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Deadly flare-up in Lebanon stokes Syria spillover fears

A sniper killed a Sunni sheikh in the north Lebanon city of Tripoli on Friday, sparking new clashes between pro- and anti-Syrian factions that dashed a tenuous truce, a security official told AFP. The death of Sheikh Khaled al-Baradei, 28, brought to 12 the number of people killed in fighting in the city…

Smiling Norway mass killer Breivik jailed for 21 years

An Oslo court on Friday sentenced Norwegian far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik to 21 years in prison, subject to extension, for his killing spree last year that left 77 people dead. The verdict, in line with what Breivik himself wanted, brings to an end a spectacular 10-week trial for the…

Greek PM in crisis talks with Merkel

Greece’s prime minister was expected to press for more time to make key reforms and spending cuts to keep his debt-wracked country in the eurozone at crisis talks Friday with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Antonis Samaras kicks off a two-day trip to Berlin and then Paris with Greece’s future in the…

New Zealand ‘runaway millionaire’ jailed for theft

A New Zealand man who fled to China after a bank mistakenly deposited millions of dollars into his account was jailed for four years and seven months Friday. Hui “Leo” Gao and his then-partner Kara Hurring skipped the country when Westpac bank accidentally put NZ$10 million (US$8.1 million) into Gao’s…

Al-Qaeda front group claims 43 attacks in Iraq

Al-Qaeda’s front group in Iraq claimed it carried out a series of attacks, mostly on security forces, in the western province of Anbar in June and July, a statement posted on jihadist forums said. The 43 attacks purportedly carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) were largely in…

113 arrested in Chile student protests

SANTIAGO — Over a hundred students were arrested in Santiago in clashes between police and demonstrators demanding better public education, after the occupation of several schools. Some 4,500 students, mostly from high schools and universities, took to the streets to demand improvements in Chile’s public education system, said to be…

Peru seizes 16,000 dried seahorses headed to Asia

LIMA — More than 16,000 dried seahorses destined for illegal export to Asia, where the animal is sought for its supposed healing properties, were seized Thursday in Peru’s capital Lima, authorities said. “We managed to seize… 16,280 seahorses destined to be sold illegally on the Asian continent,” Colonel Victor Fernandez,…

Petition launched to save ‘world’s worst restoration’

MADRID — Ironic art fans have launched a petition to save the “world’s worst restoration”: a retouched, century-old church painting of Christ that has become an international joke. Cecilia Gimenez, described as being in her 80s, has won global fame with her horribly botched impromptu attempt to restore an oil…

Greece may sell off islands amid privatization scheme: report

The Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said this week that the country is willing to sell off its uninhabited islands as part of a plan to accelerate privatization across the country, telling French newspaper Le Monde that it is the only way to save Greece. The prime minister was quoted…

State Department condemns Zimbabwe raids on LGBT rights group

The United States on Thursday condemned Zimbabwe over raids on the offices of a gay rights group and urged authorities to end a “pattern of abuse” against civil society. Activists said that two truckloads of police on Monday raided offices of the group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, rounding up 44 people in what authorities called a…

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