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Karzai invites Taliban leaders for direct talks

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday invited the Taliban for direct talks with his government, while urging Pakistan to facilitate negotiation efforts towards ending Afghanistan’s decade-long war. “In order to realise the objectives of the peace process, I invite the leadership of the Taliban to engage in direct…

Syria forces ‘kill 58 civilians,’ Red Cross calls for truce

DAMASCUS — Syrian forces killed 58 civilians Tuesday as they blitzed the city of Homs and a village in Idlib province, monitors said, as the Red Cross sought a truce to deliver aid and the UN demanded access for humanitarian workers. The latest killings came as Russia, a key ally…

‘Miss’ officially banned in France

PARIS — “Miss” is officially out in France. The office of French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Tuesday the term would be struck from official documents, along with that of “maiden name” or “married name” for women. The prime minister’s office said it would be writing to all ministries and…

Barnes & Noble unveils $199 Nook Tablet

NEW YORK — US bookseller Barnes & Noble unveiled a new version of its Nook tablet computer Tuesday, a device with the same $199 price tag as Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The seven-inch (17.78-centimeter) Nook Tablet also has eight gigabytes of memory like the tablet released by online retail giant Amazon…

Trial starts for student in gay cybercrime case

NEW YORK — A New Jersey judge oversaw jury selection Tuesday in the trial of a former student accused of secretly filming a gay roommate who later committed suicide, sparking a national debate over bullying of young homosexuals. Dahrun Ravi, born in India, faces up to 10 years in prison…

Eurozone opts to keep Greece under umbrella

Europe opted on Tuesday to keep Greece in the eurozone, agreeing a huge financial lifeline worth 237 billion euros but demandingAthens meet a long list of conditions first. The decision, reached after a marathon 13 hours of negotiations with private creditors and the International Monetary Fund, should avert a messy bankruptcy, but leaves…

Philippines captures militant wanted for beheadings

An Islamic militant accused of beheading Philippine soldiers and a host of other attacks was arrested on Tuesday after he was taken by surprise in his remote island hideout, authorities said. Security forces captured Abdulpattah Ismael, a member of the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group, in a raid on a village on the strife-torn…

Can Obama’s volunteer army win him a second term?

In a cramped campaign office a couple of blocks from a sprawling General Motors assembly plant, Linda Koch rings the bell used to signal that a new volunteer has signed up for the fight to reelectPresident Barack Obama. “Woohoo!” the triumphant Koch chirps. “She’s bringing her sister too!” With the economy finally…

Yahoo! seeks to avoid Indian lawsuit over content

Internet giant Yahoo! on Tuesday applied to be removed from a lawsuit lodged in an Indian court against social networking siteshosting allegedly offensive content. More than 20 Internet firms, including Google and Facebook, have been named in the case, which follows meetings between government ministers and the companies over material seen as offending Muslims or defaming…

BASF buys electrolytes business from top rival

BASF, the world’s biggest chemicals maker, said Tuesday it has agreed to buy the electrolytes business for high-performance batteries from rival Merck KGaA for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition ”enhances the expertise we offer to automotive andbattery manufacturers around the world,” said board memberAndreas Kreimeyer. Electrolytes ensure the transport of electric charges inside a battery. “The electrolyte portfolio…

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