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Switzerland’s ‘magic formula’ for democratic stability

By   /  October 15, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Switzerland’s ‘magic formula’ for democratic stability

GENEVA: The Swiss, who will vote Sunday in parliamentary elections, enjoy one of the world’s most stable democracies, based on direct votes, decentralisation and a unique power-sharing agreement dubbed “the magic formula”. Famous for its direct democratic system, which allows citizens to voice their opinions on a range of issues in plebiscites every three months, […]

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No impunity for Burkina troops who shot civilians: Amnesty

By   /  October 15, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on No impunity for Burkina troops who shot civilians: Amnesty

OUAGADOUGOU: Amnesty International on Wednesday said there can be no impunity for Burkina Faso troops who shot dead unarmed civilians including children in the days following their Sept 17 coup. The troops from the west African nation’s presidential guard, the RSP, “displayed a cold-blooded disregard for human life, killing 14 unarmed protesters and bystanders and […]

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British Ebola nurse suffers relapse

By   /  October 15, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on British Ebola nurse suffers relapse

LONDON: A British nurse who was successfully treated in January after contracting Ebola in Sierra Leone is now “critically ill” due to a resurgence of the virus, the hospital treating her said on Wednesday. “We are sad to announce that Pauline Cafferkey’s condition has deteriorated and she is now critically ill. Pauline is being treated […]

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US repatriates 50 Cubans caught at sea

By   /  October 15, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on US repatriates 50 Cubans caught at sea

MIAMI: Fifty Cubans caught trying to reach US shores in rickety vessels were repatriated this week, the Coast Guard said Wednesday. These Cubans were rescued in five separate interventions over the past few days, it said, warning Cubans not to attempt the dangerous crossing of the shark-infested Florida Straits. Cuban migrants, unlike those from any […]

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Israel unveils new measures to halt Palestinian attacks

By   /  October 15, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Israel unveils new measures to halt Palestinian attacks

JERUSALEM: Israel on Wednesday announced further drastic measures to try to end a wave of Palestinian attacks, easing firearms laws for Israelis and stripping some east Jerusalem residents of their residency permits. Hours after police set up checkpoints in Palestinian neighbourhoods of annexed east Jerusalem, Interior Minister Silvan Shalom said he was revoking the residency […]

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Autopsy lifts veil on iconic Burkina Faso leader’s killing

By   /  October 14, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Autopsy lifts veil on iconic Burkina Faso leader’s killing

OUAGADOUGOU: An autopsy on the supposed remains of Burkina Faso’s iconic former president Thomas Sankara (pix) showed he was “riddled with bullets” during a 1987 coup that brought longtime leader Blaise Compaore to power, lawyers said Tuesday. Nearly three decades after his death, remains believed to be those of Sankara and 12 former aides were […]

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Hong Kong murder trial date set for British banker

By   /  October 14, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Hong Kong murder trial date set for British banker

HONG KONG: A British banker accused of murdering two Indonesian women who were found mutilated in his upscale Hong Kong apartment will face trial next year for the killings. Rurik Jutting (pix), a 30-year-old former Bank of America Merrill Lynch employee, has been charged with two counts of murder and is yet to enter a […]

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MH17 wreckage reveals horror of plane’s last moments

By   /  October 14, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on MH17 wreckage reveals horror of plane’s last moments

GILZE-RIJEN: A partial reconstruction of a Malaysia Airlines jet made of wreckage found strewn across eastern Ukraine told the graphic story Tuesday of its violent last moments after being hit by a surface-to-air missile. Dutch-led air crash investigators concluded some of the 298 people on board may have known for up to 90 seconds after […]

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Clinton fends off rivals in first Democratic debate

By   /  October 14, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Clinton fends off rivals in first Democratic debate

LAS VEGAS: Hillary Clinton (pix) emerged unscathed from the first Democratic debate of the 2016 campaign Tuesday, cutting a calm and confident figure as she sparred with her rivals for the White House. The presidential frontrunner parried jabs by Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and three other party hopefuls, who challenged her on everything from political […]

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Canada election winner to set new climate direction

By   /  October 14, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Canada election winner to set new climate direction

MONTREAL: After nearly two decades of foot-dragging on carbon emissions, the winner of Canada’s upcoming legislative elections will negotiate new CO2 cuts at year-end talks in Paris. But it is unclear if Canada – which under the incumbent government became the first nation to withdraw from the landmark 1997 Kyoto Protocol – will change tack […]

