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War comes to Damascus in Syria revolt ‘turning point’

Syria’s military deployed armoured vehicles near central Damascus on Monday as troops battled rebels around the capital in what activists said could be a turning point in the 16-month uprising. Russia meanwhile slammed as “blackmail” Western pressure to push for a UN Security Council resolution against Syria’s regime and said…

WikiLeaks suspect Manning facing new pre-trial hearing

Lawyers for WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning will argue this week that military prosecutors must show their client intended to give sensitive intelligence to Al-Qaeda when he passed secret documents to the whistleblower website. Manning’s defense attorneys plan to make their case during five days of pre-trial hearings that are due…

Egypt’s prosecutor orders Mubarak back to prison

Egypt’s prosecutor general on Monday ordered convicted former strongman Hosni Mubarak back to prison nearly a month after he was moved to a military hospital in Cairo after reportedly suffering a stroke. Abdel Meguid Mahmud “has issued an order to transfer former president Hosni Mubarak from the Maadi Armed Forces…

Risks to global growth rising: IMF

The International Monetary Fund stepped up its warnings Monday on risks to the global economy, especially coming from Europe, as it trimmed its growth forecast for the rest of the year. The IMF said the world economy appeared weaker since its assessment just three months ago, and while growth was…

Chancellor admits circumcision ban could make Germany ‘laughing stock’

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel told her party the country risked becoming a “laughing stock” over a court ruling calling religious circumcision a criminal act, according to a report Monday. The mass-circulation daily Bild said in an article to be published Tuesday that Merkel warned the board of her conservative Christian…

Hungary shown ‘new evidence on No 1 Nazi suspect’

The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Centre has confirmed that Laszlo Csatary, accused of complicity in the killings of 15,700 Jews, had been tracked down to the Hungarian capital. “I confirm that Laszlo Csatary has been identified and found in Budapest,” the centre’s director Efraim Zuroff told AFP. Ten months ago an…

Drugs arsenal could help end AIDS: WHO

Thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, a cure remains elusive but a growing arsenal of drugs could someday help end new infections, the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS chief says. The key is figuring out how to best manage the latest advances, Gottfried Hirnschall said in an interview with AFP during…

Sri Lankans name new fish genus after atheist Dawkins

Sri Lankan scientists have identified a new genus of fresh water fish and named it after the evolutionary biologist and renowned atheist Richard Dawkins. Lead researcher Rohan Pethiyagoda, 56, said the new genus, named Dawkinsia, comprises nine species that are found only in South Asia and are characterised by long…

Berlusconi hints at comeback in German interview

Italy’s former leader Silvio Berlusconi Monday gave a strong hint that he would return to politics, declaring he would “never leave his party in the lurch” as rumours swirled of an imminent comeback. In an interview in Germany’s mass circulation daily Bild, Berlusconi said he was “often and persistently” asked…

Libyan Olympic chief kidnapped in Tripoli: official

The president of Libya’s Olympic Committee Nabil al-Alam was kidnapped by gunmen in the centre of Tripoli and taken to a secret location, a committee official told AFP on Monday. “Nine gunmen posing as members of the Libyan army removed Mr. Alam from his car in the centre of the…

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