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French Socialists poised to take control of parliament

French President Francois Hollande’s Socialists and allies came out on top in first-round parliamentary elections, poised to secure the majority needed to push through tax-and-spend reforms. The election also saw a surge in support for Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front, which wants to ditch the euro and battle against…

Chilean protesters clash with police over documentary honoring dictator Pinochet

SANTIAGO — Hundreds of protesters clashed violently with police in the Chilean capital as they demonstrated against the screening of a new documentary honoring the late dictator Augusto Pinochet. “Murderer! Murderer!” chanted demonstrators at Teatro Caupolican in Santiago ahead of the screening of “Pinochet,” which celebrates the general’s 1973-1990 military…

Greek neo-Nazi threatens to sue left-wing politicians he assaulted on live TV

The spokesman for Greece’s ultra-right Golden Dawn party, who went into hiding after he threw water in the face of a deputy from the radical leftist Syriza party during a live television debate and then slapped a middle-aged Communist party deputy three times across the face, has now threatened to…

Myanmar in state of emergency after Muslim minority attacks Buddhist villages

LONDON — Britain on Sunday urged authorities in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state to open talks to ease sectarian violence, following deadly clashes between Muslims and Buddhists in the region. British Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne said he was “deeply concerned” by the violence and called on all parties to act…

Montreal police make pre-emptive arrests of protesters before Grand Prix

Police in Montreal arrested dozens of protesters ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix, as Canadian students rallying for months over tuition hikes used the Formula One event to highlight their cause. Police spokeswoman Annie Lemieux said about 30 arrests made on Sunday were pre-emptive in nature, but six people were charged…

Spread of ‘baby boxes’ in Europe alarms United Nations

The United Nations is increasingly concerned at the spread in Europe of “baby boxes” where infants can be secretly abandoned by parents, warning that the practice “contravenes the right of the child to be known and cared for by his or her parents”, the Guardian has learned. The UN Committee…

Sri Lanka holds mass baby elephant christening

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka’s main elephant orphanage staged its biggest mass christening Sunday by naming 15 baby elephants born in captivity, an official said. Thirteen babies born last year and two in 2010 were given names chosen from among thousands suggested by visitors to the Pinnawala orphanage, director Nihal Senaratne…

Greek leaders trade blows over Spain bank bailout

ATHENS — Greek party leaders Sunday traded blows over the rights and wrongs of a Spanish bank bailout, with the right insisting it showed the importance of talking with Europe on the country’s own problems. New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, campaigning ahead of key June 17 elections, said Greece must…

Human Rights Watch slams Israel migrant law

JERUSALEM — Human Rights Watch on Sunday urged Israel to repeal or amend a law that allows migrants to be detained without charge for up to three years, calling it a violation of “basic rights.” The New York-based group said the new law “punishes asylum seekers for irregularly crossing into…

Iran to crack down on web censor-beating software

TEHRAN — Iran’s cyber police force is poised to launch a new crackdown on software that lets many Iranians circumvent the regime’s Internet censorship, media reported on Sunday. The operation will target VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, which use a secure protocol to encrypt users’ data, foiling online blocks put…

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