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Mexican village turns vigilante to fight drug cartel

URAPICHO, Mexico — At the entrance of this western Mexican village, farmers in ski masks carry rifles as they man a checkpoint to protect their people, fearful that a drug cartel may strike at any time. Urapicho, a hillside village surrounded by forests, corn fields and cow pastures, has become…

Pope’s butler jailed over leaked documents

The pope’s butler Paolo Gabriele will be locked up in a Vatican police cell Thursday after the prosecution decided not to appeal against his 18-month prison sentence for leaking papal documents, the Vatican said. Gabriele had been under house arrest since he was found guilty on October 6 of stealing…

Two Americans killed in insider attack in Afghanistan

Two American soldiers were killed by a man in an Afghan police uniform on Thursday, the US military said, the latest in a series of insider attacks. “Two US Forces-Afghanistan service members died after an individual wearing an Afghan National Police uniform turned his weapon against them in Khas Uruzgan,…

40 whales die in mass stranding on west coast of India

About 40 whales died in a mass stranding on the west coast of India’s remote North Andaman island in the Bay of Bengal, wildlife officials said on Thursday. “The short-finned pilot whales were found by fishermen who alerted us and investigations show it was a case of mass stranding,” said…

Bali’s largest ancient Hindu temple discovered

Construction workers in Bali have discovered what is thought to be the biggest ancient Hindu temple ever found on the Indonesian island, archaeologists said. The workers were digging a drain in the island’s capital Denpasar at a Hindu study centre when they came across the remains of the stone temple.…

Borneo orangutan was shot over 100 times with airgun

An endangered orangutan on Borneo island has survived after being shot more than 100 times with an air rifle, Indonesian officials said on Thursday. The female ape, whom conservationists have named Aan, has gone blind in one eye and sustained serious wounds across her body after being repeatedly hit with…

S. Africa gold miners to sign pay deal: union

Striking South African gold miners have agreed to a sign a pay deal that would end months of often violent labour unrest, the country’s main mining union said on Thursday. “Members have accepted a new pay structure,” the National Union of Mineworkers said. “The worst in the gold sector is…

Russia claims Syria rebels have U.S.-made Stinger missiles

MOSCOW — Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have shoulder-launched missile systems, including US-made Stingers, Russia’s top general claimed Wednesday, prompting a strong denial from Washington. Russian chief of staff General Nikolai Makarov, whose country is the Damascus regime’s top arms supplier and has refused to back…

Mayans demand an end to 2012 doomsday myth

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala’s Mayan people accused the government and tour groups on Wednesday of perpetuating the myth that their calendar foresees the imminent end of the world for monetary gain. “We are speaking out against deceit, lies and twisting of the truth, and turning us into folklore-for-profit. They are…

The Netherlands expands parental rights for LGBT families

Dutch kids may soon be able to have three or more mothers or fathers after the government said it was seeking to enshrine parenting rights for the Netherlands’ 25,000 children in gay families. “The justice ministry is going to investigate and see what the possibilities are for recognising three parents…

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