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Ramadan ‘police’ go after Pakistan’s cafe culture

With its wooden floors, leather sofas and customers peering at their Apple laptops as they sip their coffees, Mocca Cafe is the not the den of iniquity that might normally attract a police raid. But Islamabad’s police have suddenly found cause to turn their attention to the capital’s poshest eateries…

Germany outraged by Italian newspaper’s ‘Fourth Reich’ headline

Paper owned by Silvio Berlusconi’s brother insults Angela Merkel German politicians have reacted furiously to this front page in the Italian daily Il Giornale with its headline “Fourth Reich” above a picture of Chancellor Angela Merkel raising her hand in a vaguely fascist salute. The paper is owned by the…

Malaysian toddler dies in ‘exorcism’

A three-year-old Malaysian girl died of suffocation during a lengthy exorcism ritual in which seven family members and a maid piled on top of her, a police official said Tuesday. The ritual, which included the child’s parents, was held by the ethnic Chinese family late Sunday in the northern town…

Nigeria school offers hope for young women fleeing abusive marriages

The clattering sewing machines at this northern Nigeria school offer hope of a better life for a group of young women who fled abusive marriages that for some prove inescapable. In Nigeria’s deeply impoverished north, which has some of the worst gender disparities in the world, millions of girls who…

Argentina imposes more restrictions on U.S. dollars

Argentina has imposed another restriction on the sale of US dollars, barring travelers from purchasing them unless the dollar is the currency of their destination, the government said Monday. The restriction, which takes effect next week and was detailed in the official gazette, is the latest twist in the government’s…

Tropical Storm Ernesto heads for Honduras, Mexico

Tropical Storm Ernesto headed towards Honduras and Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula early Tuesday, with US forecasters predicting it would reach hurricane strength before making landfall. The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Ernesto was packing winds of 65 miles (105 kilometers) per hour as it powered across the Caribbean toward the…

Russia prosecutors seek three years’ jail for Pussy Riot

Russian prosecutors on Tuesday asked for a three year jail sentence for the three female members of Pussy Riot, saying their crime of singing an anti-Vladimir Putin song in a church was so “severe” they deserved isolation. “This crime is severe and the prosecution considers that their correction is only…

Long-dormant New Zealand volcano erupts

A New Zealand volcano suddenly erupted after lying dormant for more than a century, spewing an ash plume that disrupted flights and closed highways, officials said Tuesday. The Mount Tongariro volcano, in the middle of North Island, erupted just before midnight (1200 Monday GMT) in the first significant activity at…

Public smooching arrest prompts Mexico ‘kiss-in’

LEON, Mexico — Couples of all ages locked lips outside a church in the conservative central Mexico city of Leon to protest the arrest of a man for kissing his female companion. The “kiss-in” — held at noon on Sunday to coincide with mass — received applause from some parishioners…

Another Tibetan sets himself alight in China

BEIJING — A Tibetan man in southwest China set himself on fire Monday, the latest in a series of shocking protests against Chinese rule, an overseas human rights group said. The man set himself alight along the main street of Ngaba which sits on the Tibet plateau in a Tibetan-inhabited…

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