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France’s Hollande in London for tricky talks

French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday began his first official visit to Britain, where he will hold talks with David Cameron aimed at smoothing over recent differences. The Socialist leader arrived on a French military jet at the RAF Northolt airbase in London for the one-day visit, during which he…

Parent taken hostage at French school: police

The parent of a pupil was taken hostage at a French school in a Paris suburb on Tuesday but no children were involved and elite police have been dispatched to the scene, police said. The incident in Vitry started at around 0500 GMT and no contact has yet been made…

Iraqi Olympians aim for medals, unity

They may specialise in different disciplines but all of Iraq’s representatives to the 2012 London Olympics know all too well the struggle of training in a country which is dangerous and still rebuilding. Iraq’s Olympic team heads to Britain hoping to secure medals, an achievement which could help solidify what…

British farmers told to grow curry ingredients for sustainability

Farming chickpeas and spices would open up new markets and reduce dependence on imports, a new report says Growing ingredients for Indian curries such as chickpeas for roti flour as well as a range of exotic herbs and spices would open up new markets for British farmers and reduce dependence…

Garcia Marquez foundation refutes dementia claim

The head of a foundation created by Colombian Nobel literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez refuted claims from the author’s brother that he is suffering from dementia. “I will not argue or comment on interpretations of Gabo’s private affairs and health, but I assert there is no medical diagnosis of senile…

India buys Gandhi archive to halt auction

India has paid $1.1 million to buy a collection of letters, papers and photographs relating to Indian independence icon Mahatma Gandhi, preventing their sale at a planned auction in London. The archive, which belonged to Gandhi’s close friend Hermann Kallenbach, a German Jewish bodybuilder and architect, was to have gone…

Venezuela’s Chavez insists he is cancer-free

CARACAS — Firebrand Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez insisted that he is “totally” cancer-free and ready to take on what promises to be a tough re-election battle without “physical restrictions.” “Free, totally free,” he replied when asked by a reporter if he had beaten the disease, as he gears up for…

DEA agent fatally shoots drug suspect in Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA — A US agent working with Honduran police fatally shot a Brazilian national last week during the seizure of nearly 1,000 kilos (2,200 pounds) of cocaine, US officials said Monday. Two agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) were involved in the July 3 operation in eastern Honduras,…

Iran works to foil insurance embargo on oil

TEHRAN — Iran has come up with several methods to foil the European insurance embargo on ships loaded with its crude, a sanction which may harm its vital exports as much as the EU oil embargo itself. Strengthening its sanctions aimed at pressuring Tehran to renounce a controversial nuclear programme,…

President Morsi decree creates ‘political earthquake’ in Egypt

CAIRO — A decision by Egypt’s new president to reinstate parliament was a bold challenge to the military that dissolved the house, but some politicians slammed it as a constitutional coup that shows no regard for the judiciary or democracy. President Mohamed Morsi on Sunday issued a decree ordering the…

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