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Medvedev says 2.5 million Russians are drug addicts

IRKUTSK, Russia (AFP) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday called for drug testing in schools, warning that narcotics abuse was now such a major problem that it was weighing down the economy. Speaking at a government meeting in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, identified by officials as a particular…

Over 800 abuse cases reported in Austrian Catholic institutions

VIENNA — Over 800 cases of abuse in Catholic institutions in Austria have been reported so far, a commission tasked with investigating abuse cases announced on Wednesday. A total 837 abuse victims approached the commission, which was set up by the Austrian Catholic Church last year after it was hit…

Catholic group claims children raped by priests were ‘homosexual’ participants, not victims

The anti-gay Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is going on the attack against “those who are distorting the truth about priestly sexual abuse.” The group bought an expensive full-page ad in The New York Times Monday that places the blames for the church’s scandals on “homosexuality, not pedophilia.”…

Clergy sex allegations soar in the US

WASHINGTON – Allegations of sexual abuse involving the Roman Catholic clergy in the United States rose sharply last year to nearly 700 from around 400 in 2009, according to a church report Monday. The vast majority of the allegations, 653, involved alleged abuse that occurred decades ago but whose “victims/survivors…

Closing Iraq ‘torture prison’ not enough: HRW

BAGHDAD — The closure of a Baghdad detention facility at the centre of torture allegations is insufficient and authorities must probe and prosecute anyone implicated in the abuse, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday. “Closing torture prison won’t end abuse,” the New York-based rights watchdog headlined a statement referring to…

US Jesuits agree $166 million abuse payout

SEATTLE (AFP) – A US Jesuit order has agreed to pay $166 million to compensate some 500 mostly native American child victims of “horrific” sexual abuse at religious mission schools, lawyers said. The US Northwest chapter of the Rome-based Society of Jesus agreed to the payout — which lawyers said…

Ukraine ex-leader charged over reporter’s murder

KIEV – Ukraine on Thursday charged ex-president Leonid Kuchma over the 2000 murder of a journalist, its most notorious post-Soviet crime, amid doubts he could be jailed even if found guilty. Ukrainian prosecutors confirmed they had presented charges of “abuse of power” to Kuchma as he attended a second session…

Female protesters in Egypt tortured, subjected to ‘virginity test’: Amnesty

The international human rights group Amnesty International claimed Wednesday that a number of female protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square were rounded up by the Egyptian military and tortured recently. Some women even said they were subjected to a “virginity test” while soldiers looked on and took pictures. Amnesty said at…

‘War criminal!’: Ron Paul backers crash Cheney-Rumsfeld reunion

Supporters of libertarian Republican Ron Paul shouted down former Vice President Dick Cheney at a conservative conference Thursday, in a sign of a growing foreign policy rift on the American right. Cheney had appeared on the first day of the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference to introduce Donald Rumsfeld, the…

Leaked cables: Police brutality a ‘daily occurrence’ in Egyptian prisons

Leaked diplomatic cables released by secrets outlet WikiLeaks show that Egyptian police regularly torture suspects due to “unrelenting pressure” from their superiors to solve criminal investigations. The revealing documents were published amid mass protests in Egypt against President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year regime. During the fierce protests, Egyptians targeted police stations,…

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