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Russian missile maker disputes Dutch MH17 inquiry findings

By   /  October 14, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Russian missile maker disputes Dutch MH17 inquiry findings

MOSCOW: The Russian maker of BUK missiles on Tuesday sought to discredit findings of an official inquiry into the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet over rebel-held eastern Ukraine last year. International investigators have concluded after a 15-month probe that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a Russian-made BUK fired from rebel-held eastern […]

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Myanmar drops proposed election delay (Updated)

By   /  October 14, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Myanmar drops proposed election delay (Updated)

YANGON: Myanmar election authorities Tuesday confirmed that landmark polls would go ahead on Nov 8 in a national broadcast, after Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition rejected official suggestions that the vote be postponed because of flooding. In an announcement read out on state media the Union Election Commission said it had decided to go ahead […]

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EU lawmakers reject GM crop compromise

By   /  October 14, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on EU lawmakers reject GM crop compromise

BRUSSELS: EU lawmakers rejected Tuesday a hard-won compromise which allows member states to decide for themselves whether or not to import Genetically Modified Organisms for use in food and animal feed. The European Parliament’s environmental committee voted 47 to 3 to reject the European Commission’s proposal but did so on technical grounds, not the health […]

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Is ‘Vatileaks’ back? Letter mystery at Church synod

By   /  October 14, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Is ‘Vatileaks’ back? Letter mystery at Church synod

VATICAN CITY: The leak of a private letter from rebellious cardinals to Pope Francis has revived a cloak-and-dagger atmosphere at the Vatican, with the spectre of “Vatileaks” and a butler’s betrayal rearing its ugly head. The letter, delivered by Australian Cardinal George Pell, was allegedly signed by 13 conservative cardinals who accused the pontiff of […]

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Austria jails ‘atrocious’ human trafficker

By   /  October 14, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Austria jails ‘atrocious’ human trafficker

VIENNA: A human trafficker who crammed 42 migrants into just 6m² in the back of a lorry was sentenced to three years in jail in Austria on Tuesday. “It’s not difficult to imagine what it was like with 42 people squashed into 6m²,” presiding judge Xenia Krapfenbauer said, calling it an “atrocious case of trafficking”. […]

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Two Tunisia soldiers killed in clash with jihadists: Ministry

By   /  October 13, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Two Tunisia soldiers killed in clash with jihadists: Ministry

TUNIS: Two Tunisian soldiers were killed and four wounded in a clash with jihadists in a western region near the Algerian border on Monday, the defence ministry said. Tunisia has faced an upsurge in jihadist violence since its 2011 revolution that has cost the lives of several dozen soldiers and police, with most attacks claimed […]

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Portugal opposition leader raises prospect of leftist coalition govt

By   /  October 13, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Portugal opposition leader raises prospect of leftist coalition govt

LISBON: The head of Portugal’s main opposition Socialists on Monday raised the prospect of forming an “alternative government” with two other leftist parties, after inconclusive elections saw the ruling centre-right fall short of an outright victory. The Socialists came second in the Oct 4 polls, trailing Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s Portugal Ahead coalition which […]

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Guinea opposition demands presidential vote be annulled

By   /  October 13, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Guinea opposition demands presidential vote be annulled

CONAKRY: Guinea’s opposition on Monday called for a re-run of the weekend’s first-round presidential vote, condemning the ballot as fraudulent even before the results were in and pledging to take to the streets in protest. Voters appeared to have turned out in massive numbers for Sunday’s ballot, which was only the second democratic presidential election […]

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UN special tribunal sought for peacekeeper sex crimes

By   /  October 13, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on UN special tribunal sought for peacekeeper sex crimes

UNITED NATIONS, United States: A 400-page UN report out Monday calls for the creation of a special international tribunal to judge peacekeepers accused of serious crimes, including sex crimes. The call follows a series of sex scandals among the “blue helmet” troops on peace missions in Africa, especially in the Central African Republic. The report […]

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Tear gas and stone-throwing as police question Kosovo MP

By   /  October 13, 2015  /  World  /  Comments Off on Tear gas and stone-throwing as police question Kosovo MP

PRISTINA: Police in Kosovo fired tear gas Monday on dozens of protesters who threw stones and smashed windows after a leading opposition MP was taken in for questioning. Albin Kurti, who founded the Self-Determination party and last week released tear gas in Kosovo’s parliament in protest at agreements reached with Serbia, was held in a […]

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