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Iraq's main Sunni bloc suspends government talks PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

Iraq's main Sunni Arab political bloc said on Wednesday it had suspended talks to rejoin the Shi'ite-led government after a disagreement with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki over a cabinet post, reports Reuters.

Persuading the bloc to rejoin has been a main aim of U.S. policy in Iraq and is widely seen as a vital step in reconciling the country's factions after years of conflict. Sunni Arabs have little voice in a cabinet dominated by Shi'ites and Kurds.

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Tibet dissident writer under cyber-attack PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

REUTERS, BEIJING) - A Beijing-based Tibetan dissident writer who has been writing about the unrest there has come under cyber-attack to silence her, and possibly implicate her associates, her husband and activists said on Wednesday.

Hackers stole Woeser's Skype identity on Tuesday and impersonated her in instant message exchanges with her Skype contacts, apparently to trick her 170-odd contacts into revealing politically sensitive information which could then be used to trump up charges against them, Wang Lixiong told Reuters.

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Obama admits reference to Auschwitz was wrong PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

REUTERS, WASHINGTON,- Democrat Barack Obama admitted on Tuesday he was wrong to say his uncle helped liberate the Nazis' Auschwitz concentration camp after Republicans said Soviet troops freed the camp.

Obama's campaign said the candidate meant to say that his great-uncle, Charlie Payne, had helped liberate a part of the Buchenwald camp, not Auschwitz.

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China seeks Japan military help after quake PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

REUTERS, TOKYO- China has asked Japan to send its military to help with rescue operations after a devastating earthquake this month that killed more than 67,000 people, Japan's foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Tokyo is considering its response to the request, which came on Tuesday, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

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Obama, McCain both need abortion issue PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

REUTERS, DALLAS - Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain has one ace up his sleeve in his bid to woo disgruntled conservative Christians: his unflinching opposition to abortion rights.

His likely Democratic opponent in the November White House election, Barack Obama, firmly supports abortion rights.
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US seeks progress from North Korea talks PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

REUTERS, BEIJING - The top US envoy in nuclear negotiations with North Korea said he hoped talks in the Chinese capital on Wednesday would help bring "definitive progress" on a long-delayed disarmament agreement.

Speaking before talks with his North Korean counterpart, US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said he wanted the fresh round of negotiations to help set a time for completing a preliminary disarmament deal sealed in February 2007.

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Bush was not `forthright' on Iraq: ex-spokesman PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

REUTERS, WASHINGTON- Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan says in a new book that President George W Bush "veered terribly off course" and was not "open and forthright on Iraq," Politico.com reported on Tuesday.

In the memoir due out next week, McClellan also says Bush relied on "propaganda" to sell the war and says the Washington press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to it, according to the Web site.

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Brown calls for global action on oil price PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

REUTERS, LONDON - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned on Wednesday that the world was facing an oil "shock" and would find there was no easy answer to price rises without coordinated global action.

Brown, who saw hundreds of protesting British truck drivers cause road chaos in the capital on Tuesday as they demanded government help over rising fuel prices, said he understood the impact on families across the country, but only a comprehensive international strategy would work in bringing oil prices down.
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Truck plunges into ravine, kills 14 Afghans PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

REUTERS, FAIZABAD, Afghanistan - Fourteen Afghans were killed and 52 injured on Wednesday when a truck packed with mostly women and children plunged into a ravine in the northeastern province of Badakhshan, a traffic official said.

The early morning accident happened on a narrow road in a district of the province that lies along the border with China and Tajikistan, said Mohammad Ibrahim, head of provincial traffic.

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No new evidence of al Qaeda threat despite report: US PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

REUTERS, WASHINGTON- There is no evidence of a direct threat from al Qaeda or that the group has obtained weapons of mass destruction, US intelligence officials said on Tuesday, despite reports that al Qaeda will release a new video urging jihadists to use such weapons to attack the West.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said the bureau sent out an alert to US law enforcement agencies about the expected video. "We got information the tape is coming," he said. "We sent out an alert to law enforcement to let them know the tape was coming."

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Musharraf can wait as Pakistan grapples with economy PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

Reuters, Islamabad - Too busy trying to rein in runaway inflation and a yawning current account deficit, Pakistan's new government has put the issue of how to rid itself of President Pervez Musharraf on a backburner.

