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Cocaine-hub Peru emerges as massive U.S. dollar counterfeiting capital

Peru, one of Latin America’s fast-growing economies and a hub of the global cocaine trade, has emerged as a producer of counterfeit US dollars being used both abroad and at home. Counterfeiting has grown large and fast enough that US authorities call Peru one of Latin America’s worst offenders when…

Nicaragua eruption forces 3,000 to evacuate

The San Cristobal volcano in Nicaragua rumbled to life Saturday with three explosions, forcing the evacuation of 3,000 residents, authorities said. Television footage showed a column of smoke and ash rising from the cone of the volcano, Nicaragua’s tallest at 1,745 meters (5,725 feet), in the northeast. The civil defense…

Pope’s trip to Lebanon ‘act of courage, hope,’ says spokesman

Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Lebanon next week is “considered an act of great courage and hope worldwide” as a civil war rages in neighbouring Syria, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Saturday. Lebanon, which has a significant Catholic community, was selected for the September 14-16 trip “before the situation in…

Why Che’s daughter fights to preserve his image as idealistic revolutionary

Forty-five years after Che Guevara’s death, his daughter, Aleida, talks about growing up in the shadow of a world-famed leader She has the eyes of her father, a gaze that became an emblem for the 20th century. She also has his deep sense of social injustice, but Dr Aleida Guevara…

Indian PM says social media could spark ethnic tensions

Indian Premier Manmohan Singh warned Saturday over the use of social media to inflame ethnic tensions after online threats and text messages sparked a mass exodus of migrants from southern cities. The use of “social media to aggravate the communal situation is a new challenge”, Singh told a conference of…

Palestinians stage fiery protest against PM Fayyad

Dozens of Palestinians from Al-Amari refugee camp in the West Bank burned tires, blocked the road into the camp and chanted slogans against prime minister Salam Fayyad late Saturday. An AFP correspondent said the protest demanding that the Palestinian premier resign over the government’s economic policies came after Fayyad was…

European Union threatens Iran with new sanctions

European Union nations waved the threat of new international sanctions against Iran over its contested nuclear drive on Saturday, as Russia complained such measures harm its interests. With frustration mounting over the lack of progress in talks between global powers and Iran, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Tehran has…

Dim hope of success for Syria peace envoy: analysts

Syria peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi faces the arduous task of seeking an end to a bloody conflict that has dim hopes of a peaceful outcome, as world powers remain divided over a solution, analysts say. “Mr Brahimi’s mission, by his own account, has little chance of success,” said Middle East…

Forensics teams search British home of Alps shooting victims

British police forensics officers on Saturday began an operation to search the home of a family shot dead in France, in company with detectives from across the Channel. Police set up a cordon around the house in Claygate in Surrey, a quiet commuter village some 15 miles (25 kilometres) southwest…

Government backs down on Chinese ‘patriotism’ lessons for Hong Kong schoolchildren

Hong Kong’s government on Saturday backed down on a plan to force school children to take Chinese patriotism classes, after weeks of protests and on the eve of crucial legislative polls. “The amendment of this policy means that we are giving the authority to the schools,” the city’s leader, Leung…

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