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Report: Religious intolerance is on the rise worldwide

Three-quarters of the world’s 7 billion population live in countries with high levels of government restriction on religion or where there exist serious “social hostilities” involving faith issues, according to researchers, with the US and the UK among countries showing a worrying rise in religious discrimination. A research project conducted by the…

British MPs demand halt to ‘reckless’ Arctic oil and gas drilling

Commons environment committee urges halt to exploration until safety improves, and calls for unlimited pollution penalties and creation of ‘no-drill zone’ British MPs are calling on Shell and others to halt “reckless” oil and gas drilling in the Arctic until stronger safety measures are put in place. Politicians also want…

Greek state tries to stem neo-Nazi rise

Following its unprecedented election to parliament, Greece’s neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn has been engaged in ‘law and order’ crackdowns and solidarity gestures that have boosted its popularity, alarming the state. In recent weeks the once-fringe group has organised Greeks-only food handouts and blood donations, and has twice ousted migrant peddlers…

Paris police ban protest over anti-Islam film

Paris police have banned a demonstration planned for Saturday in front of the city’s Grand Mosque to protest against a US-made anti-Islam film, a police source said. An individual had made an official request to police to hold the protest. France’s interior minister has said he will ban all protests…

Afghans protest against French cartoons, U.S. film

Hundreds of Afghans on Thursday protested for the first time against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published in France and staged fresh rallies against a US-made anti-Islam film. About 300 students chanted “death to France, death to America” in a western neighbourhood of the capital Kabul, an AFP photographer said.…

Israeli strike on Iran may wreck Arab treaties: U.S. officials

Egypt and Jordan could annul their peace treaties with Israel if it carries out a preemptive strike against Iran, US officials have warned the Jewish state, an Israeli newspaper reported Thursday. Quoting a high-level Israeli official, Yediot Aharonot said Washington had warned the Jewish state that Arab leaders would not…

Italy upholds convictions of 23 CIA agents for imam kidnapping

Italy’s top court Wednesday confirmed guilty verdicts against 23 CIA agents for the 2003 abduction of an Egyptian imam in Milan and ordered a re-trial for five Italian ex-spies accused of taking part. The CIA agents were all being tried in absentia in one of the world’s biggest court cases…

Uruguay takes ‘war on drugs’ in new direction: state monopoly over the production and distribution of marijuana

Uruguay takes ‘war on drugs’ in new direction: The state as dealer Uruguay has long been at the vanguard of social reform in Latin America. Today, it is on the verge of passing into law one of its most radical ideas yet. The Broad Front – the center-left coalition that…

China’s Ai Weiwei: anti-Japan protests encouraged by officials

Anti-Japan protests in China were encouraged by leaders in Beijing, dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei said on Thursday, after he filmed demonstrators damaging the US ambassador’s car. Ai was visiting a friend’s apartment near the US embassy in Beijing — which is close to Japan’s mission — when he heard…

Romney-backer and casino boss Sheldon Adelson unveils plans for new resort in China’s Macau

Las Vegas casino boss Sheldon Adelson on Thursday unveiled plans to build a scaled down replica of the Eiffel Tower as part of a new $3 billion gambling resort in Macau. The Las Vegas Sands Corp. chief spoke publicly for the first time about the new development as he opened…

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