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Pentagon plans missile defense station in Qatar

The Pentagon is building a missile defense radar station at a covert location in Qatar, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The site will be part of a system intended to defend the interests of the United States and its allies against Iranian rockets, unnamed US officials told the newspaper.…

South African poachers killed 281 rhinos so far in 2012

Poachers in South Africa have killed 281 rhinos so far this year, with the world-famous Kruger National Park accounting for over half the killings, authorities said Tuesday. “The Kruger National Park has lost a total of 164 rhinos to illegal killings,” the environment department said in a statement. With roughly…

Lebanese tattoo artist sentenced to 200 lashes in Saudi Arabia

A Lebanese man nicknamed the “tattoo king” has been sentenced to one year in prison and 200 lashes in the conservative Muslim kingdom, a Saudi newspaper reported on Tuesday. “Investigations revealed the Lebanese had been practicing this job for nine years,” said Al-Madina. “At first, he used to receive women…

Canadian man begins hazardous 5,000-mile road trip in rickshaw

A Canadian man and his German girlfriend are braving the Taliban to take a rickshaw on one of the world’s most dangerous road trips to bring the circus to children in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. Adnan Khan, 41, and his anthropologist sweetheart have embarked on the punishing 8,000-kilometre (5,000-mile) trip…

Nobel Prize-winning Myanmar opposition leader travels to U.S.

Myanmar’s Nobel Prize-winning opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will travel to the United States in September on her first visit since spending years under house arrest, a think-tank said Tuesday. Suu Kyi, who was elected to parliament this year in a dramatic sign of Myanmar’s reforms, has indicated that…

Top universities join free online teaching platform

Coursera set to shake up higher education model after adding 12 US and European institutions including Edinburgh University Twelve leading universities in the US and Europe have joined an internet platform created by two Stanford University scientists which provides free online access to classes designed by academics at elite institutions.…

Unique memorial in Rome honors new Christian martyrs

From the Bible of a murdered Pakistani government minister to the prayer book of a slain San Salvador archbishop, a Rome church has created a unique memorial to modern-day Christian martyrs. At a time of outrage over anti-Christian violence in Africa, the exhibits at the Basilica of Saint Bartholomew are…

Mexico drug violence cripples Monterrey

The historic district in this thriving industrial city was once packed with revelers enjoying Mexico’s economic boom times — but today it’s a ghost town, a victim of the country’s ongoing drug war. Most shocking was the speed of the change: just two years. The northern city of Monterrey is…

‘Canadian psycho’ victim’s mother pained by online video

The mother of the Chinese student victim in the “Canadian Psycho” murder and dismemberment case says her “most unbearable pain” is that the killing is still watched online, she told Canada’s public broadcaster. “What a disaster and huge pain for our family,” Zhigui Du said in an interview with the…

South Africa recalls 500,000 HIV test kits

South Africa is recalling 500,000 HIV test kits it ordered from a South Korean company despite a World Health Organisation (WHO) warning over inconclusive results, the health ministry said Tuesday. Authorities are investigating how the SD Bioline tests were ordered earlier this year after the WHO issued notices in November…

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