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‘Shift’ in Russia, China positions on Syria: Annan

The “shift” in the positions of Russia and China on Syria should not be underestimated, the spokesman for peace envoy Kofi Annan said on Tuesday after international talks in Geneva. “Many forces have joined hands here on Saturday … don’t underestimate the degree of a shift that happened particularly in…

Scientologists deny tailing Tom Cruise’s wife, eyeing daughter

The Church of Scientology denied sending anyone to follow Katie Holmes after she filed for divorce from Tom Cruise, amid reports she feared her husband’s plans for their daughter. A lawyer for the church also dismissed reports that Cruise — a prominent Scientologist – wanted their six-year-old daughter Suri to join the Sea Organization, described as a…

New Taiwanese center to probe origins of universe

LUNGTAN, Taiwan — Taiwan opened a space research control centre Tuesday, as part of an ambitious international project aimed at exploring the origins of the universe. Facilities at the Payload Operations and Control Centre in the northern Lungtan township started monitoring signals transmitted from the International Space Station immediately after…

Leftist candidate rejects Mexico results as ‘fraudulent’

The runner-up in Mexico’s presidential election has rejectedEnrique Pena Nieto’s “fraudulent” victory, raising the specter of protests that rocked Mexico City when he lost six years ago. When Leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador lost the 2006 presidential election by less than one percent he claimed fraud and organized mass protests that paralyzed Mexico City for more…

U.S. ‘moves new forces to Gulf’ in sign to Iran

WASHINGTON — The United States has moved new forces into the Gulf to keep strategic waterways open and strike deep within Iran in the event of a regional military escalation, the New York Times reported Tuesday. The Times cited senior officials as saying the quiet build-up was aimed at reassuring…

Syria running ‘torture archipelago’: rights group

Syria is holding tens of thousands of detainees in a “torture archipelago”, a US-based rights group said on Tuesday, after the UN rights chief accused both government and opposition of “serious” violations. As Turkey reported a new mass defection of Syrian troops across the tense border, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he regretted that his country’s defence…

Russia’s anti-Putin punks perform with U.S. rockers

Russia’s Pussy Riot punk band gave a surprise performance at a concert by US rockers Faith No More late Monday as three of its young women members await trial for singing an anti-Putin song in a church. Five women bounded on stage during a Moscow concert by Faith No More,…

Afghan media freedom threatened: rights group

Hard-won media freedoms in Afghanistan are under serious threat from a draft law that is seen as a concession to Muslim conservatives ahead of NATO’s exit in 2014, a rights group warned Tuesday. Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the Afghan government to withdraw the bill, which has been circulated…

Barclays bank chief executive Diamond resigns

Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has resigned with immediate effect over a rate rigging scandal at the British banking giant, the company said in a shock announcement on Tuesday. Although Diamond had faced growing calls to step down, it was thought that he would ride out the storm due to…

Expedition out to solve Earhart’s 1937 disappearance

HONOLULU — Seventy-five years after Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific, a research team plans to leave Tuesday on an expedition to solve the mystery over the pioneering aviatrix’s fate. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) is heading to Nikumaroro island in Kiribati to try to establish whether…

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