After February's election stripped US ally Musharraf of parliamentary support there was a froth of expectation that the unpopular president, who came to power as a general in a 1999 coup, would be driven out of office soon.

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West dismayed over Suu Kyi detention PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

Western governments lashed out at the extension of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest, but the outrage at Myanmar's military rulers was tempered by concern over disrupting aid flows to desperate cyclone victims, reports Reuters.

The former Burma has been promised millions of dollars in Western aid after Cyclone Nargis, but this cut no ice with the generals regarding the opposition leader, who has been under house arrest or in prison for nearly 13 of the last 18 years.

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China 'quake lake' fears prompt new evacuation PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

China has evacuated more than 150,000 people living below an swollen lake formed by this month's devastating earthquake amid fears it could burst and trigger massive flooding, state media said on Wednesday, reports Reuters.  

The Tangjiashan lake was created when landslides caused by the May 12 earthquake blocked the Jianjiang river above the town and county of Beichuan in mountainous Sichuan province, near the epicentre of China's most destructive earthquake in decades.

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Lebanon`s Siniora set to lead new govt PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

Reuters, Beirut- Lebanon's parliamentary majority coalition agreed on Tuesday to nominate Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to form the country's first government under newly elected President Michel Suleiman.

The nomination, agreed at a late-night meeting of coalition leaders, means that US-backed Siniora will be appointed to head the new cabinet in which the Hezbollah-led opposition is guaranteed effective veto power.

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Gas prices keep climbing even as oil prices drop PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

AP, NEW YORK -- The gasoline price record keeps getting broken with each passing day. AAA puts the national average for a gallon of regular at a record $3.95. It's jumped 35 cents in the past month and is 76-cents-a-gallon higher than a year ago.

If you need premium, it's also never been more expensive. The auto club says the national average for premium is $4.35. That's an 84-cent-a-gallon jump over last year.

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Global food prices will ease, but stay high: OECD PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

AFP, PARIS - High global food prices are a new fact of life, a major report warned on Thursday, even though they should ease from the record levels behind recent widespread hunger protests.

The cost of feeding the family will remain far higher than in the past decade, the report on the outlook for global agriculture over the next 10 years forecast.

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Yahoo CEO says company is not 'under siege' PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

AP, CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Yahoo Inc. CEO Jerry Yang rejected the image of his company as ''under siege'' Wednesday, telling conference goers that executives are rallying to streamline Yahoo's offerings and make it more relevant to consumers and to advertisers.

Yahoo faces the threat of mutiny from shareholders unhappy with the way its board handled a takeover offer from Microsoft Corp. that was ultimately withdrawn this month.

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Monks turn office products into $4.5M business PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

AP, SPARTA, Wis. -- That'll be $117.95 for laser printer toner, $9.95 for free trade organic hot cocoa and $16.95 for fruit tarts.

The prayer for peace in your home? No charge.

LaserMonks Inc. sells everything from office and school supplies to gifts such as gourmet mustards and CDs of Gregorian chants. And the six monks of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank always make sure to pray for you, too.
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China earthquake shows state role in business PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 May 2008

AP, SHANGHAI, China  -- China's devastating earthquake will mean big write-offs for China's state-run banks. For refiners, it means export profits foregone for the sake of keeping domestic supplies steady.

In China, big business means state-owned business, and many such companies will profit from rebuilding contracts and other opportunities, while others will be absorbing huge losses from the disaster.

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Nepal set to abolish monarchy PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 May 2008

AFP, KATHMANDU - Nepal was set for historic change Wednesday with a new assembly dominated by former Maoist rebels poised to sweep away the Himalayan kingdom's 240-year-old monarchy and declare a republic.

Security was tight in the capital Kathmandu, with more than 1,500 police ringing a conference centre where the constitutional assembly is expected
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Pressure China on human rights post-Olympics: Amnesty PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 May 2008

AFP, LONDON - The world needs to maintain pressure on China for human rights reform after the Beijing Olympics, the head of Amnesty International said, as the group published its annual report Wednesday.

Irene Khan said China's growing weight as a world power means it can no longer ignore human rights both at home and abroad, after Western criticism of its involvement in hotspots like Sudan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar and North Korea.

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