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Charred notebooks and tears at Italy school bombing

Charred notebooks lay strewn at the scene of a deadly bomb blast outside a school in Brindisi in southern Italy on Saturday, as thousands took part in an emotional demonstration in the city. “There was huge black smoke, debris all over the place, piercing screams,” said Corradino De Paolis, a passer-by who rushed…

Nigerian security forces find bomb-making stock in raid

Security forces found weapons and bomb-making stocks during a house raid Saturday in the violence-plagued central Nigerian city ofJos, police said. “There was a bomb factory that was discovered in Rikkos,” police spokesman Samuel Dabai told AFP, referring to a district in Jos. Army and police officers leading the raid discovered rifles, ammunition, chemicals and fertilisers. Authorities promptly destroyed…

Gay Muslim activist launches controversial book in Malaysia

A Canadian Muslim gay activist launched her controversial new book on liberal Islam in Muslim-majority Malaysia Saturday despite a government minister’s attempts to shut down the event. Irshad Manji launched “Allah, Liberty and Love” at a hastily arranged event in the capital Kuala Lumpur after two other venues pulled out…

Decades after ‘unification’, Jerusalem is divided

Israelis this week mark Jerusalem Day, celebrating the “reunification” of the Holy City, but 45 years on, the contrast between quality of life in the Jewish west and the Arab east remain stark. The status of Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel captured…

German metalworkers union wins 4.3% pay rise

Some 800,000 metalworkers in the German state of Bade-Wurtemberg won a 4.3 percent pay rise in marathon negotiations, their union said on Saturday, raising hopes that years of wage restraint are ending. The regional accord, the first to be signed in Germany this year, sets a benchmark for wage negotiations…

London Olympics 2012 torch relay starts in Britain

Yachtsman Ben Ainslie was the first torchbearer as the Olympic flame began its 70-day journey around Britain and Ireland on Saturday ahead of the 2012 London Games. With the Atlantic Ocean behind him at Land’s End, England’s most southwesterly point, the triple Olympic gold medallist waited while the flame was…

Support for British monarchy at ‘highest for decades’

Support for the monarchy in Britain is at its highest level for decades thanks to Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee and last year’s royal wedding, according to a new poll published on Saturday. Some 80 percent of Britons want to remain subjects of the queen, while just 13 percent are…

Quebec passes law to restrict protests, ban wearing masks

MONTREAL — Authorities in Canada’s Quebec province passed emergency measures Friday to curb protest rights in a bid to restore order after months of sometimes violent student demonstrations over tuition hikes. The francophone province’s assembly passed a law after a marathon two-day session requiring groups of more than 10 people…

France’s new unmarried first lady stretches boundaries of diplomatic protocol

By Fabienne Faur WASHINGTON — Valerie Trierweiler pushed the frontiers of US diplomatic protocol on Friday as she took her first steps as France’s new — and unmarried — first lady ahead of the G8 and NATO summits. The domestic partner of Francois Hollande — they’ve been a couple since…

LGBT rights protesters rally in Georgian capital against Orthodox Christians

Dozens of gay rights supporters rallied for a second day in the Georgian capital Friday after being attacked by Orthodox Christians during their initial march in the deeply religious Caucasus state. Around 60 young activists assembled on the steps of the parliament building in the overtly Christian ex-Soviet nation holding…

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