes, tents, glasses, beer cans, plastic and even the remains of…

French LGBT groups angered over apparent backtrack on marriage equality

France’s main gay lobby suspended links with France’s socialist government Wednesday, saying it felt “betrayed” after President Francois Hollande appeared to backtrack slightly on plans to legalise gay marriage and adoption. The Inter-LGBT said it was “suspending all relations with the government” until Hollande explained “what at best can be…

Libyan security chief assassinated in Benghazi

Colonel Farag al-Dersi played key role in curbing militia power in wake of US ambassador Chris Stevens’ murder in September The Libyan security chief who led an anti-militia crackdown in the wake of the killing of the country’s US ambassador has been assassinated in Benghazi, raising questions about the government’s…

Court rules Christian Brothers Catholic order must share sexual abuse compensation costs

A Catholic diocese has successfully forced a Christian Brothers order to share the cost of compensating more than 170 victims of alleged physical and sexual abuse who attended a Yorkshire children’s home. The landmark decision in the supreme court confirms advances in the legal doctrine of “vicarious liability” under which…

Amsterdam to keep pulling in millions of foreign soft-drug users as Dutch ditch controversial ‘weed pass’ law

Dutch cities are to decide themselves whether to bar foreign drug tourists from so-called coffee-shops, after the government scrapped its unpopular “weed pass” law. The move will allow Amsterdam to keep pulling in millions of foreign soft-drug users, while allowing border towns to clamp down on crime related to drug…

UN chief urges halt to rocket attacks on Israel

UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate halt to rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, after talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday. “I reiterate my call for an immediate cessation of indiscriminate rocket attacks by Palestinian militants targeting Israeli populated centres. This is unacceptable,” he…

Victims of Hurricane Sandy forgotten in Haiti

Hurricane Sandy, the deadly storm that slammed into New York and New Jersey in October, tore through the Caribbean long before reaching America — and in Haiti, many still await help. Flooding from Sandy killed 54 people and left thousands homeless in Haiti, another woe for a country still struggling…

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