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Pope appoints doctrinal watchdog with links to ‘Marxist’ Catholics

Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who has defended liberation theologists and written a book on the poor, will lead key department Pope Benedict on Monday appointed as the Roman Catholic church’s doctrinal watchdog a fellow German with links to liberation theology, the interpretation of Christianity that conservatives have deplored as Marxism with…

China reports bird flu outbreak

BEIJING — Authorities in China’s remote northwestern region of Xinjiang have culled more than 150,000 chickens following an outbreak of bird flu, officials said. The outbreak of the H5N1 strain of avian flu initially killed 1,600 chickens and sickened about 5,500, the agriculture ministry said late Monday. In an effort…

Whaling nations defeat proposed Atlantic sanctuary

PANAMA CITY — Japan and its allies on Monday shot down a Latin American-led proposal to create a sanctuary for whales in the southern Atlantic Ocean, reigniting international tensions over Tokyo’s whaling. The International Whaling Commission, which has long been torn by disputes, fell into familiar divisions just hours after…

NATO calls for ‘political solution’ in Syria

BRUSSELS — NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Monday called on the international community to enforce a political solution in Syria while reiterating there would be no military intervention. “The right response to this crisis remains a political response. And a concerted response by the international community against a regime…

Syria opposition has guarantees on new leaders: U.S.

WASHINGTON — A new blueprint for political transition in Syria offers the opposition “ironclad guarantees” that President Bashar al-Assad will not be among the nation’s new leaders, a US official said Monday. Syrian opposition leaders were meeting in Cairo meanwhile to chart a common vision for their country torn apart…

Mexico’s Pena Nieto seeks U.S. help on violence

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s presumed president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto expressed hope Monday for more US help in tamping a scourge of violence that has killed over 50,000 people in less than five years. While Washington is focused on cracking down on crime syndicates responsible for smuggling illegal drugs into the…

Korean-American Kim takes helm at World Bank

WASHINGTON — New World Bank President Jim Yong Kim warned Monday that the eurozone crisis poses a deep threat to the global economy as he launched into his first day leading the development lender. The Korean-American physician, who won a contest against developing country candidates in April to run the…

Queen’s cost to British taxpayers rises

The Queen’s cost to the taxpayer rose slightly during the last financial year, Buckingham Palace accounts showed on Monday. The monarch cost the public purse £32.3 million ($50.6 million, 40.0 million euros) in 2011-12, a rise of £200,000, or 0.6 percent, from the last financial year. The royal family’s travel…

Parliament in Baghdad bans failed Iraqi asylum-seekers from Europe

The Iraqi parliament has banned the forced return from Europe of tens of thousands of failed asylum seekers, and threatened to fine airlines that take part in deportation programmes. The unilateral declaration has already resulted in deportees being turned back at the border, according to the London-based refugeee support organisation…

China caps car sales in booming city to curb pollution

China’s booming southern city of Guangzhou has imposed a cap on the number of cars allowed to be sold in an effort to curb worsening traffic and pollution, state media reported on Monday. Guangzhou, one of the biggest cities in China with a population of more than 16 million according…

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