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Euro losing ground against most major currencies: ECB

The euro has fallen in value against most major currencies in recent months as volatility on the foreign exchange markets has increased in the debt crisis, the European Central Bank said Thursday. “Between the end of April and early August 2012, the effective exchange rate of the euro depreciated overall…

Vietnam, U.S. begin historic Agent Orange cleanup

From deformed infants to grandparents with cancer, families near Vietnam’s Danang Airbase have long blamed the toxic legacy of war for their ills. Now after a decades-long wait, a historic “Agent Orange” clean-up is finally beginning. The base was a key site in the US defoliant program during the Vietnam…

Fourteen killed across bloodstained Mexico

MEXICO CITY — Three brutal killings on Wednesday claimed at least 14 lives across Mexico, in the latest bloodshed of a years-long crime wave fueled by warring drug cartels. Just outside Mexico City, armed gunmen burst into a bar in the early morning hours and opened fire on the crowd,…

Top Colombian drug trafficker arrested: authorities

BOGOTA — The leader of a major drug trafficking organization known as the “Oficina de Envigado” was arrested Wednesday in the northeastern city of Medellin, Colombian authorities said. Calling the arrest of Erikson Vargas a “death blow” to the crime group, President Juan Manuel Santos said at a news conference…

India monitors BlackBerry emails without encryption codes

India has found a way to monitor BlackBerry corporate emails without asking developer Research in Motion (RIM) to hand over encryption codes a report said Wednesday, which could help end a standoff with the Canadian company. RIM and the Indian government are at loggerheads over access to Blackberry’s secure corporate email service, with New Delhi…

American weapons blamed for health problems at hospital in Fallujah

In an Iraqi city where US military offensives levelled entire neighbourhoods in 2004, a hospital has turned to American doctors to treat children with heart problems that residents blame on fallout from the fighting. The decision was not easy for Fallujah, which lies just west ofBaghdad and still views the United States with bitterness and extreme…

U.S. calls for ‘flexibility’ on climate change

The United States ran into crossfire on Wednesday after it called for “flexibility” in climate talks, even if this approach could not guarantee meeting the UN’s target on global warming. Europe demanded that the two-degree-Celsius (3.6-degree-Fahrenheit) objective set at the Copenhagen summit in 2009 be honoured while small island states accused Washington of…

Red Cross worried about civilians in ‘increasingly ethnic’ Congo conflict

An intensification in fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has left increasing numbers of civilians at risk of attacks, the Red Cross said on Wednesday. “The abuse of the civilian population we have been seeing in recent months is extremely worrying and contrary to all basic humanitarian principles,” said Franz…

Welsh call center profits off lowly paid prisoners in call center

A business in Wales is bussing in inmates from an open prison 21 miles away and paying them just £3 a day to man its call centre, the Guardian can reveal. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) confirmed that dozens of prisoners from Prescoed prison in Monmouthshire, south Wales, had done…

Hitman in Swedish honeymoon murder gets 25 years

One of the South African men accused of killing Swedish honeymooner Anni Dewani pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced to 25 years in prison in a plea deal, the prosecution said. Mziwamadoda Qwabe pleaded guilty to murder, kidnapping, robbery, and illegal possession of a firearm, prosecutor Eric Ntbazalila told AFP.…

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