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Christians, but not Muslims, can pray in Israel holy sites: court

JERUSALEM — An Israeli court on Tuesday backed an Israeli government policy of allowing Christians from the Gaza Strip to pray at Israeli and West Bank holy sites, and denying the enclave’s Muslims the same right. The Supreme Court rejected an appeal lodged by six Gaza Muslims and Israeli non-governmental…

Greek authorities conducting mass arrests of undocumented immigrants

Greek authorities have begun one of the country’s biggest crackdowns yet on suspected illegal immigrants, deploying 4,500 police around Athens and detaining more than 7,000 immigrants in less than 72 hours. Most have been released, but about 2,000, mostly Africans and Asians, were arrested. They were sent to holding centres…

French mafia figure gunned down in broad daylight at butcher shop

BASTIA, France — An alleged key figure in one of Corsica’s most powerful crime families, Maurice Costa of the “Brise de Mer” gang, was gunned down in broad daylight Tuesday at his local butcher shop, police said. Two masked gunmen shot and killed Costa, 60, at 11:08 am (0908 GMT)…

Pharma giant Pfizer fined for bribing officials in Eastern Europe and China

The US charged Pfizer and its subsidiary Wyeth on Tuesday with paying millions of dollars in bribes to build their business in Eastern Europe and China, and set hefty fines on the two to settle the charges. The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission both said Pfizer subsidiaries…

Protesters greet Madonna in Russia over her support of Pussy Riot

US pop icon Madonna found herself in hot water in Moscow on Tuesday after she waded intoRussia’s fiercest controversy by calling for the release of three women in the Pussy Riot protest punk band. The one-time “material girl” and current campaigner for human rights causes arrived in Moscow on Monday to open a new…

Ramadan ‘police’ go after Pakistan’s cafe culture

With its wooden floors, leather sofas and customers peering at their Apple laptops as they sip their coffees, Mocca Cafe is the not the den of iniquity that might normally attract a police raid. But Islamabad’s police have suddenly found cause to turn their attention to the capital’s poshest eateries…

Germany outraged by Italian newspaper’s ‘Fourth Reich’ headline

Paper owned by Silvio Berlusconi’s brother insults Angela Merkel German politicians have reacted furiously to this front page in the Italian daily Il Giornale with its headline “Fourth Reich” above a picture of Chancellor Angela Merkel raising her hand in a vaguely fascist salute. The paper is owned by the…

Malaysian toddler dies in ‘exorcism’

A three-year-old Malaysian girl died of suffocation during a lengthy exorcism ritual in which seven family members and a maid piled on top of her, a police official said Tuesday. The ritual, which included the child’s parents, was held by the ethnic Chinese family late Sunday in the northern town…

Nigeria school offers hope for young women fleeing abusive marriages

The clattering sewing machines at this northern Nigeria school offer hope of a better life for a group of young women who fled abusive marriages that for some prove inescapable. In Nigeria’s deeply impoverished north, which has some of the worst gender disparities in the world, millions of girls who…

Argentina imposes more restrictions on U.S. dollars

Argentina has imposed another restriction on the sale of US dollars, barring travelers from purchasing them unless the dollar is the currency of their destination, the government said Monday. The restriction, which takes effect next week and was detailed in the official gazette, is the latest twist in the government’s…

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