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Palestians say Romney remarks ‘harmful’ to U.S. interests

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s endorsement of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is “harmful” to US interests in the Middle East, a senior Palestinian official said on Sunday. “Romney’s declarations are harmful to American interests in our region, and they harm peace, security and stability,”…

China surges to top of medals table on Olympics day two

LONDON — China surged clear at the top of the Olympic medals table on Sunday, adding two more golds to their opening day haul as swimming star James Magnussen put Australia on course for relay glory. After dominating day one of competition with four gold medals, Chinese athletes hit paydirt…

Spain angers feminists with plan to tighten abortion law

MADRID — Spain’s conservative government has provoked a storm among women’s groups with plans to tighten the country’s abortion laws to make the procedure illegal in cases where the foetus is deformed. The government announced Friday it would alter an abortion law introduced by its Socialist predecessors in 2010 which…

Kuwaiti royal arrested for tweeting political views

KUWAIT CITY — A Gulf rights group and a Kuwaiti MP on Sunday criticised the arrest of a member of the Gulf state’s ruling family for expressing “political views” deemed offensive. “Freedom for Sheikh Meshaal al-Malek al-Sabah who was arrested by the state security police,” the Gulf Forum for Civil…

U.S. drone kills seven militants in Pakistan

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan — A US drone attack Sunday killed at least seven militants in Pakistan, officials said, days before the country’s intelligence chief visits Washington with the contentious raids likely to be discussed. Attacks by unmanned American aircraft are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, which says they violate its sovereignty and…

Pope appeals urgently for end to bloodshed in Syria

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — Pope Benedict XVI launched an urgent appeal for an end to bloodshed in Syria on Sunday, calling on the international community to do everything to help resolve the conflict. “I continue to follow with alarm that tragic and growing episodes of violence in Syria with the…

Olympic judo champion: I defied parents to win gold metal

LONDON — Olympic judo champion Sarah Menezes revealed Sunday that her parents tried to stop her from taking up the sport which they believed was for men only. The 22-year-old from Brazil became the first woman from her country to win an Olympic judo gold before admitting that she had…

British women out to deliver first Olympic cycling gold

LONDON — Defending Olympic champion Nicole Cooke will be among the British women looking to grab the hosts’ first cycling medal of the Games in the road race Sunday. The highly-fancied British men’s team failed to live up to the expectation of delivering Mark Cavendish into a gold medal-winning position…

North Korea rejects possibility of major reforms

SEOUL — North Korea Sunday warned the South not to expect any major reforms under the leadership of Kim Jong-Un, with a senior official rejecting discussion of potential policy change as a “foolish and silly dream”. Kim, believed to be in his late 20s, took the reins of power in…

Activists hope same sex marriage debate will stir Japan

TOKYO — Koyuki Higashi is slim, articulate and intelligent, things that make a would-be wife attractive to many in Japan. But Higashi knows she will probably never marry because she is a lesbian. Despite the increasing tolerance of gay marriage in much of the developed world, especially in Europe, and…

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