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Minister: Palestinian state efforts at risk in cash crisis

Efforts to create a Palestinian state could collapse unless emergency funds are found to bail out its nascent government, the Palestinian finance minister said. The Palestinian Authority faces a $400 million shortfall this year and has already been hit by protests over the spiralling cost of living and spending cuts…

German economic miracle leaves the poorest behind

The economic “miracle” that has enabled Germany to escape the worst of Europe’s debt crisis is largely passing by some of the most vulnerable people in society, critics say. And as Germany finally begins to feel the pinch from a crisis that has pushed most of its neighbours into recession,…

Locals hope yodelling class boosts Austrian tourism

Go hiking in the Alps around Salzburg these days and you won’t be surprised to hear a resounding “Hol-la ra-e ho-e he!” Amid the green pastures and snowy peaks that famously inspired Julie Andrews to launch into song in “The Sound of Music”, a new Yodel hiking trail — the…

State Department slams Pakistani minister’s $100,000 filmmaker bounty

he United States denounced a $100,000 bounty offered by a Pakistani cabinet minister for killing the maker of an anti-Islam film that has triggered a wave of deadly, violent protests. Pakistan’s Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour on Saturday offered the “prize” for killing the filmmaker of “Innocence of Muslims” and…

Bulawayo residents ordered to simultaneously flush toilets because of drought

It takes a special moment to bring people together. The residents of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city, will remember where they were and what they were doing at 7.30pm on Saturday. Flushing their toilets. The sound of thousands of lavatories gushing across the city was the result of an unorthodox attempt…

Head of Oktoberfest’s lost-and-found office reveals what drunk partygoers leave behind

With about eight million beers downed each year at the Oktoberfest, you might expect a few items to go awry, but the lost-and-found office at the world’s top beer fest really has seen it all. A total of 4,900 items were lost at last year’s festival, with the objects missing…

Belgian finance minister calls a tax on the wealthy ‘a door we must leave shut’

Belgian Finance Minister Steven Vanackere on Sunday ruled out the idea of creating a wealth tax despite mounting criticism in the country that wage-earners are hardest hit by the current tax system. “A wealth tax is a door we must leave shut during this legislature,” Vanackere said of the 30…

Fifth Hezbollah demonstration against ‘Innocence of Muslims’ ends peacefully in Lebanon

Thousands of supporters of the powerful Shiite militant group Hezbollah took part on Sunday in Hermel, eastern Lebanon in the last in a series of protests against a US-made film which mocks Islam. “Death to America! Israel, enemy of Muslims!” chanted the crowd made of men, women in all-covering black…

Obama thanks Egypt for embassy protection, says Morsi

CAIRO — US President Barack Obama has thanked Egypt’s leader Mohamed Morsi for securing the American embassy in Cairo during protests against an anti-Islam film, according to Morsi’s official Facebook page. Morsi received a handwritten letter from Obama in which the US leader “presented his thanks to the Egyptian president…

Shell attacked over four-year delay in Niger oil spill clean-up

Two large crude oil spills from Shell pipelines in the Niger delta four years ago have still not been cleaned up by the company despite an outcry by the UN, Amnesty International and the Nigerian government about pollution in the area. Shell, which made £19.1bn profit last year, accepted responsiblity…

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