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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…

UK sends new warship to Gulf amid Iran tensions

Britain’s newest warship is heading to the Gulf for its first mission at a time of tensions over Iran’s threat to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a key transport route for oil. The Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring, which has a “stealth” design to help avoid detection…

11 dead in New Zealand balloon crash

A hot air balloon burst into flames and crashed to the ground in New Zealand on Saturday, killing all 11 people on board, after apparently hitting a power line. The balloon came down in calm weather near Carterton, a small town north of the capital Wellington and a popular area…

Serbia bans alcohol in parliament

The Serbian parliament has banned alcohol after media reports of excessive drinking, a top official said Friday. “The ban applies to every one without exception, from bringing in alcohol, to serving or consuming it,” Veljko Odalovic, the parliament’s secretary general, told the Tanjug news agency. “Both restaurants in the parliament…

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