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Cuba’s Raul Castro backs gay rights says daughter

Cuban President Raul Castro backs greater gay rights and endingdiscrimination against homosexuals, his daughter Mariela, a famed sexologist, said Saturday during a colorful gay rights march in Havana. “He has done some advocacy work, speaking of the need to make progress in terms of rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” Mariela Castro told…

Yemen launches offensive to reclaim Qaeda bastion

Yemeni troops launched an all-out offensive on Saturday to retake the southern city of Zinjibar, held for a year by Al-Qaeda gunmen, in fighting that killed 12 people, military and local sources said. And in eastern Yemen, two US drone attacks killed 11 Al-Qaeda militants travelling in an area where the jihadist network remains…

Netanyahu replies to Abbas grievances over peace

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu replied Saturday to a letter from Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas about the moribund peace process, a Palestinian source said. Netanyahu’s chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho delivered the letter to Abbas in Ramallah, the West Bank city where the Palestinian Authority is based, shortly after 9:00 pm (1800 GMT), said the source in Abbas’…

Australian labor unions call for Buffett-style tax on millionaires

Australia’s trade unions said they would call on the government to introduce a millionaires’ tax similar to US President Barack Obama’s so-called “Buffett Rule.” The Australian Council of Trade Unions on Saturday said it wanted to ensure mining billionaires such as Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrestand Gina Rinehart paid a minimum tax on their incomes regardless of how they…

Delhi jailhouse rocks to live music therapy

NEW DELHI, May 12, 2012 (AFP) – Strutting across the stage wearing red stilettos, red lipstick and a flower in her hat, Samara Chopra was always going to be a hit with the inmates of Tihar high-security jail in New Delhi. The audience of about 1,000 male prisoners whooped with…

Greece faces new elections as left refuses to join austerity coalition

Greece’s socialist leader admitted Friday he had failed in a last-ditch bid to form a government, taking the nation a step closer to repeat elections amid intense EU pressure over its finances. Pasok chief Evangelos Venizelos’s announcement came after the key radical leftist party Syriza refused to join a pro-austerity…

German Pirate Party website censored by schools for questioning marijuana laws

Germany’s Pirate Party has moved beyond its seemingly humorous origins to become a serious political force. Since last year, it has received over 7% of the vote in three different regional elections, enabling it to claim seats in the local parliaments. However, in Germany’s largest state, North Rhine-Westphalia, which is…

Canada’s ‘Globe and Mail’ rolls out paywall and asks staff to take unpaid leave

Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper has announced plans for an online paywall to generate extra revenue and has also asked staff to take unpaid leave amid an ongoing slide in advertising revenues. The publisher of the Toronto-based newspaper told staff Thursday that the new system would begin later this year,…

Nearly 5 million children died of preventable diseases worldwide in 2010

Preventable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria claimed the lives of nearly five million children younger than five in 2010, a paper in The Lancet medical journal said Friday. A total 7.6 million children died in the first five years of their life that year, the authors said, and warned…

UK police call on social media users to ‘self-regulate’ bullying

Police chiefs are calling on users of online social networking sites to be the “eyes and ears” of officers to help combat the menace of ‘trolls’ who bully or abuse via the web. Police forces across the UK are investing more funds into making sure they are plugged into sites…

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