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Accused war criminal Charles Taylor worked for CIA: report

NEW YORK — Liberia’s Charles Taylor, the first African head of state to be prosecuted for war crimes by an international tribunal, used to work for the CIA, the Boston Globe newspaper reported this week. The report, based on information uncovered through a freedom of information request made six years…

Intervention in Iran ‘would trigger war’: France’s Sarkozy

French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Friday that any foreignmilitary intervention against Iran’s nuclear programme would trigger “war and chaos” across the Middle East and beyond. “Time is limited. France will do everything to avoid military intervention, but there is only one way to avoid it: a much tougher, more decisive, sanctions regime,” Sarkozy told an audience…

Polish lawmaker smokes ‘marijuana’ in parliament

Janusz Palikot, the leader of a new party which brought in Poland’s first trans-gender and openly gay MPs, launched a drive Friday to legalise marijuana by smoking pot in parliament. “This is the weed,” he told reporters in his office in the lower house of parliament, lighting up a large incense joint…

Violence keeps Syria on edge, Arab mission in doubt

AMMAN (Reuters) – Scattered violence broke out on Friday in Syria, where Arab peace monitors have completed a month-long mission, ahead of Muslim prayers that are often followed by demonstrations for and against President Bashar al-Assad. Security forces prevented prayers at the Omari mosque in the southern town of Deraa,…

British police make arrest over Saddam’s bronze buttock

LONDON — British police arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with part of a bronze statue of Saddam Hussein, a buttock, was illegally brought over from Iraq after the war. He was held on suspicion of breaching the 2003 Iraq Sanctions Order, which bans dealing in “illegally removed Iraqi cultural…

Romania opposition supporters stage mass protest

BUCHAREST — Around 7,000 people joined a mass opposition demonstration in Bucharest on Thursday calling on Romanian President Traian Basescu to step down, one of a number of protests held across the nation. The opposition rally was organised separately from protests taking place for a seventh day across Romania against…

Afghan night raid sparks anti-U.S. protest

KABUL — Hundreds of people took to the streets in a town in northeastern Afghanistan Thursday in protest over a night raid by Afghan and NATO forces that allegedly killed six civilians, an official said. A woman and a child were among the dead in the air and ground raid…

Pirate attacks drop but Somali threat remains high

LONDON — Pirate attacks dropped slightly in 2011 for the first time in five years thanks to increased security, but the situation off Somalia is a growing concern, a maritime watchdog said Thursday. Around the globe there were 439 recorded incidents of piracy and armed robbery last year, compared with…

25,000 troops and police to protect London during Olympics

LONDON — Around 25,000 troops and police officers will be deployed in London during the Olympic Games to prevent attacks, a Scotland Yard official told AFP on Thursday. “The whole purpose of our policing operation is to try and deter terrorists, to deter those wish to do ill to the…

Only ‘direct’ talks can bring peace: Afghan official

WASHINGTON — An Afghan official said Thursday his government hopes peace talks can achieve “a political solution” with the Taliban movement, but stressed that any agreement must come from “direct” negotiations the two parties. “Ultimately direct peace negotiations will have to be between Afghan partners,” said Afghan foreign ministry spokesman…

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