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NATO sticks to 2014 Afghan pullout despite early French exit

BRUSSELS — NATO is committed to plans to withdraw combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the alliance chief said Monday after France decided to end its fighting role a year earlier. “We stick to the roadmap that was outlined at the NATO summit in Lisbon in November…

Palestinian prisoner in 44-day hunger strike ‘deteriorating’

JERUSALEM — A Palestinian militant held by Israel marked 44 days on hunger strike on Monday, with a rights group saying his life was in danger but prison authorities describing his condition as satisfactory. Tel Aviv-based Physicians for Human Rights said in a statement that 34-year-old Khader Adnan, arrested by…

UN atomic agency ‘can extend visit to Iran’

An IAEA delegation visiting Iran can choose to extend its stay beyond the three days originally planned if it wishes, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday, according to the official IRNA news agency. “We are very optimistic on the results of the IAEA trip. They are here for a three-day trip, and if they…

Putin promises Russia ‘new economy’ after protests

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promised Monday to build a “new economy” in Russia as he admitted its prosperity was still held back by a litany of ills despite his 12-year domination of the country. In a bid to show he remains Russia’s best hope for economic stability after a wave of protests, Putin…

Iraqi officials outraged by use of U.S. drones: report

Iraqi officials have expressed outrage at the United States’ use of a small fleet of surveillance drones to help protect the US embassy, consulates and American personnel in Iraq, The New York Times reported. The newspaper said the State Department began operating somedrones in Iraq last year on a trial basis and stepped up…

World Social Forum calls for global anti-corporate protest in June

By Yana Marull PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil — Thousands of critics of capitalism meeting in Brazil called Sunday for a worldwide protest in June to press for concrete steps to tackle the global economic crisis. The World Social Forum wrapped up a five-day meeting in this southern Brazilian city, urging citizens…

Tibetans live in fear as China cracks down on protests

CHENGDU, China — Sitting in a teahouse in Chengdu’s Tibetan quarter, a nervous young monk spoke of how police arrests of innocent people were adding to the climate of fear in China’s Tibetan-inhabited regions. The Lama temple where the monk lives is a 15-hour drive away, high up on the…

Four opposition activists shot dead in Bangladesh

DHAKA — Four opposition activists were killed and nearly 200 people injured on Sunday when police opened fire at large Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) rallies in the southeast. The shootings happened in the towns of Chandpur and Laksmipur after the party held demonstrations to demand that the government resign in…

Yemeni elite troops open fire as soldiers protest

SANAA — Troops at the headquarters of Yemen’s elite Republican Guard opened fire on Sunday at a protest by soldiers demanding the ouster of their brigade chief over corruption charges, a military source said. Soldiers from the fourth brigade of the Republican Guard were demanding the removal of Abdulmalik al-Arar…

Hitler painting fetches $42,300 in Slovak auction

BRATISLAVA — A 1913 painting by Nazi Germany’s dictator Adolf Hitler sold for 32,000 euros ($42,300) in a Slovak internet auction on Sunday, the Darte auction house said. The starting price for the painting titled Maritime Nocturno was set at 10,000 euros, while an expert put its value at 25,000…

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