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Taliban behead 17 Afghans during village party

Taliban Islamist insurgents beheaded 17 civilians, including two women, who were holding a party with music in a southern Afghanistan village, officials said Monday. “I can confirm that this is the work of the Taliban,” the Helmand provincial governor’s spokesman Daud Ahmadi told AFP, referring to the hardliners notorious during…

South Korea on alert as major typhoon Bolaven nears

South Korea was Monday bracing for the arrival of major typhoon Bolaven with a main port and ferry routes closed, classes cancelled and officials put on high alert. Typhoon Bolaven – one of the most powerful storms in the region in decades – was churning Monday towards the peninsula after…

Nigeria in talks with Islamic militants to end violence

ABUJA — Nigeria’s government has reached out to members of Islamist militant group Boko Haram through back-channel talks in a bid to end an insurgency that has killed hundreds, the president’s spokesman said Sunday. “The form of the dialogue is that backroom channels are being used to reach across with…

Israel refuses Western pro-Palestinian activists access to West Bank

By Kamal Taha ALLENBY BRIDGE CROSSING, Jordan — Israel and Jordan on Sunday barred pro-Palestinian US and European activists from trying to cross into the West Bank to deliver aid to students, a number of sources said. Olivia Zemor, spokeswoman for the “Welcome to Palestine” group spearheading the mission, told…

Women of Togo call for nationwide sex strike

LOME — Women from the Let’s Save Togo coalition called Sunday on all females in the country to refrain from sex for a week to force Togolese men into backing the group during their demonstrations. Let’s Save Togo is an umbrella organisation of nine civil society groups and seven opposition…

Two Pussy Riot members ‘have fled Russia’

MOSCOW — Two female Pussy Riot punk rockers who are being hunted by police for having taken part in a protest stunt against President Vladimir Putin have fled Russia in order to evade arrest, the group said Sunday. “Our two members who are wanted by police have managed to leave…

Petrol bombs thrown at Bahrain police station

DUBAI — A large crowd attacked a police station outside the Bahraini capital with petrol bombs, police said late Saturday, as sporadic protests intensify in the Sunni-ruled Shiite-majority Gulf state. “Some 150 people attacked with Molotov cocktails” in the Shiite village of Sitra, provincial police said in a statement carried…

Man mistakes son for monkey, shoots him dead

KATHMANDU — A farmer in southern Nepal mistook his son for a monkey trying to steal his crops and shot the 12-year-old dead, police said on Sunday. Chitra Bahadur Pulami had been climbing a tree to chase away macaques that had become a nuisance to the family but his father…

Ecuadoran president believes Julian Assange dispute with Britain resolved

QUITO — Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said he believed his country had overcome a diplomatic spat with Britain over its threat to enter the Ecuadoran Embassy in London in order to arrest Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. “We believe that this unfortunate incident is over,” said Correa. “It was a mistake…

Scotland’s Catholic priests blast same sex marriage plan

LONDON — Scotland’s Roman Catholic priests on Sunday condemned plans by the devolved government in Edinburgh to legalise gay marriage. The letter by Scotland’s Catholic bishops, which was being read in each of the Church’s 500 Scottish parishes, urges followers to fight efforts to “redefine” marriage. “Marriage is a unique…

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