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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…

Europe braces for Greek election

Not only Greece but also Europe braced on Saturday for an election here that polls indicate will fail to produce a clear winner, and which markets worry will plunge the eurozone into fresh turmoil. In comments widely quoted by Greek newspapers on the eve of Sunday’s vote, German Finance Minister…

Medvedev quits Kremlin with a whimper

When the Kremlin door slams shut on Dmitry Medvedev after Vladimir Putin returns to the presidency on May 7, the sound reverberating off the ancient red-brick walls may be one of bitter failure. Post-Soviet Russia is set to remember its only one-term president as a man whose biggest achievement was…

Exploding hydrogen balloons at Armenian political rally injure many

YEREVAN — More than 140 people were injured on Friday when gas-filled balloons exploded at a governing party campaign concert in the Armenian capital ahead of parliamentary polls on Sunday, officials said. The emergencies ministry said 144 people suffered burns when scores of promotional balloons burst into flames at a…

Canada quits making pennies

Canada’s last penny was struck Friday at The Royal Canadian Mint’s manufacturing facility and will become a museum piece as the one-cent coins are withdrawn from circulation. “For over a hundred years, the penny played an important role in Canada’s coinage system,” said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. “Although the cost…

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