Tag: North Africa

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International

Dutch push back against “Black Pete” criticism

In this Nov. 18, 2012 file photo a child dressed as “Zwarte Piet” or “Black Pete”, right, watches a parade after St. Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, arrived by boat in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (AP Photo/ Margriet Faber, File) by Toby SterlingAssociated Press Writer AMSTERDAM (AP) — A Facebook page seeking to preserve the “Black Pete” clowns in blackface who accompany St. Nicholas to the Netherlands during the holidays has become the fastest-growing Dutch-language page ever, receiving 1 million “likes” in a single day. The mushrooming popularity of the “Pete-ition” page reflects the depth of emotional attachment most Dutch people — 90 percent of whom have European ancestry — feel to a figure that helped launch the tradition of Santa Claus.

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International

Doubts linger over Syria gas attack responsibility

In this Aug. 29, 2013 citizen journalism image provided by the Local Comity of Arbeen which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a member of a UN investigation team takes samples from the ground in the Damascus countryside of Zamalka, Syria. (AP Photo/Local Comity of Arbeen) by Kimberly DozierAssociated Press Writer BEIRUT (AP) — The U.S. government insists it has the intelligence to prove it, but the public has yet to see a single piece of concrete evidence produced by U.S. intelligence — no satellite imagery, no transcripts of Syrian military communications — connecting the government of President Bashar Assad to the alleged chemical weapons attack last month that killed hundreds of people.

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International

For Obama, world looks far different than expected

In this photo taken Aug. 22, 2013, President Barack Obama walks along the West Wing colonnade of the White House in Washington before traveling to New York and Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) by Julie PaceAP White House Correspondent WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly five years into his presidency, Barack Obama confronts a world far different from what he envisioned when he first took office. U.S. influence is declining in the Middle East as violence and instability rock Arab countries. An ambitious attempt to reset U.S. relations with Russia faltered and failed. Even in Obama-friendly Europe, there’s deep skepticism about Washington’s government surveillance programs.

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International

Death toll soars to 638 in Egypt violence

Injured supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi lie on the ground after Egyptian security forces clear a sit-in camp set up by supporters of Morsi in Nasr City district, Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Ahmed Gomaa) by Maggie Michael Associated Press Writer CAIRO (AP) — Weeping relatives in search of loved ones uncovered the faces of the bloodied, unclaimed dead in a Cairo mosque near the smoldering epicenter of support for ousted President Mohammed Morsi, as the death toll soared past 600 Thursday from Egypt’s deadliest day since the Arab Spring began.

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International

‘Africa Day’: In Ethiopia, African Union celebrates 50 years

US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Saturday May 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Jim Young, pool) by Kirubel TadesseADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The African Union on Saturday marked 50 years since the founding of a continentwide organization that helped liberate Africa from colonial masters and which now is trying to stay relevant on a continent regularly troubled by conflict.

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International

Egyptians targeted with blasphemy charges

This undated photo provided by the lawyer of Dimyana Abdel-Nour, shows Abdel-Nour, 24, a Coptic Christian teacher in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor in a family photo. (AP Photo) by Maggie Michael CAIRO (AP) — The pale, young Christian woman sat handcuffed in the courtroom, accused of insulting Islam while teaching history of religions to fourth-graders. A team of Islamist lawyers with long beards sang in unison, “All except the Prophet Muhammad.”