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Swiss couple kidnapped in SW Pakistan: official

A Swiss couple have been kidnapped while travelling in southwestern Pakistan, a senior government official said on Friday, triggering a police search. They were kidnapped in a district 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of Quetta, the capital of sparsely populated Baluchistan province, the official said. “We have received reports that two…

Gunmen in Mexico kill 17 as FIFA tournament opens

MONTERREY, Mexico (AFP) – At least 17 people were killed in a string of attacks in Mexico, authorities said Sunday, including a shooting at a bar in Monterrey just hours after the opening of soccer’s Under-17 World Cup. Gunmen stormed the bar in Mexico’s third largest city late Saturday and…

U.N. backs equal rights for gays

GENEVA (Reuters) – The top U.N. human rights body declared Friday there should be no discrimination or violence against people based on their sexual orientation, a vote Western countries called historic but Islamic states firmly rejected. The controversial resolution marked the first time that the Human Rights Council recognized the…

Clinton accuses Gaddafi of using rape as a tool

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused the forces of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi on Thursday of using rape and violence against women as “tools of war.” Clinton said the United States was “deeply concerned” by reports of widescale rape in Libya and “troubled” by reports that governments…

Obama calls for ceasefire in Sudan

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama is calling on Sudan’s warring factions to end the bloody violence threatening a peace agreement as the south gears up for independence due in three weeks. “There is no military solution,” Obama said in an audio message recorded late Tuesday for the publicly-funded VOA…

U.S. ‘strongly’ condemns Syria crackdown

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday stepped up its condemnation of Syria’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests and again called on its president to allow for a political transition or step aside. “We have called on President Bashar al-Assad to cease the violence. We strongly condemn, in the strongest possible…

Mexican peace activist: ‘US must admit their responsibility for violence in Mexico’

EL PASO, Texas (AFP) – A week-long Mexican peace caravan crossed the border into El Paso, Texas on Saturday as protest leader and poet Javier Sicilia called on the US to do more in the fight against drug-related violence in Mexico. “The United States must admit their responsibility in the…

Egypt to put 48 on trial for church clash

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s public prosecutor said it had referred 48 Muslims and Christians to criminal court on Saturday for their roles in sectarian violence that led to the burning of a church in the Cairo district of Imbaba on May 7. The clashes, in which 12 people were killed…

Sudan ‘open’ to talks over violence in Abyei

KHARTOUM (AFP) – Khartoum’s chief Abyei negotiator has said the northern government is “open” to negotiations with south Sudan over the contested border region and announced talks will resume on Saturday. “We are open to negotiations,” Al-Dirdiri Mohammed Ahmed, the National Congress Party’s chief negotiator on Abyei, told AFP. Dirdiri…

Five killed in Baghdad rocket attacks

BAGHDAD — Three members of the same family and two other people were killed in violence in the capital and northern Iraq on Sunday, including a string of Baghdad rocket attacks, a security official said. In the deadliest incident, gunmen wearing police uniforms stormed a family home in the Bayaa…

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