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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…

Mexico arrests two alleged Sinaloa drug cartel members

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Two alleged senior members of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel who are wanted by the US Drug Enforcement Agency were arrested in Mexico’s crime capital Ciudad Juarez, officials said. The two suspects, identified as Fernando Arellano Romero and Daniel Franco Lopez, were arrested by a special Chihuahua…

Democracy still ‘preferable’ in Muslim nations, survey says

WASHINGTON — Democracy is still popular in six Muslim-majority countries, over a year after the Arab Spring, and the majority in some countries favors laws based on the Koran, according to a poll published Tuesday. The first two Muslim-majority nations to overthrow a dictator still “desire” democracy, with some 67…

Mexico’s ruling party to demand vote buying probe

MEXICO CITY — President Felipe Calderon’s conservative National Action Party (PAN) will formally request that electoral officials probe allegations of vote buying in Mexico’s July 1 presidential election. Enrique Pena Nieto from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) won the ballot by a solid margin, but opponents claim he engaged in…

Russian court refuses bail for female punk band Pussy Riot

More prison for feminist punk rockers riles liberal Russians (via The Christian Science Monitor) The controversy over the provocatively named Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot, which profaned an Orthodox altar by singing an obscene anti-Putin “prayer” in Moscow’s most important cathedral, notched up this week when a court refused…

Heathrow airport rolls out ‘fast-track’ passport lanes for Canada and Australia

Separate fast-track passport lanes for people from “old Commonwealth” countries, such as Australia and Canada, are to be introduced at Heathrow after the Olympics, the immigration minister has disclosed. Damian Green has told MPs a short pilot scheme has been carried out using separate passport desks for those from five…

International Criminal Court hands out 14 year jail sentence for Congolese warlord

The International Criminal Court jailed Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga for 14 years Tuesday for using child soldiers in his rebel army, the first sentence to be handed down by the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal. Rights groups welcomed the sentence as sending a strong signal against the use of…

Indian court grants bail to female athlete charged with rape

An Indian court granted bail on Tuesday to a female international athlete charged with raping her former lover who has alleged that she is actually a man. Pinki Pramanik, who retired in 2007 after winning a team gold in the 4x400m relay at the 2006 Asian Games, underwent a gender…

Judge approves rooftop Olympic missiles for London apartment building

A High Court judge has ruled that the British army will be allowed to install high-velocity missiles on the roof of a high-rise building to provide security during the London Olympics later this month. Tenants in the Fred Wigg Tower public housing project had argued that the missile installations endangered…

Russia vows to open up Arctic to oil and natural gas drilling

President Vladimir Putin vowed on Tuesday to conquer ever broader expanses of the Arctic for Russia’s oil and natural gas giants while inviting foreign majors to take part in the development boom. Russia’s dominant leader invited both senior executives and ministers to the first major meeting devoted to energy since…

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