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IMF chief cautiously upbeat on global economy

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said measures taken to fight financial woes in Europe and the United States were starting to pay off, in a cautiously upbeat assessment of the global economy. Lagarde was in Beijing for a two-day trip to attend a forum on China’s development and hold meetings with…

Mossad ‘agrees with U.S.’ on Iran nuclear goals

Israel’s intelligence service Mossad agrees with US assessments there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb, even though Israeli leaders have talked about Tehran’s plans to acquire nuclear weapons, The New York Times reported. “Their people ask very hard questions, but Mossad does not…

Thousands of Copts crush into cathedral after pope’s death

The bells tolled on Saturday as tearful Christians crushed past the Cairo cathedral’s gate hours after Pope Shenuda III’s death, to get a glimpse of the man they called “father” in an uncertain time for the Egyptian minority. Within an hour of the announcement of his death, traffic was jammed…

The secrets of Saif Gaddafi’s jail: chef, satellite TV and a basketball court for just one

Muammar Gaddafi’s eldest son is due to be taken to a prison within a prison in the suburbs of Tripoli to await trial. Behind a grey forbidding wall on the outskirts of the Libyan capital sits a secret prison constructed to hold just one prisoner – Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. The…

Olympics: Airlines warn of London airport chaos

Britain’s leading airlines warned Saturday of “severe delay and disruption” at London’s airports during the 2012 Olympics. British Airways, bmi, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic urged the government to take “urgent action” to ensure regular scheduled flights get through the increase in air traffic surrounding the London Games, which run from…

Former Kadhafi spymaster arrested in Mauritania

Abdullah al-Senussi, wanted former spymaster of slain Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi, was arrested in Mauritania overnight, prompting calls for his extradition Saturday by both Libya and France. The former Libyan intelligence chief, who is also sought by the International Criminal Court, was arrested at Nouakchott airport after arriving on a…

Chevron accused of graft in Indonesian green project

Indonesia on Saturday accused five Chevron employees of being involved in a scam to set up a fictitious green project that lost the state some $270 million, a charge denied by the US oil giant. “The Attorney-General’s Office (AGO) has named seven suspects, five of whom are from Chevron,” the…

Exxon tells Iraq oil deal with Kurdistan is ‘frozen’

US energy giant ExxonMobil has told the Iraqi oil ministry that it has “frozen” its controversial contract with the country’s autonomous Kurdish region, a government official told AFP on Saturday. The regional government denied that claim, saying officials hold regular meetings with company executives and that they had made no…

Damascus bombs kill 27 as Syria gears up for monitors

Two huge bomb blasts killed at least 27 people in the heart of the Syrian capital on Saturday, state media said, as international envoy Kofi Annan warned of regional fallout from the year-long bloodshed in Syria. The early morning “terrorist” attacks, apparently car bombings timed minutes apart, targeted criminal police…

Ireland leads the global St. Patrick’s party

Parades and festivals were held throughout Ireland for Saint Patrick’s Day on Saturday, while the global diaspora also joined in the party in honour of the Emerald Isle’s patron saint. Debt-ridden Ireland shrugged off economic austerity measures to mark the national holiday, with more than half a million revellers on…

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