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Somali comedian who mocked Islamists shot dead

One of Somalia’s most popular comedians, known for his parodies of Islamist militants, has been shot dead in the capital, Mogadishu. Abdi Jeylani Marshale was reportedly killed shortly after leaving a local radio station where he worked as a drama producer and performer. It is not known who carried out…

150-year-old Bangladesh brothel fights closure

Tara Das says she is the fifth generation of her family to work at the same brothel in Bangladesh, but now she is fighting against Islamic protesters who want her business to close. The red light district in Madaripur city is thought to have been in operation for at least…

Syrian fighting reaches Damascus’ Christian enclaves

Clashes erupted near two Christian areas of the Syrian capital Wednesday for the first time in the nearly 17-month uprising, as the battle for Aleppo entered its fifth day and President Bashar al-Assad hailed the “heroic” army. In a speech published by official news agency SANA to mark the military’s…

India restores power after huge blackouts

India restored its power supplies on Wednesday after two days of massive outages that blacked out half the country, but fears remained that the grid could again collapse under the strain of over-demand. India’s electricity network was back at full capacity after three regional grids failed on Tuesday in the…

After eight years, Somalia closer to a constitution

Somalia’s constituent assembly on Wednesday endorsed a draft constitution billed as a key step to ending decades of civil war during a vote two suicide bombers failed to scupper. The Horn of Africa country’s outgoing government hailed the end of an eight-year interim period but the UN warned that the…

Italy rules ‘no balls’ insult for men is a crime

Italy’s highest court ruled that telling a man he has “no balls” as an insult is a crime punishable with a fine because it hurts male pride in a ruling on a curious row between two cousins. The case was brought to the supreme court by a lawyer named only…

Olympic badminton players ‘threw’ matches

Eight women badminton players at the Olympics were charged by the sport’s governing body on Wednesday with ‘throwing’ matches to secure an easier draw in the next round. Four pairs in the women’s doubles competition – one from China, one from Indonesia and two from South Korea – could be…

U.S. keeps Cuba on its terror black list

The United States kept Cuba on a black list of alleged state sponsors of terrorism for the 30th year running, the State Department said in an annual report. Cuba angrily denounced the action as another US attempt to justify its 50-year-old trade embargo on the communist-ruled island. “Cuba’s foreign ministry…

UK police arrest Sun journalist in ‘stolen cellphone plot’

LONDON — British police arrested Tuesday a journalist from Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid The Sun in relation to the alleged gathering of data from stolen mobile phones, police and News International said. The 37-year-old man, bailed later on Tuesday, is the third journalist from Britain’s best-selling newspaper to have been arrested…

Air China no longer transporting lab monkeys: PETA

WASHINGTON — Air China is no longer transporting monkeys for laboratory experiments on its flights, animal rights group PETA said Tuesday, citing an email from the airline. “We are notified by headquarters that we have stopped conducting this business,” said a one-line email from Jason Wang, Air China’s New York…

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