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Cuban hunger strikers cry victory after prisoner freed

HAVANA — Dissident Marta Beatriz Roque called it “a victory for the Cuban people … and democracy” when the communist government bowed to the demands of hunger strikers and freed a political prisoner. Roque’s campaign had inspired 29 other protesters to put their lives on the line, joining her action…

Palestinians say Romney peace remarks ‘unacceptable’

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said Tuesday that comments by US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that the Palestinians did not want peace were “absolutely unacceptable.” “We consider these statements absolutely unacceptable,” he told AFP. A recording released on Tuesday shows Romney telling donors that the Palestinians…

Clashes in east Jerusalem over anti-Islam film

JERUSALEM — Hundreds of Palestinians protesting against an anti-Islam film clashed with Israeli border police in east Jerusalem on Tuesday, hurling stones and firebombs at a checkpoint, the military and reporters said. The protesters marched from the Shuafat camp toward a crossing that connects east and west Jerusalem where they…

Clinton denies any advance warning of Libya attack

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied Tuesday that Washington was warned of an imminent attack in Libya, stressing the United States would not rest until those behind the killings of four Americans are brought to justice. “We had no actionable intelligence that an attack on our post in…

Greek economy to shrink 25 percent by 2014

The ailing Greek economy is on the verge of a 1930s-style Great Depression, as the Athens government predicted a 25% fall in GDP by 2014, putting intense pressure on the EU to relax the terms on the country’s €130bn (£105bn) bailout package The finance minister, Yannis Stournaras, said a decline…

Farmers accuse Madagascar mining company of killing bees

A swath of farmland around a giant nickel and cobalt mine in Madagascar has been contaminated by pesticides that have wiped out local bee populations, a group of farmers claimed Tuesday. The Ambatovy mine, located about 80 kilometres (50 miles) east of the capital Antananarivo, is Madagascar’s largest foreign investment,…

Paris museum highlights the history of hair

What do Louis XIV, the Kanaks of New Caledonia and the punk generation have in common? For starters, all paid a great deal of care to their hair, subject of a major new show at Paris’ museum of tribal arts. Forget the cliche of the wild-haired caveman: “Humans have cut,…

Italian architect designs world’s biggest vertical garden

A shopping centre near Milan is claiming an unusual record — the biggest vertical garden in the world, covering a surface of 1,263 square metres (13,600 square feet) with a total of 44,000 plants. The huge garden, which was inaugurated in 2010 but was only certified as a record this…

U.S. suspends joint military operations with Afghanistan after insider attacks

The US military has suspended joint operations with Afghan forces because of a collapse in trust after a surge in the number of Americans and other Nato soldiers killed by the men they are fighting alongside or training. The chief US military officer, General Martin Dempsey, described the sharp rise in “insider attacks” by…

Afghan suicide bomber kills foreigners in minibus attack

A suicide bomber blew himself up alongside a minivan carrying foreigners on a busy highway leading to the airport in the Afghan capital on Tuesday, police said, killing six people. “There has been a suicide bombing next to a minivan, carrying foreigners. There are a lot of casualties. I cannot…

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