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Zookeepers hunt for squirrels that escaped during Japanese typhoon

Zookeepers in Japan were Thursday hunting a group of squirrels that made a break for freedom under cover of a powerful typhoon. About 30 of the bushy-tailed creatures saw their chance when typhoon Guchol felled a tree near their enclosure at Tokyo’s Inokashira Park Zoo, cutting a hole in the…

Assange bail donors stand to lose money if Ecuador asylum is granted

Why Assange's bid for Ecuador asylum may dismay supporters (via The Christian Science Monitor) As many questions as answers surrounded Julian Assange’s continued sojourn at the Ecuadorian embassy in London Thursday morning, as the Australian founder of WikiLeaks awaited Ecuador’s response to his plea for asylum. Mr. Assange’s decision Tuesday…

Sweden on alert after explosives found near nuclear plant

Swedish officials raised the alert level for the country’s nuclear plants after finding explosives in a truck near the biggest plant in the country, the Associated Press reports. Authorities say bomb sniffer dogs found the explosives near the plant near Ringhals, Sweden’s second-largest city, while conducting a security check Wednesday,…

UK awaits Ecuador decision on Assange’s asylum

The Foreign Office says it expects a decision by Ecuador on Thursday on the fate of Julian Assange, who has taken refuge in the country’s embassy in London and asked for political asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden. A spokesman said British officials had had an “amicable” conversation with the…

UN official: Drone strikes threaten 50 years of international law

The US policy of using drone strikes to carry out targeted killings presents a major challenge to the system of international law that has endured since the second world war, a UN investigator has said. Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, fears that Barack…

Philippines seizes illegal China-bound ore

Philippine authorities said Thursday they had seized a huge amount of iron ore intended to be smuggled to China, as part of a long-running battle against illegal miners. The 50,000 tonnes of iron ore, believed to be worth more than $2 million, were found stockpiled near a private wharf at…

Suu Kyi set for historic British parliament address

Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi will on Thursday address both houses of parliament — a rare honour bestowed on only four foreign dignitaries since World War II. Suu Kyi will follow in the footsteps of US President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI when she speaks in the…

Arabs urge Russia to stop arming Syria as Homs battered

The Arab League demanded on Thursday that Russia stop supplying arms to Syria, as a regime onslaught of Homs and its surrounds appeared to stall a Red Cross bid to rescue trapped civilians. The pan-Arab bloc’s deputy secretary general Ahmed Ben Hilli issued the appeal in an interview in which…

Asylum-seeker boat carrying 200 capsizes off Australia

A Sri Lankan refugee boat with 200 people believed to be on board capsized off Australia’s remote Christmas Island Thursday, with police saying scores could have died. The accident, which unfolded mid-afternoon in Indonesian waters, could become one of the worst refugee boat disasters off Australia since the SIEV X…

Egypt on edge as election results delayed

Egypt was on edge Thursday after the Muslim Brotherhood declared an open-ended protest and warned of “confrontation” unless their candidate is named new president to succeed toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak. The delay in announcing the results, due Thursday, of the June 16-17 presidential vote heightened the Brotherhood’s fears of a…

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