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Egypt: Israel-Hamas truce may come soon

Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi said on Saturday his government was in touch with both Israelis and Palestinians and there were indications they could “soon” reach a truce, but there were no guarantees. “There are some indications that there could be a ceasefire soon,” Morsi said at a joint news conference…

Thousands of police march in Spain austerity protest

About 5,000 police officers marched through the centre of Madrid on Saturday to protest salary cuts and the thinning of their ranks as Spain grapples with its sovereign debt crisis. The officers, who had travelled from across Spain. rallied three days after the nation was gripped by a general strike…

Over 100,000 march against gay marriage in France: police

More than a hundred thousand people attended rallies across France Saturday in protest at plans to legalize gay marriage, according to police figures obtained by AFP. In Paris alone, 70,000 people turned out at one rally, said police — organisers put the figure at 200,000 — while another 22,000 protested…

Tel Aviv shaken but not stirred by Gaza rockets

Elad and his girlfriend Hadas check to see if the latest hip Tel Aviv establishment has a proper shelter in case of a sudden air siren — and only then look at the menu before deciding on a restaurant. “It is the (1991) Gulf War all over again except that…

U.S. gives ‘full backing’ to Israel while urging de-escalation of Gaza violence

The Israeli ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, says the US has given his government a free hand in its assault on Gaza as the Israeli cabinet ordered a large call up of military reserves, prompting fears of a ground invasion. The Palestinian delegation to Washington condemned the US response to…

Protester slaps Nepal’s Maoist leader in the face

KATHMANDU — The leader of Nepal’s 10-year Maoist insurgency was left shaken on Friday when a former supporter slapped the ex-guerilla across the face, smashing his glasses. Police dragged away 25-year-old Padam Kunwar during the angry confrontation with Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal — better known as Prachanda, or the…

Gaza, an impoverished and besieged sliver of land

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — The Gaza Strip, under fire from Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defence campaign unleashed on Wednesday, is an impoverished and overpopulated enclave ruled by the Islamist group Hamas. Some 1.6 million Palestinians live in the cramped territory spread over 362 square kilometres (140 square miles) along…

UN: At least 750,000 preterm babies die unnecessarily every year

The lives of at least 750,000 premature babies could be saved every year by taking simple and inexpensive steps to limit preterm birth, the world’s largest killer of newborns, UN health experts said Friday. “There are many interventions that can save lives and improve the quality of these babies’ lives…

Hundreds of Irish women sought abortions in Britain in past three years

Amid pro-choice rally at Savita Halappanavar’s death, activists reveal the rapes and illness forcing women to seek abortions Hundreds of Irish women, including dozens who had been raped, have life-threatening illnesses or are under the age of 16, have been forced to seek abortions in Britain in the past three…

Indian textbook says meat-eating makes you lie, steal and fight

The pros and cons of meat-eating may be the subject of debate for nutritionists, but one Indian school textbook is clear: a fleshy diet will make you lie, steal and even commit sex crimes. The unusual moral guidance appeared in a school book for 11-year-olds, purporting to offer education on…

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