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What version/build of Firefox do you have? Firefox/3.0.6?

Also, check your about:config and filter by IDN, you should see a lot of settings there. Any of them not set to default?

Especially check this one: network.enableIDN

by default it is set to True.

What other Firefox addons do you have that might be parsing URLs before you visit them? Any?

Thanks a lot for the feedback!

Firefox 3.0.6

  network.enableIDN;false (user set)
Addons that can modify urls:

  NoScript, AdBlock Plus
I guess it's probably NoScript that disabled IDN (internationalized domain names). I don't remember doing it manually.

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