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Al-Qaeda leader arrested in Algeria

Three armed Islamists, including a senior member of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) thought to be close to its leader, have been arrested in southern Algeria, official media reported Monday. Necib Tayeb, also known as Abderrahmane Abou Ishak Essoufi, one of the oldest members of Al-Qaeda’s north African branch,…

More than 20 killed in violent upsets in Venezuela’s overcrowded prisons

More than 20 people were killed in the latest outbreak of violence in Venezuela’s overcrowded prisons as heavily armed gangs fought for control of a prison near Caracas, authorities said Monday. Iris Varela, the minister for prison affairs, told state-run media that the clashes erupted Sunday in the Yare I…

Hemingway cafe in Madrid saved from near-certain closure

Madrid’s iconic Cafe Gijon, whose past clients include Ernest Hemingway and Salvador Dali, has won a last-minute reprieve from near certain closure. The cafe had warned it would have to draw the curtain on its 120-year history after Madrid’s cash-strapped City Hall granted the licence to its lucrative terrace to…

Brazil drug gangs move to ban crack

Crack is whack, and even the most powerful drug gangs in Rio aren’t disputing that fact. Amid a painful and violent uptick in crack-cocaine usage and facing increasingly successful police strategies pushing them out of the favelas, the most powerful drug gang in Brazil’s capital of Rio de Janeiro has…

Ecuador’s London embassy provides Assange with computer and treadmill

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is keeping busy inside Ecuador’s London embassy by working on his computer, exercising on a treadmill and cooking food in his microwave, according to friends. Vaughan Smith, a former army officer who hosted 41-year-old Assange at his English mansion for more than a year while the…

Police replaced at Mexico City airport after deaths

Mexico’s federal police have replaced all 348 officers responsible for security at the capital’s biggest airport after three agents were killed by corrupt colleagues smuggling drugs from Peru. The Ministry of Public Security said the officers had been reassigned to different states. One of the three police agents sought in…

Somali parliament will hold first meeting in ‘safe haven’

Somalia’s newly selected parliament will convene for its inauguration Monday under the protection of African Union troops at Mogadishu airport, the UN said, after lawmakers appealed for protection. The parliament’s interim speaker Musa Hassan Abdallah issued an urgent request Monday to the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) requesting an…

Dictator’s daughter will run for South Korean presidency

South Korea’s ruling party overwhelmingly voted for the daughter of an assassinated dictator to be its presidential candidate Monday, the first time a major party has chosen a woman to run for the post. Veteran politician Park Geun-Hye – whose mother was killed by a pro-North Korean agent – secured…

Chinese politician’s wife gets suspended death sentence

A Chinese court on Monday handed the wife of disgraced political leader Bo Xilai a suspended death sentence for murder in a case that has rocked the Communist party ahead of a 10-yearly power handover. Gu Kailai was found guilty of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood, a crime she had…

UN’s Syria observer mission ends amid bloodshed

The United Nation’s troubled observer mission to Syria has officially ended after being recalled amid escalating violence as world powers fail to agree how to end months of bloodshed in the country. The mandate of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) expired at midnight Sunday after a roughly four-month…

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