Rival groups march over king’s reforms in Morocco

CASABLANCA, Morocco,  (Reuters) – Thousands of rival  demonstrators marched through cities in Morocco yesterday over  constitutional reforms proposed by King Mohammed after unrest  inspired by “Arab Spring” uprisings in the Arab world.

Afghan MPs hit back on court ruling, crisis deepens

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s political crisis worsened yesterday with lawmakers voting to sack the five most senior judicial officials and international consternation growing after a presidential tribunal threw out a quarter of parliament.

Ex-Ukraine PM to go on trial for abuse of power

KIEV (Reuters) – Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko must stand trial next Wednesday on a charge of abuse of power, a judge ruled in a pre-trial hearing late yesterday.

France bans UK garden firm’s seeds in E.coli scare

PARIS (Reuters) – At least two people suffering from E.coli in the French city of Bordeaux have the strain that caused scores of deaths in Germany, French authorities said, and they halted sales of vegetable seeds from a British gardening firm.

Prominent Chinese dissident Hu Jia released from jail

- wife

BEIJING (Reuters) – One of China’s most prominent dissidents, Hu Jia, was reunited with his family in the early hours today after serving three and a half-years in jail on subversion charges, his wife said.

NATO says hit military targets in Libya’s Brega

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – NATO missiles hit a site in Libya used by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces to stockpile military supplies and vehicles, the alliance said yesterday, adding it was unaware of 15 civilian deaths reported by state media.

Boehner faces huge stakes in US debt debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican John Boehner faces his greatest test yet as the leader of the US House of Representatives, one that may determine his political fate and the country’s fiscal well-being.

Peru protesters shut airport after deadly clash

LIMA (Reuters) – Thousands of protesters opposed to mining and energy projects in southern Peru took over a commercial airport yesterday, officials said, as the government struggled to restore calm a day after five died in a clash with police.

National impact from New York marriage law: experts

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When New York became the sixth and by far the largest state to legalize same-sex marriage, following a grueling overtime session in the state Legislature on Friday, it immediately transformed the national debate over the issue, legal experts said.

Global diabetes epidemic balloons to 350 million

LONDON/SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – The number of adults with diabetes worldwide has more than doubled since 1980 to 347 million, a far larger number than previously thought and one that suggests costs of treating the disease will also balloon.

Israelis sentenced for theft of Auschwitz mementoes

WARSAW (Reuters) – An Israeli couple ha ve been given suspended jail sentences for the theft of historic artefacts from the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz, Poland’s PAP news agency quoted a prosecutor as saying yesterday.

Syrian forces kill 5 civilians in clampdown

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian security forces shot dead five civilians during funerals which turned into protests against President Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Ex-Bolivian anti-drug chief pleads guilty in Miami

MIAMI, (Reuters) – A former top Bolivian anti-drug  official pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of conspiring to  smuggle cocaine into the United States in a case that has  proved a major embarrassment for Bolivia’s President Evo  Morales.

EU green plan backfires, carbon price slumps

LONDON, (Reuters) – A European plan to raise funds  for clean energy has backfired spectacularly, helping trigger a  rout on its carbon trading scheme and so cutting available green  funds and benefiting polluting coal plants.

Phone gives clues to bin Laden’s Pakistan links-NYT

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – A cell phone found in the  raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan contained contacts  to a militant group with ties to Pakistan’s intelligence  agency, The New York Times reported on Thursday, citing senior  U.S.

Reuters World News Highlights

ATHENS/FRANKFURT – Banks and policymakers moved closer to a  deal yesterday to help Athens secure funds ahead of a  parliamentary vote on austerity next week that Greek Prime  Minister George Papandreou must win to avert default.

Woman minister guilty of genocide in Rwanda

DAR ES SALAAM,  (Reuters) – The U.N. war crimes  tribunal for Rwanda sentenced former minister Pauline  Nyiramasuhuko to life in prison on Friday, the first time a  woman has been found guilty of genocide by an international  court.

Venezuela’s Chavez reappears on Twitter from Cuba

CARACAS,  (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo  Chavez, not seen in public for two weeks, ended his unusual  silence with several Twitter messages yesterday, but said  nothing about his health after an operation in Cuba.

‘Columbo’ actor Peter Falk dead at 83

LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) – Peter Falk, star of the  1970s hit TV drama “Columbo,” whose role as the rumpled  detective of the same name earned him four Emmys, has died  after years of battling Alzheimer’s disease.

Mexican ex-presidents lead debate on legalizing drugs

MEXICO CITY, (Reuters) – Once praised lavishly by  the United States for waging a war on drugs, Mexico’s last two  presidents now say legalizing them may be the best way to end  the rising violence the U.S.-backed campaign has unleashed.

Egyptian pleads guilty to abusing Guyanese hotel maid in NY

NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – A former Egyptian banker  pleaded guilty in a New York court yesterday to a criminal  charge that he sexually abused a hotel maid and now faces a  multimillion dollar civil suit in connection with the case.

Mexican president apologizes to drug war victims

MEXICO CITY, (Reuters) – President Felipe Calderon  apologized to victims of Mexico’s war on drugs in an emotional  meeting with bereaved families yesterday that sought to try  and quell rising anger over violence sweeping the nation.

Senegal’s Wade withdraws poll bill as protests rage

DAKAR, (Reuters) – Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade  backed down on a proposed change to the election rules yesterday, completely withdrawing a bill that sparked violent  clashes between riot police and protesters in the capital.

Oslo backs Jakarta’s forest plan, despite hurdles

OSLO,  (Reuters) – Norway backed Indonesia’s drive to  slow deforestation yesterday under a $1 billion deal with Oslo  even though Jakarta said it faced a “maze” of reforms and lacks  maps to pin down exact conservation areas.