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Gazans killed, Israeli soldiers wounded in clashes

Two Palestinians were killed on Saturday and more than 20 others wounded in Israeli shelling, Palestinian sources said, as clashes erupted along the border in which three soldiers were also hurt. “Two Palestinians were killed and 22 others wounded, six of them seriously,” said spokesman Yahya Khader of the Hamas…

Sixteen dead in largest Sri Lankan prison riot in decades

The number of people killed in Sri Lanka’s worst prison riot in nearly three decades rose to 16 while another 43 escaped with injuries, officials said Saturday. The toll rose as three more people succumbed to their injuries following gunbattles between rioting inmates and security personnel at Colombo’s Welikada jail,…

Russia’s Putin hires army chief in military shake-up

President Vladimir Putin on Friday replaced Russia’s army chief of staff with a veteran commander from a Chechnya war, in a military shake-up after the dramatic sacking of the defence minister. Putin announced that army chief Nikolai Makarov has been replaced by General Valery Gerasimov, a commander from the second…

Google’s China service disrupted without explanation

Google on Friday reported unexplained disruptions to its service in China. “We’ve checked and there is nothing wrong on our end,” a Google spokeswoman told AFP. An online tool that tracks outages or disruptions to the California-based Internet giant’s services showed online traffic in China plummet mid-day. The disruption followed…

Explosive secret may be contained in Arafat’s tomb

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — The Palestinians’ most explosive secret may be lurking under the stone slab covering Yasser Arafat’s tomb where experts hope to explain his mysterious death eight years ago. When the iconic Palestinian leader died at the age of 75 in a French military hospital near Paris on…

Norwegian mass killer complains about cushy prison life

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik’s complaints about prison life range from a lack of moisturiser in his cell to the temperature of his coffee, according to extracts from a 27-page letter published on Friday. “I highly doubt that there are worse detention facilities in Norway,” the right-wing extremist, who…

Japan apologizes for wrongly imprisoning a Nepalese man for 15 years

TOKYO — Japan on Friday offered a public apology to a Nepalese man who spent 15 years in jail for a murder he did not commit. Justice Minister Makoto Taki told a press conference he was sorry that Govinda Prasad Mainali had spent so long in prison for the 1997…

Report: Chinese economy will overtake U.S. within four years

By Josephine Moulds China’s economy will be biggest in world by end of 2016, says leading international thinktank China will overtake the US in the next four years to become the largest economy in the world, says a leading international thinktank. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said China’s…

9-year-old Pakistani girl handed over as ‘compensation’ in rape dispute

Police in Pakistan have arrested five men after a village council ordered a father to hand over his nine-year-old daughter as compensation in a rape case, officers said Friday. A group of elders in the remote rural area of Bahalak in Punjab province made the ruling to settle a year-long…

Bank of France warns of recession

The French economy suffered two setbacks on Friday when the central bank warned of a slight recession and official data said that industrial output fell sharply in September. France is heading for a slight recession at the end of the year, the Bank of France forecast. In another gloomy announcement,…

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