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Karzai seeks aid from neighbors in Afghan fight against ‘terror’

Afghan President Hamid Karzai warned Wednesday that there would be no hope for peace in his war-ravaged nation without help from its neighbours to combat “terror groups”. “Terrorist networks are by far the major threat to Afghanistan’s security,” Karzai said at the opening of a global conference in Istanbul aimed…

China’s Ai Weiwei will fight tax charges ‘to the death’

BEIJING (Reuters) – Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei vowed on Wednesday to fight tax evasion charges “to the death”, a day after the government ordered a company linked to him to pay 15 million yuan ($2.4 million) in back taxes and fines. The 54-year-old artist, who has been a thorn…

Inequality dents U.S. rank in U.N. development index

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – The United States remains the fourth best country in the world to live in, but adjustment for inequality drops it into 23rd place, according to an annual U.N. ranking of nations’ development released on Wednesday. The ranking came in a human development index, a gauge of well-being…

U.S. Army soldier arrested on suspicion of espionage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – A U.S. Army specialist who was serving as a military policeman has been arrested at an Alaska military base on suspicion of spying, an Army spokesman said on Tuesday. Specialist William Colton Millay, 22, was taken into custody at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on October 28 following…

Military retirees fret about healthcare fees

FORT WORTH, Texas (Reuters) – When Wayne Johnson flew missions in Vietnam in the 1960s, one of the allures of a military career was the pledge that those who risked their lives for the United States would be repaid with healthcare in old age. Now, as the 65-year-old retired Air…

Cannes sheds its black tie image for G20 riot gear

CANNES, France (Reuters) – The glamorous and easy-going Riviera resort of Cannes turns into a fortified camp this week as French police prepare for the arrival of world leaders for a G20 summit set to be hijacked by fears that a euro zone crisis relief plan is unraveling. Thousands of…

Award-winning Cuban dissident ‘detained and beaten’

Guillermo Farinas, a leading Cuban dissident and winner of the European parliament’s top human rights prize, was arrested and for the first time beaten in detention, said his mother and activists. Farinas, who won the Sakharov rights prize in 2010 after going on a 135-day hunger strike to press for…

Government to review foreclosures by 14 major lenders

US officials have launched an independent review process in which individuals can challenge foreclosures carried out by 14 major lenders in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Independent consultants would assess if borrowers lost out financially “through errors, misrepresentations or other deficiencies in foreclosure practices,” the Office of the…

Assange awaits London court ruling on extradition

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange finds out on Wednesday whether he will be forced to leave Britain in order to face questioning over rape allegations in Sweden. The High Court in London is set to announce at 0945 GMT whether the 40-year-old Australian, whose whistleblowing website has enraged governments around the…

Fire guts offices of French satirical magazine

The offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which published a special Arab Spring edition Wednesday with the prophet Mohammed as guest “editor”, were gutted in a petrol bomb attack overnight, police said. The fire at the magazine started around 01.00 am (0200 GMT) and caused no injuries, a police…

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