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N. Korea snubs Obama to overshadow nuclear summit

North Korea vowed Tuesday to go ahead with a rocket launch, snubbing demands from US President Barack Obama and other world leaders who are in Seoul for a summit on combating nuclear terrorism. The North’s plan to launch a long-range rocket next month has overshadowed the 53-nation summit, which is meant to focus on the…

Oil prices edge up before U.S. data

World oil prices crept higher on Tuesday, as dealers awaited keyeconomic data in top crude consumer the United States, and eyed the weak dollar and new supply tensions in Sudan. In late morning deals in London, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in May added just two cents to $125.67 a barrel. New York’s…

Obama hits back in Russia ‘hot mike’ row

US President Barack Obama Tuesday hit back at Republicans who pounced after he was overheard telling Russia’s leader he could be more flexible over a missile defence row following November’s election. Republicans said Obama’s comments in Seoul Monday to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev – picked up by a live microphone — suggested that he planned to cave…

Transgender model cut from Canada Miss Universe

With blond locks, long legs and delicate features, Jenna Talackovawould have been a strong competitor in Canada’s Miss Universe pageant but was disqualified, she says, because she used to be male. The 23-year-old transgender model from the western Canadian city of Vancouver has accused the pageant of discrimination, and more than 28,000 supporters have…

Julian Assange runs for Australia Senate as ‘libertarian’

SYDNEY — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday vowed to be a “libertarian” and campaign for more openness in government if he is successful in gaining a seat in the Australian Senate. Assange, who is on bail awaiting a British court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden on…

U.S. suspends Mali aid after coup

WASHINGTON — The United States said Monday it was suspending tens of millions of dollars in aid to Mali after a coup in the African nation last week, and called for the elected government to be restored. “We have now taken the decision to suspend our assistance to the government…

U.S. soldier killed at Afghan police checkpoint: official

WASHINGTON — A US soldier was killed at an Afghan police checkpoint on Monday in the latest “insider attack” by local security forces, a US military official said. The assault in eastern Afghanistan was the second shooting incident of the day involving Afghans opening fire on their NATO-led allies, with…

France’s Strauss-Kahn charged in vice ring

LILLE, France — Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was charged Monday with involvement in an organised vice ring that procured prostitutes for top-class clients, lawyers said. Prosecutors said the 62-year-old former Socialist finance minister and one-time presidential favourite had been released on 100,000 euros ($135,000) bail following the charges.…

Two cannibalism suspects arrested in Russia

Two men have been arrested for separate acts of cannibalism in Russia, authorities told The Moscow Times this week. One man, in Vladivostok, allegedly killed a friend and disposed of his body by eating it. The human remains were reportedly shared with another man. Another individual, in Belinsky, was arrested…

Somali pirates hijack Iran cargo ship in Maldives

Somali pirates seized an Iranian-owned cargo ship and its 23-strong crew in the first hijacking within Maldivian territory, a senior security official said. The vessel identified as MV. Eglantine, had been seized off the north-western Hoarafush island in the Indian Ocean atoll nation of the Maldives, the Maldivian National Defence…

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