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State Department condemns Zimbabwe raids on LGBT rights group

The United States on Thursday condemned Zimbabwe over raids on the offices of a gay rights group and urged authorities to end a “pattern of abuse” against civil society. Activists said that two truckloads of police on Monday raided offices of the group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, rounding up 44 people in what authorities called a…

Biblical tourist park puts Wi-Fi on donkeys

What would Jesus have tweeted? The world may never know because there was no Wi-Fi on the donkeys he rode 2,000 years ago. But a biblical tourist park in Israel is now changing all that. Visitors to Northern Israel’s Kfar Kedem can now post Instagram photos of themselves in biblical…

New Zealander jailed for ostrich egg assault on wife

A New Zealand man who assaulted his wife with an ostrich egg after her pet pig ran amok has been jailed for six months, it was reported Thursday. Phillip Russell lost his temper when he discovered the pig had damaged his power saw, verbally abusing his wife, spitting at her…

European ministers worry about ‘new Berlin Wall’ in North-South debt crisis split

European ministers warned Thursday that the debt crisis risks splitting Europe between north and south in an echo of the east-west division of the Cold War, as pressure mounted on Greece. “Two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new split threatens to divide our continent, this time…

Swedish prosecutors rule out visiting Julian Assange in London

Swedish prosecutors on Thursday ruled out travelling to London to question Julian Assange over alleged sex crimes even though the WikiLeaks founder’s lawyer said he had key information relating to the matter. “There is nothing new. We are still waiting for Mr Assange,” Helena Ekstrand, spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office,…

For millions of women, cooking dinner is a matter of life and death

For millions of women around the world, cooking the family meal is a daily, dangerous chore. Sweating over smoky open stoves, they put their lives and their children at risk every day. More than three billion people, or 40 percent of the planet’s population, still rely on open fires to…

Assange lawyer has ‘surprising’ key info on rape claims: report

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s lawyer Thursday said he had key information relating to the rape claims his client was facing which would be surprising when revealed, a report said. Baltasar Garzon, who spent hours in a briefing with Assange on Sunday discussing his legal strategy, said the defence had requested…

Quebec students protest tuition hikes

Thousands of protesters marched against planned tuition hikes in Montreal, opposing the Liberal government of Premier Jean Charest, two weeks before parliamentary elections. “The people will vote to elect a new government and that new government will feel pressure from the students,” CEGEP college philosophy professor Martin Godon told AFP.…

Still time for diplomacy on Iran weapons: U.S.

WASHINGTON — Diplomacy can still solve the crisis over Iran’s suspect nuclear program, the United States said Wednesday, adding that it had relayed the message to close ally Israel. Tensions are taut between Israel and Iran amid threats by the Jewish state to attack nuclear facilities in the Islamic republic…

Spain sees record tourism spike fueled by German tourists

Holidaymakers headed to recession-hit Spain in record numbers in July, official data showed Wednesday, propelled in particular by a boom in the number of German tourists. Foreign tourist numbers surged by 328,000, or 4.4 percent, from last year to an unprecedented 7.7 million in July, said a tourism survey released by the…

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