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Iraq police say sorry for Saddam era

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s police, completely reformed after the 2003 US-led invasion, on Sunday apologised for acts committed during the rule of the dictator Saddam Hussein, on the eve of the force’s 90th anniversary. The statement came as Iraq grapples with a festering political row that has pitted the Shiite-led government…

Nigeria unrest ‘worse than 1960s civil war’: president

ABUJA — Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said on Sunday violence blamed on Islamist group Boko Haram was worse than the country’s 1960s civil war, with sympathisers of the sect in government and security agencies. “The situation we have in our hands is even worse than the civil war that we…

Tibetan dies after setting himself on fire

BEIJING — A Tibetan man died after he and another man set themselves on fire in southwestern China, state media said Sunday, taking the total number of similar acts to 14 in the restive region in less than a year. The incidents happened Friday near the Kirti monastery in Sichuan…

British police quiz male nurse over patient murders

LONDON — British police investigating a string of deaths at a hospital caused by contaminated saline drips were Sunday questioning a male nurse on suspicion of murdering three patients. Victorino Chua, 46, was initially arrested Thursday on suspicion of tampering with medical records at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, northwest…

China bank lending higher in December

BEIJING — Chinese banks ramped up lending at the end of 2011, official data showed on Sunday, after Beijing relaxed credit restrictions and ordered banks to boost support for small businesses. China’s state-owned lenders issued 640.5 billion yuan ($101.5 billion) in new loans in December, compared with 562.2 billion yuan…

Chinese man held for firebomb attack at Japan embassy in Seoul

The 37-year-old man, identified by his family name Liu, hurled four petrol bombs at the embassy building in central Seoul on Sunday morning, scorching an outer part of the wall, a Seoul police officer said. There were no reports of injuries. Police were questioning Liu, a resident of the southern…

US reaches out to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

A once reluctant United States is reaching out to the Muslim Brotherhood in a nod to Egypt’s new political reality, but concerns linger about the group’s attitude toward minorities, women and the peace treaty with Israel. In the wake of president Hosni Mubarak’s ouster last February, the Freedom and Justice…

Fallen Ivory Coast leader Gbagbo to get legal aid at ICC

Ivory Coast’s former president Laurent Gbagbo will get legal aidwhile his financial status is assessed, the International Criminal Court (ICC) said Saturday. His defence costs to date will be covered by the ICC’s legal aid, said a statement from the court’s clerk, after his defence team said they had no resources with which to conduct his defence. During…

Nigeria killings called ‘ethnic, religious cleansing’

The head of Nigeria’s Christians said Saturday the killing of dozens of faithful in attacks blamed on Islamists suggested “ethnic andreligious cleansing” reminiscent of the start of the 1960s civil war. Christians would “do whatever it takes” to defend themselves, Ayo Oritsejafor, head of the Christian Association of Nigeria, said after a meeting…

Iran welcomes U.S. rescue of nationals from pirates

The Iranian government on Saturday welcomed a US navy rescue of 13 of its nationals from pirates near the entrance to the Gulf, in a rare respite from months of rising tensions between Tehran and Washington. But one Iranian media outlet, the Fars news agency, which is close to the hardline Revolutionary…

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