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Tunisia’s ruling Islamists file blasphemy bill

TUNIS — Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party Ennahda on Wednesday filed a bill that would prohibit blasphemy, said Habib Khedher, who heads the committee in charge of drafting the constitution. “Today we went ahead with the filing of a bill that would criminalise blasphemy,” said the lawyer, who is also an…

Cyclist killed in collision with Olympics shuttle bus

LONDON — A man was killed Wednesday when a bicycle was involved in a collision with an Olympics shuttle bus just outside the site of the Games in London, police said. An AFP reporter saw a man’s legs protruding from under the double decker bus on a slip road outside…

Dead humpback whale found in Sydney ocean pool

A dead humpback whale washed up in a Sydney ocean pool Wednesday, surprising morning swimmers and causing a major headache for authorities who must now remove it. The 11.6 metre (38 foot) young adult humpback, which appeared to have been dead for several days, washed up at Newport beach’s ocean…

Pussy Riot: We’re too hungry and exhausted for trial

Members of an all-girl punk band who performed an anti-Vladimir Putin song in the main Moscow cathedral complained Wednesday they were too hungry and exhausted to participate in the high-profile trial. On the eve of March’s presidential polls, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina barged into the Church of…

Mexican craft beer booming while big chains go corporate

Mexico is teaming with new craft beer companies, catering to adventurous but traditional palates, while the brewing industry’s big brands like Corona are bought out by foreign enterprises. “We are seeing the tremendous growth of craft beer produced by small businesses, like Minerva Imperial Tequila Ale, very good, with a…

London mayor invites Murdoch to Olympic games

London Mayor Boris Johnson said Wednesday he had invited Rupert Murdoch to watch the Olympic Games, despite the controversy that the media baron faces over Britain’s phone-hacking scandal. News Corporation boss Murdoch, 81, has been at the centre of a political storm in Britain over the past year following the…

French Muslims and Jews outraged after pig heads dumped outside mosque

French Muslim and Jewish groups were united in outrage Wednesday after two pigs’ heads were dumped at a mosque in a town where an Islamist gunman killed two paratroopers in March. The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) described the defilement of the mosque in the town of Montauban…

Somali comedian who mocked Islamists shot dead

One of Somalia’s most popular comedians, known for his parodies of Islamist militants, has been shot dead in the capital, Mogadishu. Abdi Jeylani Marshale was reportedly killed shortly after leaving a local radio station where he worked as a drama producer and performer. It is not known who carried out…

150-year-old Bangladesh brothel fights closure

Tara Das says she is the fifth generation of her family to work at the same brothel in Bangladesh, but now she is fighting against Islamic protesters who want her business to close. The red light district in Madaripur city is thought to have been in operation for at least…

Syrian fighting reaches Damascus’ Christian enclaves

Clashes erupted near two Christian areas of the Syrian capital Wednesday for the first time in the nearly 17-month uprising, as the battle for Aleppo entered its fifth day and President Bashar al-Assad hailed the “heroic” army. In a speech published by official news agency SANA to mark the military’s…

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