Spanish PM pushes for new laws after graft scandal

MADRID - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Thursday pushed for the rapid adoption of new laws aimed at tightening political party accounting rules, after his health minister resigned in the latest in a string of corruption scandals.Ana Mato stepped down on Wednesday after being linked to an ...

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  • Teacher jailed for denying headscarved student entry

    , By AFP

    ISTANBUL - A prominent Turkish professor on Thursday began a jail sentence after being convicted of preventing a female student wearing a Muslim headscarf from entering the university where he worked, his lawyer said.Rennan Pekunlu, a former professor of astrophysics at Ege University, was ...

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  • Sarkozy tipped to lead party for presidency

    , By AFP

    PARIS - First the dramatic comeback, then the frenzied campaign, and now France’s ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy is limbering up for his potential springboard back into office: the leadership of his right-wing UMP party.Pollsters expect the 59-year-old to sail through a vote on Saturday to head ...

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  • Malaysia reverses vow to scrap sedition law

    , By AFP

    KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia’s prime minister on Thursday abandoned plans to repeal a controversial sedition law increasingly used against his regime’s political opponents, as the opposition warned of a lurch back to authoritarian rule.Prime Minister Najib Razak vowed in 2012 to abolish the ...

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  • Thirteen inmates dead of poisoning in Venezuela

    , By AFP

    CARACAS - Thirteen Venezuelan inmates who had been on a hunger strike over prison conditions died Wednesday after drinking a cocktail of prescription drugs and grain alcohol, the government said.Another 145 were being treated for poisoning after drinking the concoction, it added. An NGO put the ...

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  • 700 migrants begin disembarking on Crete

    , By AFP

    IERAPETRA, Greece - Around 700 migrants aboard a freighter that had been drifting in the Aegean Sea for two days began disembarking on the Greek island of Crete on Thursday, local officials said.The migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, include ‘a lot of women and children’, ...

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  • India announces new visa rules to boost tourism

    , By AFP

    NEW DELHI - Tourists travelling to India from 43 countries including the US will no longer have to queue at their local consulates to obtain visas after New Delhi announced Thursday a long-awaited easing of border controls.Tourists from countries including Australia, Brazil, Germany and Japan will ...

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  • PM under pressure as net migration to UK surges

    , By AFP

    LONDON - Net migration to Britain rose by more than 40 percent in the year to June, official data released Thursday showed, putting pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to demand EU migrant curbs.The difference between the number of migrants arriving and those leaving rose to 260,000, up from ...

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  • The strange tale of pardoned White House turkeys

    , By AFP

    Jérôme CARTILLIER - It is an odd tradition, to be sure. Every year, on the eve of Thanksgiving, the president of the United States ‘pardons’ a turkey at the White House.For the sixth time, Barack Obama did the job on Wednesday, sparing a bird at a ceremony at which he was ...

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  • New US shooting in spotlight as Ferguson calms

    , By AFP

    FERGUSON/London - Video of US police officers shooting dead a 12-year-old black boy with a replica gun seconds after confronting him has stoked anger in the country as protests in Ferguson dwindled following two days of unrest.Surveillance video released Wednesday showed that the boy, Tamir Rice, ...

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  • India ‘raped’ girls found hanging killed selves

    , By AFP

    NEW DELHI - Two girls found hanging earlier this year in northern India committed suicide and were not gang-raped and murdered as previously thought, federal investigators said Thursday.The cousins, aged 12 and 14, were found hanging from a tree in an impoverished village in Uttar Pradesh state in ...

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  • Nigeria bus station blast kills 40 people

    , By Reuters

    YOLA - A roadside bomb tore through a bus station near a busy junction in northeast Nigeria, killing 40 people including five soldiers, witnesses and a security source on the scene said.The security source and witness Abubakar Adamu, a mechanic who narrowly avoided being blown up himself, said the ...

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  • Winter storms bring fresh misery to Gaza war homeless

    , By AFP

    Hazel Ward and Mai YaghiGAZA CITY, Palestinian TerritoriesAs the wind whistles through gaping holes in her ruined house, 62-year-old Suad al-Zaza and her daughter huddle together for warmth on a bed made of a wooden door laid on breeze blocks.‘I wake up cold, I sleep on the bed, afraid that ...

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  • US shifting air power from Afghanistan

    , By SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT/AFP

    NEW YORK/Kabul - The United States is boosting its aerial campaign against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, shifting more attack and surveillance aircraft from Afghanistan to a base in Kuwait, according to a media report.Military officials say that a dozen A-10 ground-attack planes have ...

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  • Iraqi forces hold off militant attack on Ramadi

    , By AFP

    BAGHDAD - Iraqi security forces have held off a militant assault on a government headquarters in troubled Anbar province, deploying reinforcements in the key battleground against the Islamic State group, officers said Thursday.Pro-government troops, backed by tribesmen, managed to defend the ...

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  • China has no overseas bases

    , By AFP

    BEIJING - China’s defence ministry said Thursday that the country has no military bases overseas, despite speculation that its armed forces seek to eventually establish facilities abroad.‘Currently, China has constructed no military base overseas,’ ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng ...

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  • Interpol launches hunt for former ‘Putin banker’

    , By AFP

    MOSCOW - Interpol has launched a hunt for a powerful Kremlin insider turned critic who was once known as ‘Putin’s banker’ but more recently ran into bankruptcy and fled the country. Russian authorities accuse Sergei Pugachyov of stealing state money issued to support his ...

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  • Afghan suicide attack hits UK embassy car in Kabul

    , By Online

    Kabul- A suicide bomber today hit a UK embassy vehicle, in the Afghan capital Kabul. At least five Afghan were killed and about 30 people - including embassy staff - were injured, officials say. Some reports suggest most of the victims were bystanders. The Taliban say they carried out the attack. ...

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  • Nine Indian soldiers indicted for killing two in occupied J&K

    , By Online

    Srinagar- Nine Indian soldiers have been indicted for killing two youth in occupied Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district on November 3. They will face court martial, Indian Army said today.  "Nine soldiers of the 53 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), including a junior commissioned officer, have been ...

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  • Ebola vaccine from Glaxo passes early safety test

    , By Reuters

    NEW YORK - An experimental Ebola vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline caused no serious side effects and produced an immune response in all 20 healthy volunteers who received it in an early-stage clinical trial, scientists reported on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The trial, which ...

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  • Staff backlash over charity's award for Tony Blair

    , By AFP

    LONDON - Almost 200 staff at the global charity Save the Children have signed a letter condemning its decision to give former British prime minister Tony Blair an award for his work on debt relief.The signatures were collected after the US branch of the charity handed Blair its "Global Legacy ...

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  • Top UN relief official Valerie Amos to step down

    , By Special Correspondent

    UNITED NATIONS - Valerie Amos, the top relief official at the United Nations, who has grappled with some of the most intractable humanitarian disasters in her four years on the job, is resigning, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced Wednesday.In a brief statement, the secretary-general gave no ...

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  • Australian treatment could save wounded soldiers

    , By AFP

    SYDNEY - Australian scientists Wednesday said they have developed a "breakthrough treatment" to help soldiers severely wounded in battle, with the US to fund further research.Researchers claim it could be the first big advance in treating battlefield casualties since the Vietnam War, with the ...

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  • Passengers get out and push frozen Siberian plane

    , By AFP

    MOSCOW - Siberian air passengers had to get out and push their plane in temperatures of minus 52 degrees Celsius after its chassis froze, Russian prosecutors said Wednesday.The extraordinary story emerged after a passenger posted a video on YouTube showing a group of cheery travellers pushing the ...

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