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Amnesty says Syria committing crimes against humanity

Syria is committing crimes against humanity as part of state policy to exact revenge against communities suspected of supporting rebels, Amnesty International said in a report. The London-based rights group called for an international response after claiming it had fresh evidence that victims, including children, had been dragged from their…

Shell scraps biofuels plan over Brazil native land

RIO DE JANEIRO — A Shell subsidiary that makes biodiesel in Brazil has dropped controversial plans to buy sugar cane grown on land taken from indigenous people, according to Survival International. The company, Raizen, was set up in 2010 by Shell and Brazil’s biofuels giant Cosan to make biofuel from…

Australia to create world’s largest marine parks

SYDNEY — Australia has announced plans to create the world’s largest network of marine parks to protect ocean life, with limits placed on fishing and oil and gas exploration off the coast. The new reserves would cover 3.1 million square kilometres (1.9 million square miles), or more than one-third of…

U.S. drone ‘kills three militants’ in Pakistan

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan — A US drone attack killed at least three militants early Thursday in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region, known as a hotbed of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants, security officials said. The drone fired two missiles on a building in the central market of Miranshah, the main town in North…

UN environment summit opens, but prospects grim

RIO DE JANEIRO — Twenty years after the first Earth Summit, a renewed bid to rally the world behind a common environmental blueprint opened Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro against a backdrop of discord and economic gloom. Kicking off the so-called Rio+20 summit, Dilma Rousseff, president of host nation Brazil,…

Lance Armstrong attacks USADA over doping charge

WASHINGTON — Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong lashed out at the US Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday, saying they want to brand him a drugs cheat based on “discredited” allegations. “I have been notified that USADA, an organization largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules,…

Over 50 alleged Zetas members arrested in Mexico

MONTERREY, Mexico — More than 50 alleged members of the feared Zetas drug cartel, including two active duty policemen, women and children, were arrested in northern Mexico, officials said Wednesday. The arrests came on the heels of the indictment Tuesday of the man believed to be the gang’s second in…

Saab saved from bankruptcy to exclusively make electric cars

Saab is to be reborn as an electric car manufacturer focused on China under rescue plans drawn up by a Chinese-born entrepreneur. One of Scandinavia’s best known industrial brands is being bought out of bankruptcy by National Electric Vehicle Sweden. Kai Johan Jiang, the chief executive and main owner of…

U.S. trade proposal would let corporations overrule laws

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a forthcoming U.S. trade agreement that looks to solidify a seamless regional economy in the Pacific-rim, would give multinational corporations the power to challenge and even avoid compliance with laws in member countries — including the U.S. — provided a super-national corporate tribunal agrees with their…

A day in the life of a UN observer in Syria

A day in the life of a UN observer in Syria (via The Christian Science Monitor) As soon as Gen. Robert Mood stepped out of his white SUV he was mobbed by hundreds of men, women, and children. The leader of the unarmed UN observer mission to Syria had come…

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