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Settlers Set Fire to West Bank Mosque PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 October 2010

Palestinians accused Jewish settlers of setting fire to a West Bank mosque on Monday, an incident that coincided with US efforts to rescue peace talks halted by a dispute over settlement building.

Fifteen Korans and the mosque's carpet were burned, said Ali Thawabti, a municipal council official in the village of Beit Fajjar.

He said residents put out the fire and "settlers got into their white Peugeot and sped away."

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India Ratifies Regional Services Deal, Urges Others PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 19 September 2010

India has ratified the SAARC Agreement on Trade in Services and called upon other members of the South Asian bloc to do the same at the earliest to boost economic cooperation.

India's external affairs minister S M Krishna said that services trade should strengthen the region's economic cooperation further by expanding intra-regional investment and production opportunities.

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10 Killed in Afghan Votes PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 19 September 2010

A string of attacks hit Afghanistan's parliamentary election on Saturday, killing at least 10 people as the Taliban tried to disrupt a poll that is testing the credibility of the government and security forces.

Voters appeared hesitant to go to polling stations after a series of rocket strikes across the country. In the worst attack, police said the Taliban killed one Afghan soldier and six pro-government militiamen in a raid on a security outpost next to a polling station in northern Baghlan province.

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US-Saudi Arms Deal to Tackle Iran PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The Obama administration will soon notify Congress of an arms sale to Saudi Arabia worth up to $60 billion, U.S. officials said on Monday, a potentially record-breaking deal that may help counter Iran's growing regional muscle.

A senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he expected the Saudis to initially commit to $30 billion to upgrade their fleet of aircraft, but that could double. Still, the final figure was unclear.

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Iran Suspends Woman's Stoning Execution PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 September 2010

Iranian authorities have suspended the execution by stoning of a woman convicted of adultery, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday, after weeks of condemnation from around the world.

"The verdict regarding the extramarital affairs has stopped and it's being reviewed," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told Iran's state-run English-language Press TV.

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Guatemala Landslides Bury up to 100 People PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 06 September 2010

A massive landslide buried up to 100 people in Guatemala trying to dig out a bus caught in deep mud as torrential rains battered the country.

The weekend death toll from slides and flooding caused by the rains has already reached 36 and the fire department said on Sunday that up to another 100 people may have been buried by a second slide on a major highway outside the capital.

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Bomb Kills 54 in Pakistan PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 September 2010

A suicide bomber struck a rally in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Friday, killing at least 54 people in the second major attack this week and piling pressure on a US-backed government overwhelmed by a flood crisis.

Pakistan's Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast and said it would launch attacks in the United States and Europe "very soon" -- repeating a threat to strike Western targets in response to drone attacks that have targeted its leadership.

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Emergency Declared as 7.1 Quake Hits NZ PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 September 2010

Authorities declared a state of emergency after a major earthquake hit New Zealand's second biggest city, Christchurch, early on Saturday, bringing down power lines, ripping up roads and wrecking building facades, but authorities reported no deaths.

A formal civil defence state of emergency was imposed to coordinate recovery operations in the city of around 350,000 after facades collapsed into streets, crushing cars and blocking roads.

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Obama Widens US Sanctions on North Korea PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 August 2010

President Barack Obama broadened financial sanctions on North Korea on Monday and froze the US assets of four North Korean citizens and eight firms in part to punish it for the sinking of a South Korean warship.

Obama signed an executive order that lets the United States block the US assets of North Korean entities that trade in conventional arms or luxury products, counterfeit currency or engage in money laundering, drug smuggling or other "illicit" activity that supports the government or its leaders.

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UN Fears for Children as Pakistan Floods Threaten Towns PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 August 2010

Flood waters threatened to engulf two towns in southern Pakistan on Saturday, a month after the disaster began, as the United Nations warned that tens of thousands of children risked death from malnutrition.

The floods are Pakistan's worst-ever natural disaster in terms of the amount of damage and the number of people affected, with more than six million people forced from their homes, about a million of them in the last few days as the water flows south.

