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Hong Kong riot police clear protest site, arrest student leaders

Hong Kong protestersHong Kong police on Wednesday cleared one of the largest protest sites that has choked the city for months, arresting scores of pro-democracy activists in what could be a turning point in the fight to wrest greater political freedom from Beijing's control.

Riot police clashed with protesters late into the evening as activists sought to regroup and regain lost ground.

Student leaders Joshua Wong and Lester Shum were among those arrested as hundreds of officers swept through the bustling area of Mong Kok, clearing barricades and tents that had blocked key roads in the Chinese-controlled city for more than two months.

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Canadian protesters defy authorities over Trans Mountain pipeline

pipeline protesters in CanadaA proposed pipeline expansion that would transport tar sands oil through a park in British Columbia has unified Canadians from all walks of life in their opposition to the project — which they said does not respect public opinion and could endanger both land and sea.

“I’ve never seen in my 30 years of being environmentally active an issue that so galvanizes so many people,” said John Bennet, executive director of Sierra Club Canada. “It’s absolutely clear that the public, not just a handful of crazies willing to get arrested, don’t want it.”

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Save the Children staff furious over ‘global legacy’ award for Tony Blair

Tony BlairThe charity Save the Children faces a backlash from staff after it presented Tony Blair with a “global legacy award” in New York last week – despite privately acknowledging that he is a controversial and divisive figure.

Amid widespread criticism on social media, many of the charity’s staff have complained that the presentation of the award has discredited Save the Children (STC). An internal letter, which gathered almost 200 signatures – including senior regional staff – in the first six hours of dissemination, said the award was not only “morally reprehensible, but also endangers our credibility globally”, and called for it to be withdrawn.

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Canadian government computers hacked

Canadian gov't hackedGovernment websites in Toronto and the Canadian capital of Ottawa have been disrupted by a string of cyber attacks.

The websites of Canada's Parliament and Supreme Court, the city of Ottawa, and the Ottawa and Toronto police have occasionally, this week, been overtaken by the image of a cartoon banana or an error message. The disruptions were traced to an individual or group using the name "Aerith" on a Twitter account, in support of an Ottawa teenager, unidentified according to Canadian law, who was charged with 60 criminal counts pertaining to making hoax phone calls across North America.

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Twin blasts kill dozens in Nigeria

Nigeria blastsTwo explosions by suspected female suicide bombers hit a crowded market in Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri on Monday, witnesses said, reportedly killing scores of people.

"There were two blasts, all suicide bombers," witness Sani Adamau told Reuters. "While the people were trying to help the injured the second bomb blasted, I saw lots of bodies."

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Iran nuclear talks extended seven months after failing to meet deadline

Iran nuclear talks extendedIran and six powers failed for a second time this year on Monday to resolve their 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear ambitions and gave themselves seven more months to overcome the deadlock that has prevented them from clinching an historic deal.

Western officials said they were aiming to secure an agreement on the substance of a final accord by March but that more time would be needed to reach a consensus on the all-important technical details.

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Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters barred from entering China

Hong Kong protestersAs Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement enters its second month, participants are realizing the penalty for their protest.

Some protesters, including three student leaders, have been denied entry into mainland China.

Alex Chow, a 24-year-old leader of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, was traveling with two protest leaders to Beijing on Saturday to meet with Chinese government officials when they were told at the airport that their travel permits, required for travel into China, had been cancelled.

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