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CAIRO: Close to 100 women have fallen victim to “rampant” sexual attacks in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during four days of protests against Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila). It cited figures from the Egyptian Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault, which runs a hotline for…

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: The United States on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) said that it was gravely concerned about the health of a Korean-American sentenced to hard labor in North Korea who pleaded for help in a rare television interview. The State Department renewed appeals to Pyongyang to grant Kenneth Bae amnesty…

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NEW YORK CITY: The murder rate in New York fell by a quarter over the first half of 2013, compared to the year before—which already recorded the lowest number of murders in half a century. A total of 155 murders were committed between January and June 2013, compared to 206…

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BLANG MANCUNG: Rescuers battled through landslides and blocked roads on Wednesday to reach survivors from an earthquake in Indonesia’s Aceh province that has killed at least 22 people, including several children who died when a mosque collapsed. More than 200 people were also injured in Aceh’s remote, mountainous interior when…

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MIRANSHAH: A US drone attack struck a compound of the Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt on Wednesday, killing at least 17 militants, Pakistani officials said. Security officials said that Afghan and Pakistani militants were among the dead at the compound in the town of Miranshah, but that…

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KABUL: Pakistan could end the Afghan war “in weeks” if it were serious about peace, and is complicit in United States (US) drone strikes despite its denunciations of the anti-militant campaign, Afghanistan’s army chief says. In a British Broadcasting Corp. interview broadcast on Wednesday, Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi laid bare…

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SEOUL: Dozens of South Korean firms on Wednesday threatened to withdraw from a shuttered joint industrial zone in North Korea, complaining they fell victim to political bickering between the two Koreas. Representatives of the 123 South Korean companies with factories in Kaesong have repeatedly urged North and South Korea to…

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MONTREAL: Police have foiled a plot to bomb the parliament of British Columbia as tens of thousands gathered to celebrate Canada’s independence day, arresting two people allegedly “inspired by Al-Qaeda,” officials said on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila). John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody were detained on Monday, as the…

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SYDNEY: Australia’s new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd heads to Indonesia this week for his first foreign trip since retaking the leadership, but one in which the thorny domestic issue of asylum-seekers is set to figure prominently. Would-be refugees risking their lives journeying to Australia by boat, often from transit hubs…

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BEIJING: Authorities in China’s restive Xinjiang region have issued a “most wanted” list and offered rewards for tipoffs, a government website said on Wednesday, continuing the forceful official response to recent unrest ahead of a sensitive anniversary. After two violent incidents left at least 35 people dead last week, China…