World

Crisis-hit Italy cuts Christmas spending
Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ROME -- As Christmas nears, household spending continues to fall in crisis-plagued Italy.A recent report by consumer group Codacons said Christmas spending has dropped by as much as 45.5 percent since before the outbreak of the global economic crisis, Xinhua news agency reported....

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Under pressure Swiss banks eye Chinese wealth
Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Switzerland's banking sector, facing the end of the secrecy that was once the bedrock of its business, is turning to China as it seeks new markets for the future.

"One of the first ports that the Swiss financial centre is steering for... is the port of China," Claude-Alain Margelisch, chief executive of the Swiss Bankers Association, told reporters in Geneva this week.
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Russia prefers Asia over West in energy ties
Wednesday, December 10, 2014

NEW DELHI -- December 10, 2014: Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday he is seeking stronger energy ties with Asia over the West, amid tensions with the US and its European allies over the crisis in the Ukraine.
 
Putin is set to travel to India for talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right-wing government to expand already close energy and strategic ties with New Delhi....

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Philippines typhoon sparks calls for climate action
Sunday, December 7, 2014

While loved ones braced for the full impact of Typhoon Hagupit back home, Filipino activists in Lima urged climate negotiators Saturday to act with more urgency in drafting a global plan to limit such potentially life-threatening events.

"To us in the Philippines, we are not any more debating on whether or not the impacts of climate change are here, we have experienced it," Voltaire Alferez of the Aksyon Klima Pilipinas NGO grouping said on the sidelines of the talks....

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Millions evacuate as typhoon nears Philippines
Friday, December 5, 2014

TACLOBAN -- December 5, 2014: Millions of people in the Philippines began seeking shelter in churches, schools and other makeshift evacuation centres today as a monster typhoon bore down on the disaster-weary nation.
 
The storm, which would be the strongest to hit the Southeast Asian archipelago this year, is expected to impact more than half the nation including communities devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan last year....

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China to stop harvesting organs from executed prisoners
Friday, December 5, 2014

BEIJING -- Beginning Jan 1, China will stop the practice of using organs of executed prisoners for transplant operations.

Instead, all organs needed in transplants will come solely from voluntary donations from the citizens, reports China Daily.

Former vice-minister of health Huang Jiefu told a seminar on Wednesday...

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Another super typhoon heading to Philippines
Thursday, December 4, 2014

MANILA -- December 4, 2014: A super typhoon gained strength today as it tracked towards the Philippines, threatening more devastation for mostly poor communities where thousands of people have died in an annual tirade of mega storms. Weather forecasters warned that Hagupit, already generating wind gusts of 230 kilometres an hour, would continue to intensify as it swept in from the Pacific Ocean, and likely hit eastern islands on Saturday....

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OIC urges Muslim media to counter extremism
Thursday, December 4, 2014

TEHRAN -- Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) secretary-general Iyad Ameen Madani wants the Muslim media to strongly counter the discourse of extremism which had managed to attract Muslim youths under Islamic slogans which are not relevant to Islam.“We must address this extremist discourse, dismantle it and comprehend its background as well as the climate in which it emerged, its economic, social and religious contexts. ...

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WFP launches appeal for Syria after donors fail
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

ROME -- December 3, 2014: The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a social media campaign to raise the $64 million needed to help feed nearly 1.7 million refugees after donors failed to honour cash pledges. "Even one dollar can make a difference. We’re saying to people: 'For you it's a dollar, for them it's a lifeline'," WFP head Ertharin Cousin said in a statement. ...

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Hong Kong protest founders to surrender
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

HONG KONG -- December 2, 2014: The three original founders of Hong Kong's pro-democracy Occupy movement tearfully announced today they would surrender by turning themselves in to police and urged protesters still on the streets to retreat.
 
The announcement came after hundreds of pro-democracy protesters clashed with police late Sunday, leaving dozens injured in one of the worst nights of violence since rallies began over two months ago....

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