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  • U.S. calls on North Korea to release war veteran

    December 2, 2013 2:01 PM 132

    The United States called on North Korea on Saturday to release an elderly U.S. military veteran held in custody since last month and who Pyongyang has accused of killing civilians during the Korean War 60 years ago. Merrill E. Newman, an 85-year old former special forces officer, is in good health, his family said in a statement after getting an update

  • Sacred Shrines Become 'Ticking Time Bomb'

    December 1, 2013 9:46 AM 294

    The chief cleric at one of the world's holiest mosques tells Sky News that acts of Jewish prayer could spark a regional war. The supreme leader of the Palestinian Muslims and guardian of Islam's most sacred shrine in the Old City of Jerusalem has warned of an uprising and regional war if Jews attempt to take greater control of the al Aqsa Mosque complex

  • For Egypt’s New Rulers, Familiar Scapegoats

    November 30, 2013 8:51 AM 169

    This week, when Egypt’s military-backed government issued arrest warrants for Alaa Abd El Fattah and Ahmed Maher — two activist bloggers who helped drive the uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011 only to find themselves blamed for inciting unrest by each successive government — the same thought occurred to several readers of their popular

  • Fawning over Egyptian strongman Sisi goes over the top with PJs

    November 30, 2013 2:31 AM 120

    A cult of personality around Egypt's defense minister and de facto leader, Gen. Abdel Fattah Sisi, has gone from fad to farcical with a social media campaign promoting women's pajamas bearing the strongman's image in beribboned uniform and sunglasses. Since the military coup that ousted President Mohamed Morsi and his Islamist government in July, Sisi has been lauded

  • Syrian chemical weapons set to be destroyed at sea

    November 29, 2013 8:33 PM 122

    A plan has been hatched to destroy Syria's chemical weapons at sea using US Navy auxiliary vessel MV Cape Ray. Industry sources told BBC Newsnight the plan will put a mobile destruction plant aboard that uses water to dilute the chemicals to safer levels. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has set 31 December as its deadline

  • France debates controversial bill that would make hiring a prostitute illegal

    November 29, 2013 2:18 PM 116

    FRENCH lawmakers are debating a bill that would punish those who use prostitutes and has sparked fierce debate in a country famed for its liberal attitudes to sex. Prostitution itself is allowed in France, but soliciting, pimping, and the sale of sex by minors are prohibited. The government says the bill is aimed at preventing violence against women

  • Activity may indicate North Korean reactor restart effort: IAEA

    November 28, 2013 2:35 PM 117

    VIENNA (Reuters) - Activity has been observed at a North Korean nuclear site that is consistent with an effort to restart a reactor, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said on Thursday. North Korea announced in April that it would revive its aged research reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex - which experts say is capable of producing

  • Iran hard-liners criticize Geneva deal, but most parliamentarians back it

    November 27, 2013 4:08 PM 114

    TEHRAN, Iran - Hard-line Iranian lawmakers criticized a nuclear deal reached in Geneva last week, with one calling it a "poisoned chalice," but a majority of deputies who spoke Wednesday in a parliamentary hearing on the accord backed an initiative that appears to enjoy both wide public support and the endorsement of top clerics. Having signed the first-stage

  • Two Russian military advisers assassinated by gunmen in Yemen

    November 26, 2013 8:07 AM 116

    The source, speaking to Reuters news agency, reported that the Russian instructors were working in cooperation with the Yemeni army and were gunned down as they left the hotel they were staying in the south of Sanaa. The Russian Defence Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment, according to Reuters. It was not immediately clear who was behind

  • US warns Karzai it may leave no troops in Afghanistan

    November 26, 2013 2:26 AM 131

    KABUL: US national security advisor Susan Rice told Afghan President Hamid Karzai Monday that a delay in signing a troubled security deal risked the US pulling troops out of the country completely next year. The US said that Karzai had called for “new conditions” for signing the bilateral security agreement (BSA) to allow US forces to remain in the country