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Saturday, Apr 19th

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Spain princess testifies in historic fraud probe

Spain princessSpain's Princess Cristina headed into court Saturday to testify in a historic judicial hearing aimed at helping determine whether she and her husband illegally used company funds for personal expenses, including lavish parties at their modernist Barcelona mansion.

Hundreds of protesters blew shrieking whistles, revved motorcycle engines, honked car horns and chanted "Out with the Spanish crown" just 100 meters (yards) from the side entrance of the courthouse where Cristina was dropped off in a modest Ford C-Max hatchback and filmed by a media horde.

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Sochi 2014 begins with teams, classical music and a flying girl

Sochi olympicsWith lights, floats and flying, Russia kicked off the opening ceremony in Sochi as the world turns its attention to the costliest Olympic Games in history.

Spectators from all over the world watched the introduction of athletes that marked the official start of the Winter Olympics.

Light shows and music, lots of it, filled the air, starting at exactly 8:14 p.m. local time, or 20:14 in military time.

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Polish investigators in CIA prison probe may seek Guantánamo visit

CIA secret prisonPolish prosecutors may seek access to terror suspects detained by the U.S. at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for direct questioning as part of an investigation into whether a secret CIA prison operated here in 2002-2003, an official said Thursday.

The prosecutors would need U.S. permission to question prisoners held at Guantánamo and are weighing whether to make the request. Washington has provided little help to Poland’s investigation, which was launched in 2008, and has already denied an appeal from Warsaw for assistance in gathering evidence.

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Hijacking of Turkish Aircraft to Sochi Foiled

Turkish planeA passenger aboard a commercial airline flight from Ukraine to Turkey tried to hijack it to Sochi, Russia, on Friday after the Winter Olympics had started there but the plane landed safely in Istanbul and the hijacker was taken into custody, Turkish news reports said.

The passenger, identified as a male Ukrainian national, claimed to be armed with a bomb, the Turkish television stations NTV and CNNTurk quoted a Transport Ministry undersecretary, Habib Soluk, as saying.

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Iran’s Hassan Rouhani donates $400,000 to Tehran Jewish hospital

RouhaniIranian President Hassan Rouhani donated as much as $400,000 to Tehran’s only Jewish hospital Thursday, his second such gesture since taking office.

“Our government intends to unite all ethnic groups and religions, so we decided to assist you,” said Hossein Fereydoon, Rouhani’s brother, according to the New York Times.
The Dr. Sapir Hospital and Charity Center was founded in 1942 and is the country’s only Jewish hospital.

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François Hollande attacks US tech firms' tax schemes

HollandeFrançois Hollande is to press Barack Obama on tax avoidance by big Silicon Valley companies such as Google, saying that the practice of shifting tax liabilities around Europe was "not acceptable".

Hollande will meet Obama on Monday as part of a two-day trip during which he will also meet firms including Google, Facebook and Twitter in Silicon Valley.

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3 Israeli settlers arrested for 'price tag' attack in Palestinian village

price tag attacksThree Israeli settlers were arrested Wednesday for allegedly carrying out so-called price tag vandalism in a neighboring Palestinian village, police said.

The attacks -- acts of random violence carried out by Jewish extremists against Palestinian property and members of Israel's security forces meant to exact a price for actions taken against controversial Jewish settlements -- left two cars torched in the West Bank village of Far'ata.

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