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Japan prepares to deport pro-China island activists

Japan was readying to deport 14 people it arrested after pro-China activists landed on a disputed island, reports said Thursday, in what was being seen as an attempt to defuse a growing row. The day after historical wounds were torn open on the anniversary of Japan’s World War II surrender…

19 killed in Iraq attacks ahead of Ramadan end

A wave of attacks across Iraq on Thursday killed at least 19 people, as an analyst warned of a potential escalation in violence to coincide with the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Officials reported more than 100 people were wounded in 15 explosions, including seven car bombs,…

20 Shiites pulled off Pakistani bus and shot dead

Gunmen on Thursday pulled 20 Shiite Muslims from a bus and shot them dead in northwestern Pakistan, the second such incident in six months, police said. The bus was travelling from the city of Rawalpindi to the northern city of Gilgit, and was ambushed in the hills of Babusar Top,…

Taliban attack Pakistan air base, 10 dead

Heavily armed militants stormed a Pakistani air force base on Thursday, sparking clashes that left 10 people dead and raised concerns about the safety of the country’s nuclear arsenal. One security official was killed and a plane damaged in the pre-dawn assault at PAF Base Minhas claimed by the Taliban…

Russia detains four at Pussy Riot protest outside church

Russian police arrested four activists who demonstrated outside a landmark Moscow church in support of members of protest punk band Pussy Riot who are now on trial. Nearly 20 demonstrators, wearing the group’s trademark coloured balaclavas, held up individual letters that spelled a New Testament phrase, “Blessed are the merciful,”…

Britain on course for more economic stimulus

LONDON — Britain’s recession-hit economy remained on course for more cash stimulus despite an improving employment picture, minutes from the Bank of England’s latest monetary policy meeting showed Wednesday. Minutes from the BoE’s meeting at the start of August revealed that all of its nine policymakers voted to keep the…

Church counts on prayer in France same sex marriage debate

PARIS — French Catholics marked the Assumption holiday on Wednesday with prayers focused on the family and children that were designed to underline the Church’s opposition to gay marriage. A prayer read out in churches across France expressed the wish that children “cease to be the objects of the desires…

News Corporation begins anti-corruption review

Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corporation has launched a review of anti-corruption controls in several of its publishing arms, including News International in London. Murdoch told News Corp staff in a memo on Wednesday that the company recently launched the probe as a “forward-looking review” to improve compliance with bribery laws. The media tycoon told staff…

South African ‘village of death’ suspect taken into custody

A man suspected in a string of grisly rapes and murders that gave a South African community the moniker “village of death” has been arrested, a local newspaper said Wednesday. Bulelani Mabhayi, 39, was arrested on Sunday after an elderly woman was founded hacked to death the night before in theEastern Cape village of…

Tobacco firms lose Australia plain packet case

Global tobacco firms lost a “watershed” court challenge to Australia’s plain packaging laws for cigarettes on Wednesday in a closely-watched case health advocates said would have a worldwide impact. The High Court of Australia ruled the measures, stipulating that tobacco products should be sold in drab, uniform packaging with graphic health warnings…

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