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Hugo Chavez reelection bid in doubt

President Hugo Chavez’s repeated trips to Cuba for cancer treatment and the government’s silence about his health are fueling rumors that he will name a successor to run in October presidential elections. So far, the government has fiercely maintained that there is no alternative to Chavez, who still leads in the polls. But several names…

South African traditional leaders oppose gay rights

South Africa’s National House of Traditional Leaders wants parliament to delete a clause in the constitution that guarantees equal rights to homosexuals, a media report said Sunday. The leaders, who advise the government on traditional laws and customs among ethnic groups such as the Zulu and Xhosa, made the request in reply to the…

Revealed: How Britain tried to legitimize Batang Kali massacre

Senior British diplomats introduced an extraordinary “licence to kill” law in an attempt to legalise retrospectively the colonial-era killing of 24 villagers by UK troops in Malaysia, the Observer can reveal. The Batang Kali massacre took place on 12 December 1948, as British troops carried out a counter-insurgency operation against…

Israel’s Labour leader slams Netanyahu on Iran

JERUSALEM — The head of Israel’s Labour party on Saturday slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for presenting a potential nuclear Iran as the Jewish state’s greatest threat. “It is a mistake to make the Iranian threat into Israel’s central problem,” Shelly Yacimovitch said in a televised interview with privately-owned Channel…

Islamic extremists desecrate Muslim saint’s Timbuktu tomb

BAMAKO — Members of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have desecrated a Muslim saint’s tomb in the fabled city of Timbuktu, an official said on Saturday. “Members of AQIM, supported by (the armed Islamist group) Ansar Dine, have destroyed the tomb of Saint Sidi (Mahmoud Ben) Amar. They set fire…

Libya interim leader in hospital but stable: medics

Libya’s interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil was hospitalised in the eastern city of Benghazi on Saturday after suffering a drop in blood pressure that doctors attributed to exhaustion. “Abdel Jalil suffered a decline in blood pressure and is now undergoing comprehensive medical examinations… His condition is stable,” a medical official at Benghazi Medical Centre where he was being treated told AFP. The interim…

106 arrested in violent protest outside Quebec’s liberal party HQ

The government of the French-speaking province of Quebec andstudent groups clinched a roadmap agreement Saturday to put an end to 12 weeks of often violent protests over tuition hikes, officials said. The deal came after some 23 hours of arduous negotiations between Education Minister Line Beauchamp and four majorQuebec student groups, and just hours after clashes in Victoriavillethat…

Japan switches off final nuclear reactor

Japan switched off its last working nuclear reactor on Saturday, leaving the country without atomic-generated electricity just over a year after the world’s worst nuclear accident in a quarter of a century. As technicians closed down the No. 3 unit at Tomari in Hokkaido at 11:03 pm (1403 GMT), the debate over whether Japan needsnuclear…

Mass arrests in Egypt after deadly Cairo clashes

Egypt’s military on Saturday ordered 300 people detained afterdeadly clashes between troops and anti-army protesters in Cairo and imposed a new curfew, as tensions spiral ahead of a key presidential poll. The arrests were announced as the country’s ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi attended an unprecedented public funeral for a soldier killed in the clashes.…

23 killed in day of drug wars horror for Mexico

The northern Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo saw a brutal day of gang violence, with 14 headless bodies found stuffed in a vehicle and nine bodies found hanging from a bridge. The gruesome crimes came less than two months before Mexico’s presidential election, and just ahead of a key…

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