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Japanese reporter shot dead in Syria

A veteran Japanese war reporter died after she was shot in the neck when coming under fire from up to 15 apparently pro-government troops in Syria’s second city, a colleague said on Tuesday. Mika Yamamoto was covering the anti-regime movement in Aleppo, which has borne the brunt of the conflict…

Naked Prince Harry pictures confirmed after Vegas romp

Photographs that show Prince Harry cavorting nude in a Las Vegas hotel room were confirmed as genuine by Clarence House Wednesday. The images, published in the US by celebrity news website TMZ.com, show the third-in-line to the throne standing naked in a hotel suite. In one of the two photographs,…

U.S. skeptical of Syrian overture on Assad resignation

WASHINGTON — The United States expressed deep skepticism Tuesday about suggestions by Syria’s deputy prime minister that the regime was open to discussing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s resignation. “We saw the reports of the press conference that the deputy prime minister gave. Frankly, we didn’t see anything terribly new there,”…

Appeal planned in Vatican sex abuse suit: lawyer

WASHINGTON — A US man who sued the Vatican after years of alleged sexual abuse at the hands of a Roman Catholic priest plans to appeal a court ruling dismissing the case, his attorney said Tuesday. The lawsuit in the western US city of Portland, Oregon was the first in…

India cracks down on social networking after threats sparked mass migrant exodus

India has demanded social networking websites take down provocative messages and blocked some online content afteranonymous threats sparked an exodus of migrants from southern cities. Tens of thousands of workers and students from the remotenortheast region returned home last week from Bangalore, Mumbai and other cities fearing attacks from Muslims in reprisal for recent ethnic clashes in…

World’s oldest siblings years add up to 818

The Melis siblings on the island of Sardinia are officially the world’s oldest with nine brothers and sisters clocking up a total of 818 years between them, Italian newspapers reported on Tuesday. The oldest sibling, Consolata, is 104 and has nine children, 24 grand-children and 25 great-grandchildren, the reports said, adding that the longevity of…

Top general: U.S. still has key Iraq role even after troop exit

Top US military officer General Martin Dempsey insisted Washington still had an important role to play in Iraq, where he landed on Tuesday, eight months after American troops departed. Dempsey, who is due to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Iraqi army chief of staff Lieutenant General Babaker Zebari, is the highest-ranking American to visit…

Romanian court puts impeached president back in power

Romania’s Constitutional Court ruled Tuesday that a referendum to impeach the country’s president was invalid, leaving Traian Basescu in power after months of political turmoil. “The court noted that the turnout was lower than the minimum threshold required for the ballot to be valid,” the judges said. “The ruling was adopted with a qualified majority,”…

Official: South African police did ‘all in their power to avert’ mine killing of 34

South Africa’s police minister on Tuesday said his officers who shot dead 34 striking mineworkers last week had done everything in their power to prevent the slaughter. “The events of Thursday, August 16, 2012, were not a sudden eruption but a culmination of events that were building over months and months,” Nathi Mthethwa told…

Lawyer: Pussy Riot members may face violence in prison

A lawyer for Pussy Riot has warned that three members of the feminist punk band sentenced to jail last week could face violence and discrimination because of the intense state campaign against them. “For half a year, state-run television has built up a very negative image of them – that they’re blasphemers, heretics,” said…

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