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Labor strike that could have shut down East Cost port averted

A looming labor shutdown of ports on the US East Coast was averted Friday when federal mediators helped workers and shippers reach a breakthrough on a key issue in deadlocked contract talks. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service said the two sides had agreed to extend final contract negotiations for…

U.S. condemns Russian ban on American adoptions

President signs bill preventing Americans from adopting Russian children in move Washington says is ‘politically motivated’ The US government has condemned as “politically motivated” a decision by the Kremlin to ban Americans from adopting Russian children, warning of a further wedge in relations with Moscow. President Vladimir Putin signed the…

China approves rules requiring real-name online identification

China has approved new rules that require Internet users nationwide to provide real-name identification, state media reported on Friday, as the government increases its already tight online grip. The National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s legislature, adopted the measures at a meeting on Friday, the official Xinhua news agency and…

Iraq exhibition looks at inaugural parliament 87 years ago

Iraqis wistful for a golden age in politics, often labelled divided and cynical now, have been able to harken back to such a time through an exhibition on their inaugural parliament 87 years ago. During the exhibition at the modern Council of Representatives building in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone,…

Berlusconi ordered to pay nearly $4 million in divorce settlement

An Italian court has ordered Silvio Berlusconi to pay his second wife three million euros ($3.95 million) a month alimony as part of a legal separation settlement opening the way for their divorce, media reports said Friday. Veronica Lario filed for divorce in 2009 after revelations that Berlusconi, notorious for…

Declassified documents: 1982 Argentinian invasion of the Falklands took Margaret Thatcher by surprise

The invasion of the Falklands Islands by Argentina in 1982 took the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher by surprise, previously secret government papers revealed on Friday. Thatcher said she “never, never expected” the Argentines to invade the islands in the South Atlantic, according to the papers released by the National…

China says it isn’t producing fake anti-malaria drugs for Africa

Beijing responds to the Guardian’s investigation that around one third of anti-malaria treatments were counterfeit China has denied allegations that it has been exporting huge amounts of counterfeit medication to Africa, threatening public health in east Africa, five days after The Guardian published a front page exposé on the phenomenon. The…

Clinton, still recovering, to be back at desk Monday

Outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who fell ill in early December and hasn’t been seen in public since, will be back at her desk on Monday, her closest aide said. “She’s recuperating at home,” and will take up her official duties again “next week” Philippe Reines wrote in…

Indian gang-rape student ‘fighting for her life’

An Indian student who was brutally gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi was “fighting for her life” after suffering a significant brain injury, the Singapore hospital treating her said on Friday. “The patient is currently struggling against the odds, and fighting for her life,” Kelvin Loh, chief executive officer…

China launches rival GPS satellite system

China has launched commercial and public services across the Asia-Pacific region on its domestic satellite navigation network built to rival the US global positioning system. The Beidou system started providing services to civilians in the region on Thursday and is expected to provide global coverage by 2020, state media reported.…

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