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Human rights group holds summit in repressive Equatorial Guinea

Its president is known as one of the most despotic in Africa, his heir stands accused of squandering millions of public funds on Michael Jackson memorabilia and the majority of its people live on less than $1 per day. Yet Equatorial Guinea this week finds itself in the unlikely position…

Ecuador president: Assange’s crimes in Sweden aren’t crimes in Ecuador

Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, has said Julian Assange should respond to the sexual assault allegations made against him by two Swedish women, even though the case would not in his view constitute criminal behaviour in Latin America. His remarks are likely to add to the controversy surrounding the WikiLeaks founder…

Russia joins World Trade Organization

Russia on Wednesday crowned a tortuous 18-year campaign by becoming the largest country outside the World Trade Organization (WTO) to formally join the world’s premier free trade club. The Geneva-based institution’s 156th member had spent years harboring deep suspicions about what a flood of better Western products and services might…

Body of Ethiopia’s late leader Meles returns home

Thousands of mourning Ethiopians turned out Wednesday as Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s body arrived at Addis Ababa airport following his death in a Brussels hospital at the age of 57. A military band played as the coffin, draped in an Ethiopian flag, was taken from the Ethiopian Airlines flight…

Syria reportedly ‘ready to discuss’ Assad’s exit

Syria said it is ready to discuss the departure of President Bashar al-Assad as part of a negotiated settlement to the increasingly ferocious conflict but the US reacted with skepticism. The surprise comments Tuesday by a Syrian envoy visiting Moscow emerged after Russia bluntly told the West not to meddle…

Indian public sector banks launch two-day strike

Up to one million Indian public sector bank employees started a two-day nationwide strike on Wednesday, protesting against reforms that they fear could lead to mergers and job losses. Nearly 87,000 branches were expected to remain closed, but the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) said most private and foreign banks would…

Australian minister: Sweden unlikely to extradite Assange to America

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was unlikely to be extradited from Sweden to the United States if there was a risk of the death penalty or a military court, Australia’s foreign minister said Wednesday. British authorities won their case to extradite Assange to Sweden to face sex assault allegations, but because…

Japanese reporter shot dead in Syria

A veteran Japanese war reporter died after she was shot in the neck when coming under fire from up to 15 apparently pro-government troops in Syria’s second city, a colleague said on Tuesday. Mika Yamamoto was covering the anti-regime movement in Aleppo, which has borne the brunt of the conflict…

Naked Prince Harry pictures confirmed after Vegas romp

Photographs that show Prince Harry cavorting nude in a Las Vegas hotel room were confirmed as genuine by Clarence House Wednesday. The images, published in the US by celebrity news website TMZ.com, show the third-in-line to the throne standing naked in a hotel suite. In one of the two photographs,…

U.S. skeptical of Syrian overture on Assad resignation

WASHINGTON — The United States expressed deep skepticism Tuesday about suggestions by Syria’s deputy prime minister that the regime was open to discussing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s resignation. “We saw the reports of the press conference that the deputy prime minister gave. Frankly, we didn’t see anything terribly new there,”…

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