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Italy PM blames Germany, France for Euro debt crisis

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Wednesday said the root of the eurozone’s debt woes lay partly in the irresponsible parenting ofGermany and France during the bloc’s infancy. Monti told reporters in Tokyo that because the eurozone’s two largest players had not abided by fiscal rules, they had set a bad example…

U.S. acted to conceal evidence of intelligence failure before 9/11: UK

Operation Foxden, delayed by turf war between the FBI and the CIA, given green light three days before the al-Qaida attacks. The US government shut down a series of court cases arising from a multimillion pound business dispute in order to conceal evidence of a damning intelligence failure shortly before…

U.S. could fly spy drones from Australian territory

Australia on Wednesday said it may allow Washington to use its territory to operate long-range spy drones, as part of an increased US presence in the Asia-Pacific that has rankled China. The United States and Canberra are planning a major expansion of military ties, with the first of a 2,500-strong…

Man gets ‘most extensive’ face transplant ever

A US man who lost his lips, nose and teeth in a 1997 gun accident has received the most extensive face transplant to date, according to doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Richard Lee Norris, 37, had undergone several life-saving and reconstructive surgeries after the accident but had…

Afghan women still being punished for ‘moral’ crimes: report

Hundreds of Afghan women are languishing in prison having been accused or convicted of so-called “moral crimes”, including “running away” and having sex outside marriage, campaign group Human Rights Watch said Wednesday. The report released in Kabul, I Had to Run Away, said that President Hamid Karzai’s Western-backed government had…

Taliban offers online Islamic advice service

Worried about whether Islamic verses on Facebook are allowed? Or that suicide bombers kill innocent civilians? Afghanistan’s Taliban have set up a new question-and-answer section on their website to address such issues. The facility on Voice of Jihad, the official website of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan — the Taliban’s…

Leaked letter reveals India’s air defense is ‘obsolete’

India’s tank fleet lacks ammunition, its air defences are “97 percent obsolete” and its elite forces lack essential arms, the country’s army chief wrote in an explosive letter leaked Wednesday. The letter to the prime minister dated March 12 — widely reported by the Indian media — lists the shortcomings…

Panetta says polls cannot dictate Afghan war plans

OTTAWA — US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday a poll showing a big drop in public support for the war in Afghanistan would not alter Washington’s strategy, or efforts to battle Al-Qaeda. “We cannot fight wars by polls — if we do that, we’re in deep trouble. We have…

Travelers should brace for steeper airfares: Industry experts

WASHINGTON — Holidaymakers planning a getaway in the next few months should expect higher airfares, industry experts warned Tuesday, but airlines passing on higher fuel costs may be just the tip of the iceberg. Pricier flights are starting to feel like a pre-summer tradition — as common as buying sunscreen…

Exchange of fire along Israel-Egypt border: army

JERUSALEM — Israeli troops opened fire at a group of suspects along the Egyptian border on Tuesday, two of whom had crossed from Egypt, a military spokesman said, indicating that several of them were wounded. The incident took place 2:00 pm (1200 GMT), the army said. Also during the afternoon,…

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