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Bin Laden complained of Al-Qaeda ‘disaster’

Osama bin Laden bemoaned “disaster after disaster” inflicted by the US onslaught on Al-Qaeda before he was killed and even mulled changing his terror group’s name, a top US official said Monday. On the eve of the anniversary of bin Laden’s death, President Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism aide John Brennan argued that a US drone campaign had…

Dutch roll out ‘cannabis card’ to stop pot tourists

Keen to stub out an era of dope tourism, the Netherlands on Tuesday starts restricting cannabis sales in the country’s south to residents only, despite opposition from pro-pot lobby groups. Famous for decades for its laid-back attitude to marijuana, the Netherlands will now require so-called coffee shops in some regions to only sell to…

Clinton heads to China as dissident case looms

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heading to China as US officials raced to find a solution to a sensitive row over a top dissident reportedly holed up at the US embassy in Beijing. Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had long planned to go to Beijing for…

Philippines appeals for U.S. help in building armed forces

WASHINGTON — The Philippines, lamenting the poor state of its armed forces, appealed Monday for US and international help in building a “minimum credible defense” amid an escalating territorial dispute with China. Philippines Foreign Secretary Alberto del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin called for assistance in boosting their country’s…

Chavez returning to Cuba for more cancer treatment

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Monday he would soon return to Cuba for another round of radiation treatment in his ongoing battle with cancer, which resurfaced earlier this year. “I will return in the next few hours to Havana,” he said in a message broadcast on radio…

Radical Egypt group to back moderate Islamist candidate

CAIRO — The radical Egyptian Islamist group Gamaa Islamiyya, implicated in acts including the assassination of ex-president Anwar Sadat, on Monday threw its support behind a moderate Islamist in next month’s presidential election. “The general assembly (of Gamaa Islamiyya) voted in favour of supporting” Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, the spiritual…

Osama bin Laden complained of al Qaeda ‘disaster’

WASHINGTON — Osama bin Laden bemoaned “disaster after disaster” inflicted by US drone strikes on Al-Qaeda before he was killed and even mulled changing his terror group’s name, a top US official said Monday. President Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan said Al-Qaeda was losing “badly” under a huge…

Dominique Strauss-Kahn diplomatic immunity ruling expected in New York Tuesday

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was to learn Tuesday in New York whether his claim to diplomatic immunity will allow him to escape a civil suit over alleged sexual assault. The suit was lodged against Strauss-Kahn by Manhattan hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, who alleges the French politician forced her into…

First woman convicted of Bosnia war crimes

A Bosnian Muslim former soldier on Monday became the first woman to be convicted of war crimes by a local court after admitting killing Croat civilians and prisoners during the 1990s war. “Rasema Handanovic participated with other members of her unit in the executions of three civilians and three soldiers…

Pakistani widow of man shot by CIA contractor killed by her father for refusing to marry

The widow of a Pakistani man shot dead by a CIA contractor last year in an incident that sparked a major crisis in American-Pakistani relations, was killed by her father on Monday for refusing to remarry, police said. Zahra Faizan, 24, and her 50-year-old mother, Nabeela Shehzad, were allegedly shot…

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