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Taliban Attack US Base in Afghanistan's East PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 28 August 2010

Up to 30 Taliban insurgents, including suicide bombers, attacked a US base in Afghanistan's east on Saturday, officials said, but there were no details available about possible casualties or damage.

The attack began overnight at the well-fortified Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost province near the southeastern border with Pakistan, where U.S. and other foreign forces have been stepping up operations against a resurgent Taliban.

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US Says Troop Drawdown in Iraq at 56,000 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 August 2010

senior Obama administration official said on Wednesday the US troop strength in Iraq was now 56,000, not 50,000, as he had told Reuters earlier.

"I had incorrect information," the official said.

The Obama administration has said it expects to draw down troop levels to 50,000 by August 31, with those who remain continuing to train Iraqi armed forces and police units.

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Obama Backs Controversial New York Mosque Project PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 August 2010

President Barack Obama on Friday backed construction of a proposed mosque and Muslim cultural center near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York -- a project opposed by US conservatives and many New Yorkers.

"As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country," Obama said to applause at an event attended by diplomats from Islamic countries and members of the US Muslim community.

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Japan PM Reaches out to South Korea with Apology PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan apologised on Tuesday for suffering under Japan's colonisation of the Korean peninsula, despite criticism from lawmakers that the gesture would lead to renewed calls for wartime compensation.

Seeking to build on improving ties with South Korea, Kan adopted language from a former Socialist premier and said he wanted to be sincere in confronting history.

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Pakistan's Sindh on High Alert for Floods PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 07 August 2010

Districts in Pakistan's Sindh province were on high alert on Saturday for floods which have devastated other parts of the country and cast fresh doubts over President Asif Ali Zardari's leadership.

At least 1,600 people have been killed by the flooding. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said 12 million people had been affected in two provinces, s figure that does not include, for the moment, southern Sindh.

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China Gold Mine Fire Kills 14, 300 Rescued: Report PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 07 August 2010

A fire at a gold mine in eastern China has killed 14 miners, while more than 300 have been lifted to safety, state news agency Xinhua said on Saturday.

Rescue operations were proceeding with eight miners still trapped underground and believed to be alive, it said. The fire broke out on Friday afternoon at the mine near Yantai city in Shandong province, Xinhua said.

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Petraeus Clarifies Rules on Afghan Air Strikes PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 August 2010

The new commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan issued a directive on Wednesday that could facilitate use of air strikes but also called on troops to do everything possible to avoid putting civilians at risk.

General David Petraeus, who took command of the nine-year-old war in Afghanistan in July, did not rewrite the rules guiding the use of force in his new "tactical directive."

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China to Hold Large-Scale Air Force Drill PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 August 2010

China's air force begins a five-day exercise starting on Tuesday with fighter jets, spy planes and helicopters, state media said, against a backdrop of increased diplomatic and military tensions with Washington.

Chinese media has announced several military drills over the past few weeks, including of naval forces. Such events are normally shrouded in secrecy and little reported on, but the military has recently said it is trying to be more open.

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Clashes in Pakistan's Karachi Kill at Least 34 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 August 2010

At least 34 people have been killed in the Pakistani commercial hub of Karachi, after a member of the dominant political party in the city was shot dead, police said on Tuesday.

Raza Haider of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), was gunned down on Monday along with his bodyguard while attending a funeral, an attack that apparently set off a new round of ethnic and sectarian-related clashes in the city of 18 million.

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US, S.Korea Start Military Drills; North protests PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 26 July 2010

The US and South Korean militaries kicked off large exercises on Sunday to underscore deterrence against North Korea after accusing the reclusive communist state of sinking a warship. Pyongyang warned that the drill had pitched the peninsula onto the brink of war.

US naval vessels, including the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington, began the drills by setting off from South Korean ports where they had called last week in a show of force timed with a high-level meeting between the two allies.

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US Announces New Sanctions Against North Korea PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 July 2010

The United States on Wednesday announced new sanctions against North Korea, targeted against its leadership, and warned of serious consequences if it again attacked the South.

Relations across the divided peninsula have turned increasingly hostile after South Korea accused the North of sinking one of its warships in March, killings 46 sailors.

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