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American states back Ecuador over Assange

The Organization of American States declared “solidarity and support” for Ecuador in its dispute with Britain over granting asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The meeting of the Americas bloc was convened at Ecuador’s request to consider a resolution rejecting any attempt to put at risk the “inviolability” of its…

Egypt blocks 120 tunnels in the Sinai

Egyptian military engineers have blocked 120 tunnels used for smuggling to and from the Gaza Strip since the start of operations in the neighbouring Sinai Pensinsula, security officials said on Saturday. “Tunnel entrances are being demolished every day and the operation will continue until all underground passageways are shut,” one…

Guantanamo 9/11 hearings delayed to mid-October

Preliminary hearings for the trial of five alleged 9/11 plotters were canceled this week over Tropical Storm Isaac are now set for mid-October, the US military said Friday. The hearings, at which confessed September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is due to appear, are now due to take place from…

Photo accidentally reveals UK determination to give Assange no way out

It is the “restricted” official document that sums up the Metropolitan police’s tactics towards Julian Assange. “Action required: Assange to be arrested under all circumstances,” says the handwritten note that was photographed under a policeman’s arm on Friday detailing a “summary of the current position” on Assange’s exile inside the…

Russian court acquits Garry Kasparov of illegal protest

Chess king turned Kremlin foe Garry Kasparov was acquitted on Friday of holding an unsanctioned protest, although he still risks jail for allegedly biting a policeman during the Pussy Riot trial. In a surprise verdict, a magistrate acquitted Kasparov, saying his guilt had not been proven by police witnesses, the…

Sierra Leone passes law that carries heavy sentences for sexual abuse offenders

Sierra Leone lawmakers on Friday passed a sexual offences law introducing stiff minimum sentences for offenders that has been hailed as a victory in a nation where sexual abuse is rife. Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs Stephen Gaojia said the new bill was “a victory for Sierra Leoneans as it protects women, children and…

Two U.S. embassy employees shot and wounded in Mexico City

Two US embassy employees were shot and wounded when their car came under fire south ofMexico City on Friday, an official from the attorney general’s office told AFP. “The two are from the US embassy,” the official said on condition of anonymity, adding that the shooting took place on a highway leading from Mexico City…

Greenpeace activists raid Russian oil tanker

Greenpeace activists on Friday raided an Arctic oil rig owned by Russian group Gazprom that next year will controversially pioneercommercial drilling in one of the world’s last pristine reserves. Russia’s largest energy group doused the six-member team from helicopters with icy streams of water as they hung down on thick blue ropes from the side of…

Cambodia limits fishing to protect freshwater dolphins

The Cambodian government on Friday said it will limit fishing in a zone in the Mekong River to protect critically endangered freshwater dolphins. The Irrawaddy dolphin conservation area will cover a 180-kilometre-long (110 miles) stretch of river from eastern Kratie province to the border with Laos, the government said after the measure was approved in…

Hundreds of Scottish pigeons go AWOL again in Yorkshire’s Bermuda Triangle

The fascinating question of how homing pigeons navigate so successfully has been raised again by the failure of 219 birds to get safely back to Scotland after a mass release at the weekend. Only 13 of the original release at Thirsk on the plain of York on Saturday returned to…

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