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Activists occupy Amazon dam construction site

Around 300 indigenous and green activists occupied Friday the construction site of a huge hydro-electric dam across the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon, protest organizers said. The demonstration at the Belo Monte dam sought to draw attention to the project at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development taking…

Work begins on controversial Japan nuclear restart

Japan started work to put nuclear reactors back online Saturday, despite public distrust of the technology after last year’s meltdowns at Fukushima, the world’s worst atomic accident since Chernobyl. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, seeking to head off a summer energy crunch, told Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO) to put into operation…

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Nayef dies, leaving no apparent successor to the throne

Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, a half brother of King Abdullah, died on Saturday, the royal court said, leaving the oil powerhouse with no apparent successor to the throne. Prince Nayef, a long-serving interior minister, “died outside” Saudi Arabia having recently left the Gulf state for medical treatment,…

Egyptians choose new president amid political chaos

Egyptians were voting on Saturday in a run-off presidential election between an Islamist and ousted leader Hosni Mubarak’s last premier amid political chaos highlighted by uncertainty over what powers the winner will have. Some 50 million Egyptians are eligible to cast ballots in the two-day poll, which sees Ahmed Shafiq…

Former aide says Tony Blair was pressured by Murdoch not to delay Iraq invasion

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch allegedly telephoned then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair on March 11, 2003 — eight days before the U.S. invasion of Iraq — and urged him not to do anything that could delay the start of the conflict. The allegation appears in the diaries of Blair’s former communications…

Category 2 hurricane threatens Mexican coast

Hurricane Carlotta strengthened to a category two storm Friday as it barreled toward Mexico’s Pacific Coast, US monitors warned. The storm was packing winds of 105 miles (170 kilometers) per hour and was moving northwestward at 12 miles (19 kilometers) per hour, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said in a…

At least 16 dead as Paraguay police evict peasant squatters

ASUNCION — At least 16 people were killed and dozens hurt Friday in armed clashes that erupted when police tried to evict landless peasant farmers squatting a privately-owned farm in Paraguay, officials said. Interior Minister Carlos Filizzola told reporters that seven police officers and at least nine peasants died in…

Canadian judge strikes down ban on physician-assisted suicide

MONTREAL — The Supreme Court of British Columbia on Friday said a ban against physician-assisted suicides was unconstitutional. The ruling related to the case of a 64-year-old woman named Gloria Taylor who suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease, and was one of five plaintiffs seeking to overturn legislation that prohibits doctor-assisted…

Activists urge civil disobedience against Saudi Arabia’s ban on women drivers

Activists on Friday urged women to get behind the wheel for Sunday’s first anniversary of the Women2Drive campaign, which resulted in the arrest of people defying Saudi Arabia’s ban on women drivers. “The key to ending the ban imposed on women driving in Saudi Arabia starts with women themselves,” said…

Alleged massive wine fraud shakes Burgundy

An alleged massive wine fraud has shaken Burgundy, where investigators are focused on one of the region’s largest dealers and the local wine board is suing a former ally. “The Burgundy wine industry has decided to join proceedings as a civil party in order to be fully informed of the…

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