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Peace envoy: Syria agrees to Eid ceasefire

The Syrian government has agreed to a ceasefire during the four-day Muslim Eid holiday starting this week, international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said in Cairo on Wednesday. Many rebel leaders he contacted had also agreed to a truce during the holiday, which begins on Friday, he told reporters in Cairo…

With 60,000 dead, Mexicans wonder why drug war doesn’t rate in presidential debate

With 60,000 dead, Mexicans wonder why drug war doesn't rate in presidential debate Mitt Romney’s single mention of Latin America last night, calling it a “huge opportunity” for the United States, generated immediate glee from Latin Americanists across Twitter – but the hemisphere got no nod from President Obama, and…

Space daredevil Felix Baumgartner is ‘officially retired’

UNITED NATIONS — Felix Baumgartner, the first man to break the sound barrier in freefall, says he is giving up being a daredevil but now aims to help others in trouble. “I am officially retired from the daredevil business now,” the 43-year-old Austrian told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in…

Irish boy finds Canadian message-in-bottle

DUBLIN — A nine year-old boy in Ireland has discovered a message sent in a bottle from Canada eight years ago, and has even managed to track down the two senders. Charlene Dalpe and Claudia Garneau, from Montreal, were 12 years old when they placed a message in a bottle…

Women still face global gender gap in wages: report

GENEVA — Women are closing the gender gap with men in health and education but struggle to get top jobs and salaries, data from a study of 135 countries showed on Wednesday. “Gaps in senior positions, wages and leadership levels still persist,” even in countries that promote equality in education…

Libya marks 1st ‘liberation’ anniversary amid tension

TRIPOLI — Libya on Tuesday celebrates the first anniversary of its “liberation” from the regime of Moamer Kadhafi, even as fighting flared in a former bastion of the slain dictator. On October 23, 2011, just three days after Kadhafi was captured and killed in his hometown Sirte, the transitional authorities…

Photographer of Auschwitz experiments dies aged 95

WARSAW — Wilhelm Brasse, who as a prisoner at Auschwitz was forced to photograph the experiments of Doctor Josef Mengele, died on Tuesday aged 95. Brasse’s work at the concentration camp also included taking photographs of his fellow inmates for identity cards, resulting in a collection of 39,000 images that…

Okinawa leader says U.S. quick to act on rape case

WASHINGTON — The leader of Japan’s southern island chain of Okinawa on Tuesday welcomed the “quick” US response to an alleged rape by servicemen of a local woman, saying Washington was taking the case seriously. Governor Hirokazu Nakaima was visiting Washington for a previously planned symposium on Okinawa’s heavy US…

Thousands in Madrid protest against austerity cuts

MADRID — Thousands of Spaniards massed outside parliament in Madrid Tuesday yelling in anger at government austerity cuts that they say are punishing the poor. Surrounded by police in fleets of riot vans, the crowd gathered in front of police barriers blocking the road to the Congress where lawmakers were…

Jamaica and Cuba issue hurricane warnings

MIAMI — Hurricane warnings were issued Tuesday for Jamaica and parts of Cuba as Tropical Storm Sandy gained strength in the southern Caribbean. Forecasters predicted that Sandy will hit Jamaica as a hurricane Wednesday before crossing eastern Cuba that night en route to the Bahamas by the weekend. A tropical…

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