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U.S. urges ‘cooler heads’ between Japan, China

WASHINGTON — The United States called for calm between Japan and China after Beijing sent ships to disputed islands in the East China Sea in response to Tokyo’s purchase of them. “We think, in the current environment, we want cooler heads to prevail, frankly,” Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of…

U.S. condemns attack on consulate in Libya

WASHINGTON — The United States condemned an attack on its diplomatic mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi, amid reports it had been set on fire and targeted with rocket-propelled grenades. “We can confirm that our office in Benghazi, Libya has been attacked by a group of militants,” State Department…

UN: New generation of secret British courts could conceal torture collusion

The new generation of secret courts proposed by the government could suppress evidence of British collusion in torture, according to the chief UN official responsible for investigating wrongdoing by security and intelligence agencies. Concern about the government’s plan – contained in the justice and security bill – was expressed by…

Poll: Distrust of Americans spreads beyond Middle East

American influence on the world stage is being sapped by widespread distrust of US intentions, not just in the Middle East and south Asia but also among traditional European allies, according to a survey of global opinions. Suspicion of America outweighed faith in its good intentions by large margins in…

Egyptian protesters tore down U.S. embassy flag

Thousands of Egyptian demonstrators angered by a film deemed offensive to Islam tore down the US flag during a protest at the embassy in Cairo on Tuesday, an AFP photographer reported. Nearly 3,000 demonstrators, most of them hardline Islamist supporters of the Salafist movement or football fans, gathered at the…

Polish exorcism boom leads to launch of ‘Egzorcysta’ magazine

With exorcism booming in Poland, Roman Catholic priests have joined forces with a publisher to launch what they claim is the world’s first monthly magazine focused exclusively on chasing out the devil. “The rise in the number or exorcists from four to more than 120 over the course of 15…

British police: Naked Prince Harry photos not as ‘inappropriate’ as they appear

Photographs of Prince Harry nude in a Las Vegas hotel room were not as they appeared, Britain’s top police officer said on Tuesday. The prince made headlines around the world when the images of him frolicking nude with an unidentified naked woman in a VIP hotel room were published on…

Sloths catch some rest in a Costa Rica sanctuary

They often arrive in bad shape — hit by cars, zapped by high-voltage wires as they climb trees, or orphaned because superstitious locals have killed their moms. But life gets sweet once the gates open at Costa Rica’s sloth sanctuary, one of few in the world specializing in the study…

European Union plans to trim biofuel targets to combat global warming

The European Union plans to trim targets on biofuel use, once seen as a potential source of cheap alternative energy but now widely blamed for soaring food prices, according to a draft proposal. In 2009, the EU fixed a target for renewables to account for 20 percent of all the…

Australia acts to stop super-trawler

The Australian government Tuesday announced plans to change its environmental protection laws to prevent a controversial super-trawler from fishing in its waters. The 9,500-tonne FV Margiris, recently reflagged as the Abel Tasman, is currently docked at Port Lincoln in South Australia, but under the new laws would not be able…

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