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Widespread sexual abuse uncovered at Indian orphanages

A series of sex abuse scandals at orphanages and shelters in India has sounded alarms over the management of children’s homes, many of which operate with little or no public oversight. Criminal charges against staff at a number of homes have highlighted what activists say is a pervasive culture of…

Survey: Czech teens’ alcohol abuse spiraling out of control

Shaken awake by police on a park bench, a 12-year-old boy from Prague was so drunk he could neither walk nor talk — grim evidence of an unparalleled alcohol scourge affecting underage Czechs. The boy was one of seven whom police found falling-down drunk in the Czech capital on the…

Taliban commander: we cannot win war and al-Qaida is a ‘plague’

Senior Taliban commander admits insurgents must seek settlement with other political forces in Afghanistan One of the Taliban’s most senior commanders has admitted the insurgents cannot win the war in Afghanistan and that capturing Kabul is “a very distant prospect”, obliging them to seek a settlement with other political forces…

Barclays’ Bob Diamond to forgo £20 million bonus

Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond will give up bonuses worth £20 million after resigning over a rate-rigging scandal, the bank’s chairman said Tuesday. But chairman Marcus Agius told a British lawmakers investigating the scandal that Diamond, whose pay packages during the financial crisis were fiercely controversial, would still receive…

Mexico kills 2.5 million poultry in bid to contain bird flu

Officials have slain 2.5 million birds at poultry farms in western Mexico over the past three weeks in an attempt to contain a bird flu outbreak, the agriculture ministry said. The virus responsible for Mexico’s current bird flu outbreak, H7N3, has occasionally caused human disease in various parts of the…

Taiwan to stage first same-sex Buddhist wedding

Two women plan to tie the knot next month in Taiwan’s first same-sex Buddhist wedding, as gay and lesbian groups push to make the island the first society in Asia to legalise gay marriage Fish Huang and her partner You Ya-ting, both 30, will receive their blessings from Master Shih…

Afghans protest woman’s public execution

Dozens of Afghan women’s rights activists took to the streets Wednesday to protest against the recent public execution of a young woman for alleged adultery, which was captured in a horrific video. The 22-year-old victim was shot dead as dozens of men cheered in a village about 100 kilometres (60…

Thai pardon for U.S. citizen jailed for royal insult

Thailand on Wednesday said a Thai-born US citizen jailed for insulting the kingdom’s revered monarch had been granted a royal pardon, in a move welcomed by the United States. Joe Wichai Commart Gordon, a car salesman from Colorado, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in December under the kingdom’s strict lese…

Baby giant panda’s death in Tokyo sparks grief

The death of a baby panda in Japan stopped regular television programming and brought a Tokyo zoo director to tears on Wednesday, a week after its birth sent ripples of excitement across the nation. Newscasts had dedicated a nightly segment to the male cub’s daily activities since his birth on…

Warlords enslave huge armies of child soldiers

UNITED NATIONS — More than 11,000 child soldiers were freed from military slavery last year, but the United Nations believes hundreds of thousands around the world remain at the mercy of warlords like Thomas Lubanga. The 14-year jail term ordered against Lubanga by the International Criminal Court on Tuesday is…

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