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DR Congo rebels seize the country’s main airport

DR Congo rebels have seized the airport in Goma, the main city in the country’s mineral-rich east after several days of fighting, a United Nations official told reporters Tuesday. “The airport is under the control of the M23,” the official said on condition of anonymity, referring to the rebel group.…

Lawyers say Pakistan quashed Christian girl ‘blasphemy’ case

A Pakistan court on Tuesday threw out all charges against a Christian girl accused of blasphemy in a case that drew international condemnation, lawyers said. Rimsha Masih spent three weeks on remand in an adult jail after she was arrested on August 16 for allegedly burning pages from the Koran.…

Israel mulls Gaza truce as death toll tops 100

Israeli leaders Tuesday discussed an Egyptian plan for a truce with Gaza’s ruling Hamas, reports said, before a mission by the UN chief to Jerusalem and as the toll from Israeli raids on Gaza rose over 100. The early morning talks came as the UN Security Council hit deadlock on…

New law to ban India’s ‘untouchable’ toilet cleaners

With both hands holding the basket of human excrement on her head, widowed grandmother Kela walks through a stream of sewage, up a mound of waste and then dumps the filth while cursing. “Nobody even pays us a decent wage!” she spits as she rakes mud and rubbish over her…

Cabbie returns $900,000 to Thai couple

A Singaporean taxi driver has been heralded as a hero after he returned Sg$1.1 million ($900,000) in cash to a vacationing Thai couple who left the money in his cab. Sia Ka Tian, 70, was shocked to find the money in a black paper bag on the back seat on…

Israel’s Peres accuses Iran of instigating Gaza violence

WASHINGTON — Israel’s President Shimon Peres accused Iran of encouraging the Palestinians to continue rocket attacks on Israel rather than negotiating a ceasefire, saying “they are out of their mind.” At the same time, Peres praised Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi for the constructive role he has played in the intensifying…

UN calls for tougher prosecution of pirates

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations on Monday called for stronger prosecutions of pirates and more action by shipping companies to deter bandits at sea. At a UN Security Council debate on maritime piracy, UN deputy secretary general Jan Eliasson said that while attacks had been reduced off the coast…

Gazans search desperately for safe place under fire

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Every time six-year-old Mohammed hears the sound of Israeli missiles landing near his home in Gaza City, he turns to his mother and asks: “When are we going to die?” Traumatised by the bombardment, and terrified for their children, his family has decided to leave…

U.S. still not ready to fully embrace Syrian opposition

WASHINGTON — The United States said Monday it is closely monitoring the progress of a new Syrian opposition alliance as it weighs whether to recognize the body as the sole representative of the Syrian people. “We’re obviously looking at this day by day, week by week. We’re getting to know…

Anglicans ordain Africa’s first woman bishop

JOHANNESBURG — The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has ordained the first woman bishop on the African continent, officials said Monday, in a historic move that comes as the Church of England in London prepares to vote on whether to allow female bishops. The consecration of Ellinah Wamukoya, originally from…

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