Netanyahu defends top general in excessive force debate

By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM, Feb 21 : Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Israel’s military chief today after the general drew fire for saying he would not want soldiers confronting a wave of Palestinian stabbings to “empty a magazine” into a girl wielding scissors. One member of Netanyahu’s right-wing cabinet said Lieutenant-General Gabi Eisenkot’s remarks last […]

Scalia’s absence to be felt as US Supreme Court returns

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON, Feb 21 : The eight remaining members of the US Supreme Court will feel the absence of their late colleague Justice Antonin Scalia in more ways than one when they return to work tomorrow. A somber mood is expected as the court hears oral arguments in two cases, its first action […]

Pope calls for worldwide abolition of death penalty

By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY, Feb 21 : Pope Francis today called for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty, saying the commandment “You shall not kill” was absolute and equally valid for the guilty as for the innocent. Using some of his strongest words ever against capital punishment, he also called on Catholic politicians […]

PM Cameron implores London Mayor Boris not to join EU leave campaign

By William James and William Schomberg LONDON, Feb 21 : Prime Minister David Cameron today implored Boris Johnson not to join the campaign for a British exit from the European Union as the charismatic London mayor prepares to declare his stance on membership. Cameron called a June 23 referendum after clinching a deal from other […]

Fiji super cyclone kills five, raises fears of health crisis

By Jane Wardell and Colin Packham SYDNEY, Feb 21 : Downed power lines and flooding are hampering relief efforts in Fiji after one of the most powerful storms recorded in the southern hemisphere tore through the Pacific island nation, flattening remote villages and killing at least five people. Harsh winds and torrential rains tore up […]