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Ex-warlord emerges as kingmaker after Liberian vote

Notorious ex-warlord Prince Johnson, who was filmed ordering his men to cut off the ears of dictator Samuel Doe two decades ago, has emerged as a surprising kingmaker in Liberia’s presidential election. Placing a strong third with half the polling stations tallied, the 59-year old former rebel leader looks like…

Gorbachev says Bush warned him of ’91 coup

The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, said Monday that former US president George H.W. Bush had warned him about his safety a few weeks before Communist hardliners staged their August 1991 coup. The ex-Soviet president and Nobel Peace Prize winner said on the eve of the failed plot’s 20th anniversary…

Soviet dissident Yelena Bonner dies in U.S.

MOSCOW (AFP) – Soviet dissident Yelena Bonner, the widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov and tireless critic of Vladimir Putin, has died aged 88 in her adopted home in the United States. A pediatrician by training but a historic figure in life, Bonner died on Saturday in Boston…

Dalai Lama rejects role as ‘symbolic’ head of state

DHARAMSHALA, India — Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has rejected an offer to become the “symbolic” head of state, a Tibetan official said Wednesday. Samdhong Rinpoche, outgoing premier of the Tibetan government-in-exile, said the Nobel Peace Prize winner had “explained” his reasons for turning down the ceremonial job. A…

Air Force Academy should drop ‘Lord’s army’ speaker for prayer luncheon, religious freedom advocate demands

The US Air Force Academy should withdraw its invitation for a former Marine to address the Academy’s National Prayer Luncheon next month, according to a religious freedom advocacy group. “Egregiously sectarian statements like [those] from former Lt. McClary blatantly exclude not only non-Christians, but also the many Christians who do…

FBI: MLK parade bomb may have been racially motivated

Even decades after his death, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. may be setting fanatics on edge as a result of his revolutionary role in the Civil Rights Movement. An incident Monday involving a bomb planted on the route of a Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane, Washington…

Myanmar ‘preparing for Suu Kyi release’

Preparations are under way for the expected release of Myanmar’s detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, officials said on Wednesday, after the army’s proxies claimed a landslide election win. The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has spent most of the past two decades locked up, is due to be…

Israeli forces board Rachel Corrie aid boat, no casualties reported

Update: Rachel Corrie docked in Israel; Netanyahu praises operation The Rachel Corrie aid ship docked in Israel on Saturday after being prevented from reaching Gaza, with no repetition of the bloody violence that erupted when commandos stormed another aid boat earlier in the week. The Irish-owned 1,200-tonne vessel was escorted…

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