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Cyprus banks resume normal trading hours

Banks in Cyprus resumed normal trading hours on Friday after a near two-week lockdown and a day that averted a feared run on deposits following an EU-led bailout to rescue the island from bankruptcy. Small queues built up outside the banks of the capital Nicosia as their doors reopened for…

Israel beefs up security for ‘Land Day’

Israel deployed significant security reinforcements on Friday in the occupied West Bank including east Jerusalem for demonstrations commemorating the deaths in 1976 of Arab Israelis on “Land Day”. “Thousands of police reinforcements have been deployed in Jerusalem including in the Old City to prevent disorder,” a police spokeswoman told AFP.…

Bosnia’s ‘Monster of Grbavica’ gets 45 years for war crimes

A former member of the Bosnian Serb paramilitary forces was jailed Friday for 45 years for carrying out a reign of terror against Sarajevo civilians during the 1992-1995 war. Veselin Vlahovic, dubbed the “Monster of Grbavica”, was “found guilty of crimes against humanity and this tribunal is sentencing him to…

Iran, North Korea, and Syria block major UN arms trade treaty

Iran, North Korea and Syria held up agreement on the first global treaty on the $80 billion a year conventional arms trade. The three states twice blocked moves to adopt a treaty by consensus at the end of 10 days of arduous talks at the UN headquarters. Kenya announced that…

Guilty plea rejected for Colorado theater shooter James Holmes

US prosecutors rebuffed a reported offer by Colorado theater massacre suspect James Holmes to plead guilty in exchange for escaping the death penalty, legal documents showed. A prosecutors’ filing cited by the Denver Post and other media was scathing about a defense motion Wednesday which suggested a guilty plea in…

North Korea prepares rockets for strike against U.S.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on Friday ordered preparations for strategic rocket strikes on the US mainland and military bases in the Pacific and South Korea. The order, issued at an overnight emergency meeting with top army commanders, was a direct response to the use of nuclear-capable US B-2 stealth…

Obama: U.S. should be ashamed if horror of Newtown has already been forgotten

Barack Obama rejected criticism on Thursday that he has delayed too long on gun reform, allowing memories of the Newtown shooting to fade and allowing time for opponents to regroup. In a speech at the White House, attended by parents of gun victims, he said bluntly that the United States…

New York cops get strict new rules for Facebook

New York City’s police commissioner announced new restrictions Thursday for cops who want to tweet and post on Facebook. Police will not be allowed to specify their jobs on YouTube, Facebook and other Internet platforms, NY1 television and the New York Daily News reported. They also can’t post photos of…

Barbara Walters set to retire in 2014: reports

US broadcasting icon Barbara Walters, 83, is poised to announce her retirement next year in the coming weeks, US news media reported Thursday. The New York Times, quoting “an executive familiar with the newswoman’s plans,” said a formal announcement of Walter’s retirement would likely be made on “The View,” a…

Obama launches commission to investigate voting irregularities

US President Barack Obama Thursday tasked a presidential commission to probe long lines at polling stations and other irregularities faced by voters in last year’s election. Obama, making good on a promise issued in his victory speech last November, signed an executive order to charter the commission, which will deliver…

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