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Afghanistan war claims 2,000th U.S. servicemember

Afghanistan war claims 2,000th US soldier, but pace slowing A possible insider attack has claimed the life of America’s 2,000th soldier to die in Afghanistan. The shooting reportedly took place Saturday evening in Afghanistan’s volatile Wardak Province at a checkpoint run by the Afghan Army. While initial reports indicated that the…

Shell shuts key pipeline in Nigeria after fire

LAGOS — Shell said Sunday it had shut down a key pipeline damaged by fire after what was suspected to be an attempt to steal crude, a move that would affect some 150,000 barrels of oil per day. Shell’s Nigeria branch had “shut the 28-inch Bomu-Bonny Trunkline after discovering a…

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reveals life inside ‘space station’ embassy

LONDON — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is certain he will one day go to Ecuador, he said in an interview published Sunday, describing his life in the Ecuadoran embassy in London as “like being in a space station”. The Australian activist, 41, has been holed up in the embassy since…

Rioters torch Buddhist temples in Bangladesh

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh — Thousands of rioters torched Buddhist temples and homes in southeastern Bangladesh on Sunday over a photo posted on Facebook deemed offensive to Islam, in a rare attack against the community. Officials said the mob comprising some 25,000 people set fire to at least five Buddhist temples and…

Chavez believes he has beaten cancer

CARACAS — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he believes he has beaten cancer and will be strong enough to rule for another six years if he wins re-election on October 7. Speaking aboard an open-air truck Saturday as it wound its way through tens of thousands of supporters who had…

Thousands protest in Indonesia over anti-Islam film

JAKARTA — Thousands of Indonesians on Sunday chanted anti-American slogans outside the US embassy in Jakarta, in the latest protest against a film that sparked demonstrations in at least 20 countries. At least 3,000 supporters of the Islam-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) gathered outside the US mission, but there was…

Pope’s butler goes on trial for theft of letters exposing corruption claims

The pope’s former butler Paolo Gabriele, 46, smiled and joked on Saturday as his trial for stealing Benedict XVI’s most private correspondence got under way at the Vatican. The man who claims he was working as an “agent of the Holy Spirit” when he leaked letters exposing corruption allegations at…

Polish opposition draws thousands for anti-government rally

Tens of thousands of opponents of Poland’s centrist government massed in the capital Saturday for a protest called by trade unions, an ultra-Catholic movement and politicians. Organisers put the turnout at 100,000, while Polish media estimated the number at 40,000, but neither figure was immediately confirmed by police. Mustered by…

China rocket puts Venezuela satellite into orbit

A Chinese rocket on Saturday successfully launched a Venezuelan earth-observation satellite into orbit, state media said. The satellite, dubbed “Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda” after the major Venezuelan independence figure, was launched from the northwest Jiuquan base in the Gobi desert using a ‘Long March’ class rocket, said Xinhua. The launch…

Russian theatre shelves ‘offensive’ ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’

A theatre in southern Russia has stopped selling tickets to the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” after prosecutors launched a probe into whether it is offensive to devout Christians, officials said Saturday. Saint Petersburg’s Rock Opera company was to perform the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical — a 1970s classic that has…

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