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Same sex marriage weighs heavily as Anglican church chooses new leader

As Anglican Church picks new leader, gay marriage weighs heavily (via The Christian Science Monitor) Looking back recently on a 10-year tenure marked by bitter conflicts between liberals and traditionalists, the leader of the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion suggested that his job might really call for…

LGBT Germans tap Oktoberfest to make push for marriage rights

Gay Germans tap Oktoberfest to make push for marriage rights (via The Christian Science Monitor) By early afternoon on the first Sunday of Oktoberfest this past weekend, the Bräurosl beer tent in Munich was already filled with thousands of merry revelers in  lederhosen, singing and drinking. At one table, Christian…

Taiwanese war criminal sees himself as victim

“War criminal” is not the first expression that comes to mind when seeing white-haired Chou Ching-feng in his living room in central Taiwan, sipping tea with his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. But nearly 70 years ago, he worked for the Japanese army in what is now Malaysia, guarding Australian prisoners…

Merkel warns against hasty action amid euro worries

Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Tuesday the eurozone should not rush headlong into a banking union, amid signs Germany is being sucked into the abyss and fresh worries over Greece and Spain. Speaking at a conference in Berlin, Merkel rebuffed demands — notably from the European Commission and France —…

Oxfam: Yemeni women worse off after uprising

Oxfam has warned that women in Yemen are worse off than before the uprising that ousted long-time dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh as a deepening humanitarian crisis in the country shows no signs of abating. In its latest report, entitled “Still waiting for change,” Oxfam said “four out of five” Yemeni…

Tibet exiles gather to debate change in China

Tibetan exiles began their biggest gathering in four years on Tuesday, eyeing a change of leadership in China and seeking ways to end a gruesome wave of self-immolation protests. About 400 Tibetans from around the world came together in the home of the exile community in mountainous northern India for…

Afghanistan hails decision to put two U.S. Marines on trial for urinating on dead Taliban fighters

Afghanistan on Tuesday welcomed a Pentagon decision to put two US Marines on trial for urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters and posing for photographs with them. The Pentagon announced that Staff Sergeants Joseph Chamblin and Edward Deptola will face court martial, a month after three other Marines…

Anchors aweigh for China’s first aircraft carrier

China’s first aircraft carrier entered service on Tuesday, the defence ministry in Beijing said, as the country expands its blue-water fleet at a time of increasing maritime tensions in the region. The ministry named the 300-metre (990-foot) vessel, a former Soviet ship bought from Ukraine, the Liaoning after the northeastern…

No tax, no sacraments, decrees German Catholic Church

Germany’s Roman Catholics who refuse to pay a church tax will be barred from receiving the sacraments or becoming a godparent, under controversial new restrictions entering into force on Monday. In a move decried by a progressive Catholic group, the German bishops’ conference last week issued a decree, saying it…

Europe rights court approves Muslim cleric Abu Hamza extradition to U.S.

Britain vowed to hand over radical Muslim preacher Abu Hamza to the United States on terrorism charges as soon as possible after the European Court of Human Rights rejected his final appeal. The court upheld an April 10 ruling against the hook-handed terror suspect and four others which had approved…

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