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Russia marks 50 years since Soviet protest massacre

Russia on Saturday quietly marked half a century since Soviet forces brutally suppressed a rare protest led by striking factory workers in one of the worst massacres of the USSR’s postwar era. Twenty-six people were killed on June 2, 1962 when Soviet troops fired on the mass protest against working conditions and rising…

Arabs urge UN action amid fears of Syria civil war

Arab leaders called Saturday for UN action as at least 39 people were killed in Syria amid growing fears that envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan is failing and the country is heading for all-out civil war. Annan himself warned of sectarian warfare, singling out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime as the key to…

Three Rare Sumatran Elephants Found Dead Of Poisoning

Three critically-endangered Sumatran elephants have been found dead in an oil palm plantation in western Indonesia and are believed to have been poisoned, an NGO said Saturday. Villagers found the dead animals on Thursday in a government-owned oil palm plantation in the eastern part of Aceh province. They were estimated to be four and five years old,…

Iran vows ‘proportionate’ response to any strike

Iran will respond to any Israeli or US attack against its nuclear sites with a “proportionate” reaction, the military adviser to the country’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei said on Saturday. General Yahya Rahim Safavi, quoted by Fars news agency, said however that such an attack was unlikely. Despite warnings from…

Cheering Britons greet Queen at start of jubilee

A rapturous flag-waving crowd of more than 100,000 cheered Queen Elizabeth II at Epsom racecourse in Britain on Saturday as she arrived to kick off four days of celebrations for her diamond jubilee. Shortly after gun salutes across the country marked the exact anniversary of her coronation, the horse-loving 86-year-old…

Pope defends priest celibacy

The pope insisted Saturday that celibacy is central to the priesthood, amid increasing calls for clergy to be allowed to marry and claims that abstention may have contributed to sex abuse scandals. “The shining light of pastoral charity and a unified heart is sacerdotal celibacy and enshrined virginity,” Pope Benedict…

Mubarak sentenced to life in prison

A judge sentenced former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to life in prison on Saturday after convicting him of involvement in the murder of protesters during the uprising that ousted him last year. A senior lawyer for Mubarak’s defence team told AFP the strongman, who was taken to a Cairo prison…

Great Barrier Reef heading for danger: UNESCO

UNESCO on Saturday urged decisive action from Australia to protect the Great Barrier Reef from a gas and mining boom, warning it risked being put on its list of world heritage sites deemed “in danger”. Australia is riding an unprecedented wave of resources investment due to booming demand from Asia,…

Big Ben to be renamed Elizabeth Tower

Britain’s famed parliament clock tower Big Ben is set to be renamed the Elizabeth Tower in honor of the queen’s diamond jubilee, a report said Friday. Prime Minister David Cameron is among 331 lawmakers who have signed up to a campaign to bestow the tribute to Queen Elizabeth to mark…

Court orders Clinton to decide about removing MEK from terrorism list

WASHINGTON — A US appeals court on Friday ordered Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to decide within four months whether to remove an Iranian dissident group from a terror blacklist. The People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, also known as the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), had asked the court to issue a ruling…

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