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Deadly gas use haunts Moscow theater hostages 10 years later

A decade after Chechen militants seized a Moscow theatre in a hostage crisis which left 130 people dead, victims’ families are still seeking answers about use of a deadly gas by Russian forces to end the siege. A total of 912 people, many of them children, were held hostage in…

Peace envoy urges truce as bomb rocks Damascus

Syria peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi appealed to both sides to call a truce to the conflict during a Muslim holiday this week after talks with President Bashar al-Assad, as a deadly blast rocked Damascus. The plea came as thousands of people demonstrated against the Syrian regime at the Beirut funeral…

Unprecedented demand for Rio’s rare pink diamonds

Global miner Rio Tinto said on Monday there was unprecedented demand for its rare pink and blue diamonds at its annual sale, with India and Japan among the keen buyers. The 2012 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, seen as the world’s most exclusive diamond sale, featured 56 single pink diamonds, including…

South Korea stops anti-North event after military threats

South Korean troops and riot police on Monday prevented activists from sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border after North Korea threatened a “merciless” military response. Groups of North Korean defectors had planned to launch balloons carrying 200,000 propaganda leaflets at 11:30 am (0230 GMT) from Imjingak Park on the border…

Reverse brain drain: Economic shifts lure migrants home

Reverse brain drain: Economic shifts lure migrants home “Brain drain” – the flow of intellect and skilled labor from poor to rich countries – has been so constant in modern times that the Nigerian cabdriver who was educated as a doctor back home is just as much a fixture of…

Polish police arrested thieves who stole van containing 12 bodies

Polish police said Sunday they had arrested two men involved in stealing vans in Germany, including a vehicle which was carrying 12 bodies bound for a crematorium. The two men, aged 25 and 27, were arrested on Thursday and Friday and are Polish nationals. “We are sure that it is…

Fidel Castro doing ‘very well’ according to ex-Vice President of Venezuela

Fidel Castro “is very well,” Venezuelan ex-vice president Elias Jaua said Sunday, after meeting the aged revolutionary icon amid a swirl of rumors the Cuban leader was on his death bed. The 86 year-old Castro “is very well, very lucid,” Jaua, a loyal supporter of leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez,…

Trial set for Cannes prostitution ring linked to Kadhafi’s dead son Mutassim

A hearing opens in a French court Monday in a case involving a high-end prostitution ring that was active during the Cannes Film Festival and possibly had ties to a son of slain Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi. Seven men and a woman will go on trial in the southern French…

Human rights advocates raise concerns over increased police Taser use

Concern is growing among human rights campaigners and politicians over the widespread and potentially lethal police use of Tasers after an innocent blind man was shot with a stun gun when his white stick was mistaken for a samurai sword. Colin Farmer, 61, was Tasered in the back after police…

Britain acted like empire over Julian Assange: Ecuador

LONDON — Britain behaved like it was still an empire in its threat to raid Ecuador’s embassy and arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Ecuadoran ambassador to London said in an interview broadcast on Sunday. Ana Alban told BBC radio that the threat, made in August just before Ecuador granted…

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