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China’s economic growth slows amid global turmoil

China’s economy expanded at its slowest pace in more than three years as dire problems overseas started to hit home, official data showed Friday, fuelling expectations of more stimulus moves. The world’s second-largest economy grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics said, the weakest…

Germany pledges to protect religious circumcision

The German government on Friday pledged quick action to protect the right of Jews and Muslims to circumcise baby boys on religious grounds, after a court ruling that prompted international outcry. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters it was “concerned” about the judgement published by a Cologne regional…

‘Butcher of Bosnia’ Mladic trial to resume Monday

The trial of former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic will resume next week after being suspended when Mladic fell ill, the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal said Friday. The 70-year-old was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure after falling ill during his trial on Thursday, though his lawyer, Branko…

Arrested New Guinea cannibal cultists ate raw brains, penis soup

Papua New Guinea police have arrested members of an alleged cannibal cult accused of killing at least seven people, eating their brains raw and making soup from their penises, a report said Friday. The 29 people, who appeared in court this week charged with murder and cannibalism, were part of…

Avalanche dead mourned by their loved ones in France

Relatives of the nine climbers killed by an avalanche in the French Alps gathered at the nearby resort of Chamonix on Friday to pay their respects the day after the tragedy. The mountaineers who died in the avalanche on Mont Maudit (“Cursed Mountain” in French) in the Mont Blanc massif…

Work resumes at huge Amazon dam site

RIO DE JANEIRO — Some 1,600 workers resumed work Thursday after 150 indigenous people agreed to end their three-week occupation of a construction site for a huge hydro-electric dam in the Brazilian Amazon. “The chiefs of several tribes have agreed and the others have followed,” said Cleanton Ribeiro, a spokesman…

Arab Spring ‘demands change in UK arms policy’

LONDON — Britain must exercise more caution in granting licences for the export of arms to authoritarian regimes such as Bahrain in light of the Arab Spring uprisings, a parliamentary report has urged. A Commons select committee review of export controls also revealed that Britain’s Foreign Office (FCO) is concerned…

Ex-CIA agent defends herself in rendition case: report

WASHINGTON — A former CIA agent convicted by an Italian court of participating in the covert 2003 abduction in Milan of an Egyptian cleric suspected of terror-related offenses had gone public to defend herself. In an interview published in the Washington Post, Sabrina de Sousa, 56, denied playing any role…

U.S. slaps more sanctions on Iran

WASHINGTON — The United States unleashed a fresh wave of sanctions against Iran Thursday, ratcheting up pressure to convince Tehran to take seriously concerns about its suspected nuclear weapons program. The actions impose additional sanctions on Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation networks and identify Iranian “front” companies and banks…

France eyes taxing Internet retailers

The French government on Thursday launched a study that could lead later this year to levies on big Internet based companies that sell large amounts in France without paying much in taxes. Experts are to submit a report “regarding the localisation and taxation of profits, sales or, possibly, other taxable…

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