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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…

Syria out to crush insurgents ‘once and for all’

Dozens of bodies were found as Syrian forces launched a deadly assault in the southwestern belt of Damascus on Saturday, in what activists said was a new bid to crush “once and for all” the insurgency in the capital. Combat helicopters and tanks also pounded rebel-held areas of the battered…

Thousands march against Togolese government

Thousands of protesters marched without incident in the Togolese capital Lome on Saturday after two days of rallies earlier in the week that saw clashes between demonstrators and police. The opposition coalition Let’s Save Togo said more than 100 people were injured and 125 arrested during the rallies Tuesday and…

Ukraine extradites suspect in Putin murder plot

Ukraine on Saturday extradited one of the men suspected of plotting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin, state-owned Channel One reported. Ilya Pyanzin, who was arrested in Odessa in February, had already been taken to Moscow, the channel said, showing him at Odessa airport and then aboard a plane in handcuffs.…

Report: Germany calls for new EU treaty

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a new European Union Treaty but is facing lukewarm interest from her EU partners, the weekly Der Spiegel reported. “The federal government would like to further European integration,” it said in its issue to be published Monday, adding that Merkel advocated a meeting…

Vatican: Christian girl held on blasphemy charges cannot read

French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran on Saturday went to the defense of the young Pakistani girl accused of blasphemy, stressing that she “cannot read or write.” Interviewed on Radio Vatican, Tauran, who is in charge of interfaith dialogue in the Vatican, said “that before asserting a sacred text has been the…

Cuba releases award-winning dissident

Leading Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas told AFP Saturday he had been released after being detained 40 hours earlier, following an argument with agents guarding his home. Farinas said he was released at around 8:15 am, in a telephone interview from his home in the central city of Santa Clara. The…

Venezuela refinery blast kills 24

A massive explosion tore through Venezuela’s largest refinery on Saturday, killing at least 24 people and wounding more than 50 in South America’s largest oil producer, officials said. Vice President Elias Jaua said most of the dead were members of the country’s National Guard who were protecting the refining facility…

Syria media warn of ‘fake email’ saying VP sacked

Syria’s state news agency SANA said on Saturday that a fake email had been sent out in its name claiming that Vice President Faruq al-Shara had been sacked. Speculation has swirled since last week over the fate of Shara, the most high-ranking Sunni Muslim official in President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite-led…

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