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Athens HIV infections rise 1,450 percent after authorities canceled needle exchange program

The head of Médecins sans Frontières Greece has accused the Athens authorities of pursuing a wrong and dangerous public health strategy that ignores the root causes of disease outbreaks and penalises those most at risk. Reveka Papadopoulou, the general director of the medical aid charity’s Greek branch, said cases of…

Industrial music scares off pesky Sydney bats

A huge colony of fruit bats that live in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens are such a pest that desperate officials have taken to blaring industrial noise and banging sounds to scare them off. And the ploy appears to have worked. A week ago some 5,000 of the large mammals could be seen hanging in trees throughout the park,…

Israel ‘to evacuate Tel Aviv’ in event of missile attack

Israel will evacuate the entire population of Tel Aviv if it is hit by missiles, particularly if they have unconventional warheads, the commander in charge of Israel’s central region told AFP. Colonel Adam Zusman, chief of the Home Front Command in Israel’s Gush Dan region, which encompasses the city of Tel Aviv and its environs,…

Church of England warns against same sex marriage plan

The Church of England objected on Tuesday to government proposals to legalise gay marriage, saying it could harm centuries-old links between it and the British state. The church — whose supreme governor is Queen Elizabeth II — warned that it could be forced out of its traditional role of conducting weddings on behalf of the state. In…

Chavez, after cancer treatment, launches reelection bid

CARACAS — Thousands of supporters thronged the streets of Caracas Monday to join cancer-stricken Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as he registered to seek reelection amid ongoing concerns about his health. The president sought to play down any concerns he might seek to extend his long-ruling socialist government — which has…

Clinton urges immediate end to Myanmar violence

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday urged an immediate end to religious violence in Myanmar and called for efforts for reconciliation as security forces tried to restore order. At least seven people have died since Friday in western Myanmar in a cycle of apparent revenge attacks…

U.S. fears new Syria massacre as helicopters hit towns

DAMASCUS — The United States voiced fears that Syria’s government is planning a new massacre, as regime helicopters fired on rebel stronghold towns and raging violence killed nearly 90 people on Monday. On the political front, the newly elected leader of Syria’s exiled opposition urged President Bashar al-Assad to hand…

Nobel Foundation slashes prize size amid crisis

STOCKHOLM — This year’s Nobel Prize laureates will have a little less to pad their wallets with than previous winners, organisers said Monday, announcing a 20-percent cut in the award because of the economic crisis. “At its meeting on June 11, 2012, the board of directors of the Nobel Foundation…

U.S. fears for new massacre in Syria

The United States on Monday voiced concern that Syria’s government is planning a new massacre after accounts that tanks have approached the edge of the city of Al-Heffa. A spokesman for former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, who drafted a fledgling UN-Arab League peace plan, earlier warned that civilians were…

Online troll sentenced to 26 weeks in prison for harassing British official

An online “troll” who sent a threatening email to Conservative MP Louise Mensch received a suspended sentence Monday and was banned from contacting a string of well-known figures from Alan Sugar to CIA chief David Petraeus. Frank Zimmerman, 60, was handed a 26-week prison sentence suspended for two years over…

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