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Dutch ‘abortion boat’ sails to provide services to Moroccan women

A Dutch “abortion boat” has set sail for Morocco, its first trip to a Muslim country, to provide abortions to women who are exposed to grave health risks if treated domestically, its organiser said on Monday. “The ship is on its way. We can’t yet disclose the place and time…

Greece faces sixth straight year of recession

A draft budget presented to Greece’s parliament on Monday forecasts a sixth straight year of recession in 2013 with a 3.8-percent contraction and a public deficit target of 4.2 percent of GDP, the finance ministry said. The ministry added that measures worth 7.8 billion euros ($10 billion) would be imposed…

U.S. military aircraft land safely on Japanese island despite protests over safety concerns

A small fleet of US military aircraft have arrived in the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, amid protests by local residents who claim they are unsafe. Six MV-22 Osprey flew from Iwakuni base on Japan‘s mainland, where they have been waiting for deployment since arriving from the US in July to the Futenma marine corps base. Their…

Chinese authorities shut down Weiwei firm

Chinese authorities are closing down the firm handling Ai Weiwei‘s affairs, the outspoken artist said on Monday, possibly saving him from paying the remainder of a 15m yuan (£1.5m) tax fine. The 55-year-old said he believed he and his team had lost the battle but won the war, after a court rejected…

Nepal’s ‘first’ global film star ekes out a living

Oscar-nominated “Himalaya” opened up the remote, pristine villages of the world’s tallest mountain range to the West. But while the director Eric Valli and co-stars have gone on to land lucrative work in film and television, the movie’s ageing star is penniless and struggling to survive in one of the…

iPhone image gets Taiwanese minister in trouble

Taiwan’s government spokesman has drawn fire for posting an image of an iPhone 5 on Facebook, along with an appeal to consume more, with angry members of the public asking why he did not urge people to buy home-grown smartphone HTC instead. Hu Yu-wei, who is also the information minister,…

Police detain French Olympic champ in handball betting probe

A French prosecutor is expected to give details of suspected match-fixing and illegal betting in handball Monday, a day after police detained several players including one of the biggest stars of the game. Double Olympic gold medal winner Nikola Karabatic was among those picked up during a police operation in…

Child’s balloon ‘knocks out’ Greek aviation radar

A child’s helium balloon has been blamed for a power failure that knocked out Greece’s main civil aviation radar and snarled flights for over an hour over the weekend, a report said on Monday. Top-selling Ta Nea daily said the balloon knocked out the “heart” of the Athens flight information…

Egyptian doctors begin public hospital strike

Egyptian doctors began a partial strike on Monday to demand better pay and working conditions, their syndicate said. Doctors at 540 government hospitals have stopped work, but emergency and intensive-care units will continue to operate, it said. “The strike will be in about 540 public hospitals, which is equivalent to…

Venezuela’s Chavez: ‘I’d vote for Obama’

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says that if he were a US citizen, he would vote for President Barack Obama in the November 6 presidential election — and if Obama were Venezuelan, he’d vote for Chavez. The firebrand leftist president is in a tight re-election race of his own against opposition…

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