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Putin heads to Berlin as Syria crisis escalates

Germany on Friday urged Russia to curb its support for Damascus, ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Berlin and Paris that is set to be dominated by the escalating Syria crisis. “In our view Russia should recognise that we are not working against Russian strategic interests when we want…

Mubarak verdict and sentencing to be broadcast live

Egyptian state television will broadcast live the verdict and sentencing on Saturday of ex-president Hosni Mubarak, his sons and security chiefs in a murder and corruption trial, official media reported. State television will charge foreign media between $7,000 and $10,000 to buy the coverage, the official MENA news agency quoted…

Eurozone unemployment at record 11%

Eurozone unemployment stood at a record high of 11.0 percent for the second month running in April, with Spain the hardest hit at 24.3 percent, revised official figures showed Friday. More than 17.4 million people were jobless in the single currency area in April, more than 3.5 million of them…

Pakistan ‘CIA doctor’ appeals conviction

Lawyers representing the Pakistani doctor jailed after helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden appealed against his conviction on Friday. Shakeel Afridi was on May 23 sentenced to 33 years in jail under Pakistan’s archaic system of tribal justice, worsening Pakistan’s already precarious relationship with the United States. He was…

Global hunt for Canada ‘body parts’ murder suspect

A global manhunt was under way Friday for a Canadian porn star suspected of dismembering his boyfriend and mailing the body parts, after a video of the grisly killing surfaced online. Interpol posted the picture and profile of Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, who is being hunted across Canada over the…

Brazil lawmakers red-faced over mystery underwear

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Mystery underwear found during a parliamentary session earlier this month is causing a lot of red faces in the Brazilian Congress, a report said Thursday. The red and white panties, described by O Globo daily as “rather large” and “not a G-string,” were inadvertently dropped…

China detains hundreds in Tibet capital

Hundreds of people have been detained in Lhasa after two men set themselves on fire in the Tibetan regional capital, a US-based broadcaster said, as a young mother became the latest Tibetan to self-immolate. Radio Free Asia said Chinese security forces had rounded up hundreds of residents and pilgrims in…

Brazil art scene booms, reflecting strong economy

Brazil’s art scene is booming, with international aficionados snapping up the latest creations and fresh talent rising, a reflection of the South American giant’s growing economy. “We have seen an incredible increase in the number of sales, buyers and collectors,” Eliana Finkelstein, president of ABACT, the country’s contemporary art association,…

Mozambique customs arrest rhino horn smuggler

Mozambican police have arrested a Vietnamese man at the main airport in Maputo as he tried to smuggle rhino horns out of the country, a spokesman said Thursday. The man was arrested on Wednesday as he was about to board a Kenya Airways flight to Hanoi via Bangkok. “Inside the…

One baby, two moms equals controversy in Ecuador

Ecuador’s constitution extols “families of diverse types,” but this conservative, Catholic society is struggling to figure out how children raised by parents of the same sex fit that lofty ideal. A British lesbian couple have sparked controversy at a time when attitudes about same-sex couples are changing in other countries,…

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