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Sex, drugs, stigma put Thai transsexuals at HIV risk

From a cafe near the go-go bars of a Bangkok red light district where she campaigns for safe sex, Gigi gives an unvarnished view of how she joined Thailand’s growing ranks of transgender people with HIV. Sex work and injecting drugs left the 40-year-old vulnerable to the disease, which she…

London prostitutes ‘cleaned from the streets’

The London Olympics are not big business for everyone — sex workers say they are being cleared from the streets around the stadium to make the area more presentable for the Games. While Britain’s limp economy hopes for an Olympic boost, police in Newham, the deprived east London borough that…

Former ambassador to U.S. known as ‘Bandar Bush’ is new Saudi intel chief

RIYADH — The appointment of Saudi Arabia’s longtime envoy to the United States as intelligence chief marks an attempt to give the service a diplomatic edge at a time of turmoil in the region, analysts say. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who served in Washington from 1983 to 2005 and was…

‘Syria is calm,’ Iran foreign minister says

TEHRAN — The situation in Syria is “calm,” requiring no repatriation of Iranian citizens there, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Sunday, according to the official news agency IRNA. “Syria is calm and Iranian nationals who are there have no problem and there is no need to conduct…

Israeli sets self on fire days after burns victim dies

JERUSALEM — A wheelchair-bound Israeli was in serious condition on Sunday after setting himself on fire just hours before the funeral of a man who had set himself alight during a social justice protest on July 14. “A man in a wheelchair set himself on fire at a bus stop…

German circumcision row heading for new legal battle

BERLIN — Germany’s constitutional court may have the last word on religious circumcision, the justice minister said in remarks to appear Monday, after lawmakers called for a legal framework to protect the practice. Their resolution on Thursday came after a court in the western city of Cologne sparked nationwide debate…

Shots fired at Israeli soldiers from Egypt’s Sinai

JERUSALEM — Assailants on the Egyptian side of the border with Israel opened fire at a bus carrying Israeli soldiers on Sunday, causing no casualties but damaging the vehicle, a military spokeswoman said. “Fire was opened at an Israeli army bus carrying soldiers,” she told AFP. “Nobody was injured but…

Russian singer says Nazi tattoos not ‘political’

FRANKFURT — Russian singer Yevgeny Nikitin, who pulled out of his debut at this year’s Bayreuth Festival in a row over a Nazi tattoo, said Sunday the swastika had no political significance for him. The 38-year-old, who was to have taken the title role in a brand-new production of “The…

China steps up fight against Tibetan separatism

China’s propaganda chief has ordered officials to intensify the fight against separatism in Tibet, a report said, following a series of self-immolations in protest at Beijing’s rule. Li Changchun, ranked fifth in the hierarchy of the ruling Communist Party, called for the campaign during an inspection tour of Lhasa, where…

AIDS charity honors Bill Gates on eve of global conference

Leading AIDS charity amfAR honored Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates on the eve of the International AIDS Conference, for his part in funding an ongoing struggle against the disease. At a gala dinner at the Kennedy arts center Saturday, Gates accepted the Award of Courage on behalf of all scientists, health…

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