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Australian PM’s sexism speech sparks divisive reaction

A blistering attack by Prime Minister Julia Gillard labelling Australia’s opposition leader a misogynist has gained global attention but sparked a divisive reaction about her judgement and the role of sexism in politics. Gillard, the nation’s first woman leader, lashed out Tuesday at Tony Abbott after he called for the…

Palestinians set first private sector minimum wage

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — The Palestinian government on Tuesday approved a minimum wage of 1,450 shekels ($376, 290 euros) a month for the private sector, labour minister Ahmed Majdalani said. “This is an unprecedented decision… on which we can build,” Majdalani told AFP, dismissing criticism that the rate was to…

Chavez backs Assad again, blames U.S. for war

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez vowed Tuesday to keep supporting Bashar al-Assad, calling him Syria’s legitimate president and blaming the United States for the war that has raged on for nearly 19 months. “How can I not support the government of Bashar al-Assad if it is the legitimate government of…

‘Gangnam Style’ rapper hailed by UN secretary general

“Gangnam Style” has secured an unlikely accolade after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed South Korean rapper Psy’s global hit as a force for world peace. Ban has found himself displaced as the best-known Korean on the planet by the astonishing success of the chubby rapper’s catchy video — and…

Brazil activists occupy controversial Amazon dam

More than 150 fishermen and indigenous natives occupied Brazil’s on Tuesday, claiming the project will do irreparable damage to the Amazon ecosystem and their way of life. “This singular alliance of Indians and fishermen is aimed at blowing the whistle on the construction company which has not kept promises made…

Lady Gaga pledges to donate peace prize to AIDS charity

Lady Gaga said on Tuesday she would donate a peace prize given to her by artist and activist Yoko Ono to Elton John’s AIDS charity. “I will be donating this grant to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and I will be working closely with them to ensure that the money…

Che Guevara’s diary published online by researcher

A copy of the handwritten diary that Che Guevara, the Argentine-born Cuban revolution hero, kept before his death in the mountains of Bolivia is now available online, a researcher said Monday. “The goal is for a historical document to be within everyone’s reach. And the Internet makes it possible for…

World’s largest book fair to spotlight children’s literature

The world’s biggest book fair was due to open later Tuesday with the spotlight on children’s literature, traditionally an “under-recognised” sector but now seen as a driving force in publishing. More than 7,000 exhibitors are expected at the five-day Frankfurt Book Fair from Wednesday. “Childrens’ books have been doing very…

Pakistan launches anti-pneumonia drive

Pakistan on Tuesday launched a drive to vaccinate 5.5 million children against pneumococcal disease to fight pneumonia, which kills tens of thousands of youngsters in the country every year. Pakistan is the first country in South Asia to launch a campaign against the disease, according to UN children’s agency UNICEF,…

Singapore bans satirical local film because it was offensive to ethnic minority

Singapore has banned a satirical local movie three days before its theatrical release because it was deemed offensive to the island’s ethnic Indian minority, a media watchdog confirmed Tuesday. “Sex.Violence.FamilyValues” had originally been rated suitable for viewers aged 18 and above, but a review panel concluded that one of the…

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