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North Korea’s military to share power with Kim’s heir

BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korea will shift to collective rule from a strongman dictatorship after last week’s death of Kim Jong-il, although his untested young son will be at the head of the ruling coterie, a source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing said. The source added that the military, which is trying to…

Syria opposition urges UN action over ‘massacres’

The opposition Syrian National Council on Wednesday urged theUN Security Council and Arab League to hold emergency meetings after “massacres” carried out by regime forces. Reacting to reports this week of the killing of hundreds of civilians, the opposition bloc called for an “emergency UN Security Council session to discuss the regime’s massacres in…

Czechs bid farewell to Havel in national mourning

Thousands gathered in Prague’s historic city centre on Wednesday as the Czech Republic began three days of national mourning to bid final farewell to Vaclav Havel, the icon of the 1989 Velvet Revolution. In the early morning chill, some 10,000 mourners mostly in black, some carrying Czech or Slovak flags, joined a solemn procession…

Egyptians vote after deadly clashes

Egyptians turned out to vote again on Wednesday in the run-off of a staggered election marred by deadly clashes between protesters and security forces that have left 14 people dead in five days. Polling stations opened at 8:00 am (0600 GMT) in a third of the country’s 27 provinces with a visibly…

Iraq row deepens as PM calls for VP handover

Iraq’s government marked its first anniversary Wednesday in turmoil as its premier urged Kurd officials to hand over the Sunni vice president on terror charges, in a row that has raised communal tension. Washington has urged calm, but Prime Minister Nuri al-Malikithreatened to replace ministers belonging to the Sunni-backedIraqiya bloc if they…

U.S. condemns Egyptian ‘Hitler’ remark

WASHINGTON — A US official voiced outrage Tuesday after an adviser to Egypt’s military said that some protesters facing down troops in Cairo should be “thrown into Hitler’s incinerators.” Retired general Abdelmoneim Kato’s “anti-Semitic comments are outrageous, offensive and clearly unacceptable,” Hannah Rosenthal, the US special envoy against anti-Semitism, wrote…

Japan recovery ‘has paused’, warns central bank

TOKYO — The Bank of Japan said Wednesday that the country’s economic recovery “has paused” because of the slowing global economy, leaving its key rate unchanged at between zero and 0.1 percent. “The pick-up in Japan’s economic activity has paused, mainly due to the effects of a slowdown in overseas…

Top Argentine official found hanged at summit

MONTEVIDEO — A top Argentine official was found hanged Tuesday in his hotel room in Montevideo during a summit meeting of the South American trade group Mercosur, police said. Ivan Heyn, the undersecretary of foreign trade, was found dead around 3:00 pm (1700 GMT) at the Radisson Hotel downtown, police…

For U.S. and allies, a risky path on North Korea

WASHINGTON — The failure of foreign intelligence to detect Kim Jong-Il’s death shows just how little is known about nuclear-armed North Korea, but moves by the outside world to gain influence are also fraught with risk. All countries including China, North Korea’s primary ally, appeared to have been in the…

675 Pakistan ‘honour killing’ victims: commission

At least 675 Pakistani women and girls were murdered during the first nine months of the year for allegedly defaming their family’s honour, a leading human rights group said Tuesday. The statistics highlight the scale of violence suffered by many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens and there…

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