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Rebels in Syrian ghost town hunted from above

TAFTANAZ, Syria — The noise is unmistakable and strikes fear into those on the ground: then it appears, the sinister silhouette of an Mi-24 gunship, scanning for targets so it can unleash its terrible firepower. The helicopters circle out of range of the rebels’ inferior weapons, before swooping to bombard…

10 dead in Quebec Legionnaire’s disease outbreak

A Legionnaire’s disease outbreak in Quebec City has killed 10 people since late July, health authorities in the francophone Canadian city said in an updated toll. A total of 165 people have so far been diagnosed with the disease, which poses a risk for people with weak immune systems but…

Blair, Bush should face trial over Iraq war: Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu called Sunday for former prime minister Tony Blair and former US president George W Bush to face trial in The Hague for their role in the Iraq war. The South African peace icon, writing in The Observer newspaper, accused the pair of lying about weapons of mass…

U.S. special forces suspends training of Afghans

US special forces in Afghanistan have suspended training for about 1,000 Afghan police recruits to carry out checks on existing members, the military said Sunday, after a surge in insider attacks on NATO. There has been a sharp rise in so-called “green-on-blue” attacks recently, in which members of the Afghan…

Turkish bulk carrier spilling oil on South African beaches

Oil from a Turkish bulk carrier that ran aground three years ago off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa’s prime tourist city, was spilling onto two beaches, officials said. Investigations on Saturday showed the vessel had disintegrated into three pieces, Cape Town city disaster management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said.…

Two killed in Brazil slum drug sweep

Two people were killed Saturday during a counter-narcotics operation by an elite police in a Brazilian slum, angering residents who blocked a main road into the city. The mayor’s central operations office in Rio de Janeiro reported that Brasil Avenue, which runs from the international airport downtown, was blocked for…

Egypt TV head denies inciting president’s murder

A television channel chief and presenter denied calling for the murder of President Mohamed Morsi when his trial on incitement charges opened in the Egyptian capital on Saturday. “I merely criticized President Morsi,” Tawfiq Okasha told judges at the court appearance, an AFP journalist reported. “This is a political trial.…

Woman beats the odds to make Saudi Arabia’s first film

The female director of Saudi Arabia’s first feature film, showing at the Venice film festival, has explained how she beat the odds to produce the heartwarming tale of a girl’s quest to own a bicycle. In Haifaa Al Mansour’s landmark film “Wadjda,” 10-year-old Waad Mohammed plays a girl who is…

Dos Santos poised for victory with big lead in Angola vote

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos was poised to extend his 33-year rule Saturday as his party took a hefty lead in the election count, despite frustrations among the poor at being left out of Angola’s oil boom. With 68 percent of the vote counted, his People’s Movement for the Liberation…

Putin’s top Russian parliament foe faces expulsion

One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal and influential parliamentary critics said Saturday that prosecutors had asked lawmakers to expel him so that he could be charged with business crimes. Gennady Gudkov of the leftist A Just Russia party said he had received a copy of a letter the…

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