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German University launches effort to identify those killed by Communist regime while fleeing to the West

Germany launched a project on Friday to shed light on the identities of the hundreds of people killed along its internal Cold War border while trying to flee the communist East. While research into deaths at the Berlin Wall was completed in 2009, there has been no official effort so…

Rich Germans donated only €165,489 Euros to reduce €2.1 trillion debt

An appeal by Germany’s government for generous-hearted citizens to help wipe out the country’s debt has fallen short… by over two trillion euros, Der Spiegel reported Friday. Germans have only donated 165,489 euros ($203,556) to the finance ministry cause since the launch of its appeal in 2006 to reduce the…

Analysts: North Korea seeking economic reforms

North Korea’s new leadership is apparently pushing for reforms in a bid to revive its crumbling state-directed economy, analysts and a South Korean official said Friday. “Our government is aware of North Korea’s discussion and consideration of various changes in the economic sector since the launch of its new leadership,”…

Venezuela claims arrested American is part of a plot to remove Chávez

Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan president, is claiming a US citizen has been arrested and interrogated on suspicions he is a mercenary involved in a conspiracy against the government. Chávez, who faces an election on 7 October, suggested the man is part of a plot to destabilise the country if he…

Madonna defends LGBT rights and Pussy Riot at Russian concerts

Pop legend Madonna spoke in support LGBT people in Russia on Thursday as she completed a two-concert tour of the country that passed a ban on “homosexual propaganda” this year. According to Reuters, Madonna wore black lingerie with the words “No Fear” written across her back and distributed pink wristbands…

Hunt is on for serial child rapist in France’s Ardeche campsites

A suspected serial rapist is preying on young girls holidaying on campsites in the Ardeche region of central France, local police said Friday. A major investigation has been launched in the area and campsite owners have been asked to step up security following the rape of an 11-year-old French girl…

Sandra Avila Beltran, drug ‘Queen of the Pacific,’ extradited to U.S. to face trafficking charges

US authorities extradited one of the most notorious women accused of links to Mexico’s drug trade on Thursday, Mexican officials said. Mexican police handed over Sandra Avila Beltran, a 52-year-old known as the “Queen of the Pacific,” at an airport in the central city of Toluca. Avila is expected to…

Woman released after protesting sentences for kidnappers that forced her daughter into prostitution

A Chinese woman sent to a labour camp for demanding seven men who forced her daughter into prostitution be given harsher punishment was released Friday after an online outcry, state media reported. Tang Hui was given 18 months of “re-education through labour” in the camp after she protested repeatedly outside…

Two naked fisherman saved by helicopters during dramatic shark attack

Two men were plucked from the ocean Friday as sharks circled after being spotted by a television helicopter in a dramatic rescue involving five aircraft and five boats. It came after three men failed to return Thursday after setting out in a fishing boat from Leeman, 270 kilometres (170 miles)…

Three Americans killed in Afghanistan in ambush by man in Afghan uniform

Three American soldiers were killed Friday when a man in Afghan uniform turned his weapon on them, the US military said, in the third so-called green-on-blue attack in less than a week. A spokeswoman said “an individual in an Afghan uniform fired on US Forces-Afghanistan services members in Sangin district…

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