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Human rights court jails Liberia ex-president for 50 years

A UN-backed court jailed Liberia’s Charles Taylor for 50 years Wednesday for fuelling Sierra Leone’s savage war, known for its mutilations, drugged child soldiers and sex slaves. The former Liberian president, 64, was convicted last month of all 11 counts he faced of war crimes and crimes against humanity for…

Russia says new U.S. ambassador is unprofessional

Russia is not prepared to get used to the US ambassador Michael McFaul, a foreign ministry official was quoted as saying Wednesday, accusing the controversial new US envoy of unprofessionalism. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland had said on Tuesday that Russia had to “get used to” McFaul speaking out…

Pakistani authorities fear threats on life of CIA ally

Pakistani authorities on Wednesday said that they feared the doctor recruited by the CIA to help find Osama bin Laden could be killed and demanded he be transferred to a more secure prison. Shakeel Afridi was last week sentenced to 33 years in jail after he was found guilty of…

Quebec student leader is a force to be reckoned with

A politico and a media hound, 21-year-old radical Quebec student leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois has become a force to be reckoned with in talks with the government over tuition fee hikes. The spokesman for the student union Classe showed up for an interview with AFP on foot, stubble on his face,…

Russia says ‘premature’ for new UN action on Syria

Russia on Wednesday cautioned against taking new UN action onSyria after the massacre of 108 civilians in Houla and sought more time for global envoy Kofi Annan’s imperilled peace plan to work. The comments came just a day after the US State Department said it hoped last week’s tragedy would spark a “turning point” in…

Australia moves to criminalize forced marriage

Australia on Wednesday moved to criminalise forced marriage, forms of slavery prevalent in the sex industry and the trafficking of organs. Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said such practices had no place in a democratic nation as she introduced the new laws, which she said covered “a spectrum of human misery”, into parliament for debate. “Tragically, nineteenth…

UK politician: Professions should be more diverse

Professions including medicine, law should be doing more to recruit people from poorer backgrounds, a report is set to say Wednesday. Alan Milburn, the former Labour minister who is the government’s social mobility advisor, wrote in the Guardian that professions were making “no great galvanising effort” to broaden their talent pool. “There’s a…

Black Italian player vows to walk off field if racially abused

Mario Balotelli, named in Italy’s 23-man squad for the European Football Championships, has threatened to walk off the pitch if he is racially abused by fans. The 21-year-old Manchester City star said in an interview withFrance Football magazine that he reacted differently when Juventusfans targeted him with racist chants during a match for his former club Inter…

Top court rules Assange can be extradited to Sweden

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden, but his extradition was put on hold to give his lawyers a chance to re-open the case. Britain’s highest court rejected the argument from Assange’s lawyers that the Swedish prosecutor who issued the arrest warrant over sex crime allegations was not entitled…

Pope renews trust in allies amid ‘VatiLeaks’ scandal

Pope Benedict XVI expressed his trust in his closest allies Wednesday and said the image of the Church in the media during the so-called “Vatileaks” scandal did not correspond to reality. “I want to renew my trust and express encouragement towards my closest collaborators and all those who help me perform…

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