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Kenyan activists criticize more than $500 million in unspent HIV funds

Scores of Kenyans living with HIV sang and chanted outside a hotel in central Nairobi on Wednesday, demanding that $500m of unspent funds from the US government’s Aids programme be freed to provide life-saving antiretroviral treatment in Kenya. The protesters’ shouts were meant to reach the ears of US officials,…

Judge approves Dutch ‘weed pass’ ban on drug tourism

Amsterdam, famous for its coffee shops where marijuana and magic mushrooms are dispensed to just about anyone who can pay for it, is about to harsh the buzz of tourists everywhere. A judge ruled this week that the nation’s “weed pass” law, which would restrict drug-buying to Dutch citizens only,…

KFC ordered to pay $8.3 million to Australian girl

Fast food giant Kentucky Fried Chicken was Friday ordered to pay Aus$8 million (US$8.3 million) to an Australian girl who suffered severe brain damage and was paralysed after eating a chicken wrap. Monika Samaan was seven when she suffered salmonella encephalopathy — a brain injury linked to food poisoning that also left her with a blood infection and…

Police kill hostage-taker at S.African hospital

Police snipers shot dead a 30-year-old man who had taken two women hostage inside a Durban hospital Friday, ending a nearly five-hour standoff, a spokesman said. “The suspect was shot by police snipers in the head. He has succumbed to his wounds,” police spokesman Jay Naicker told reporters outside Westville Hospital. Police believe the man…

Wills and Kate celebrate 1 year, fans await baby news

Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine will this weekend mark a triumphant first year of marriage as a hopeful nation waits for news they are expecting a royal heir. The couple have lost none of their popularity in Britain and abroad 12 months after their fairytale wedding drew cheering crowds and two billion…

Bin Laden family deported from Pakistan

Osama bin Laden’s family were deported from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia Friday, officials said, nearly a year after the Al-Qaeda leader was killed in a US raid. The 9/11 mastermind’s three widows and their children were detained by Pakistan after the Saudi was killed on May 2 last year in a secret US Navy…

Escaped Chinese blind activist’s YouTube plea

Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese lawyer, confirmed his dramatic escape from house arrest and appealed to Premier Wen Jiabao to keep his family safe, in a video posted online on Friday. In the video, Chen — speaking with obvious emotion in a dark room in an undisclosed location — also revealed the names of severalgovernment…

Brazil to boost military presence to protect Amazon

Brazil will boost its military presence in the Amazon region to protect its huge natural resources from any external threat, Defense Minister Celso Amorim told the Senate. “The commitment to the defense of the Amazon is fundamental. Navy, Air Force, all services will boost their presence in the Amazon in…

Blind Chinese activist ‘escapes’ from house arrest

Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese lawyer who won global acclaim for uncovering rights abuses under China’s “one child” policy, has escaped from house arrest, according to his supporters. Chen had been unable to leave his home in east China since he was released from a four-year jail sentence in September…

U.S. seeks to modernize NATO, deepen partnerships

CHICAGO — The United States will push to modernize NATO, deepen alliance partnerships and hammer out details of the Afghanistan withdrawal at an upcoming summit, White House officials said Thursday. “The alliance needs to be more deployable and more adaptable and we’re taking those lessons learned from Afghanistan and integrating…

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