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Ex-strongman Noriega back in Panama, behind bars

Former strongman Manuel Noriega returned home to face justice in Panama after serving more than 20 years in prisons in the United States and France for drug trafficking and money laundering. Noriega, military dictator 1983-1989, now faces three separate sentences after being convicted in absentia for crimes committed in Panama,…

Japan launches new spy satellite

Japan launched a new spy satellite into orbit on Monday amid concerns over North Korea’s missile programme and to monitor natural disasters in the region, officials said. The Japanese H-2A rocket carrying an information-gathering radar satellite lifted off at 10:21 am (0121 GMT) from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern…

Deadly attack on NATO convoy in Pakistan

Gunmen attacked NATO oil tankers stranded in southwest Pakistan for the second time in days as Islamabad warned it could enforce its blockade of the US lifeline into Afghanistan for weeks. The attackers shot dead a driver and destroyed seven tankers in a blaze of fire late Sunday, the second…

Protests won’t alter Russia vote result: Putin aide

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said Monday the results of Russia’s contested parliamentary polls will stand despite massive street protests and a probe by the election authorities. “Even if you add up all this so-called evidence, it accounts for just over 0.5 percent of the total number of votes,” Putin’s…

Dutch architects apologize for 9/11 blast look-alike design

SEOUL (Reuters) – A Dutch architectural firm has apologized for its design of twin skyscrapers in central Seoul which resemble the exploding World Trade Center towers in New York and have infuriated families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The blueprint for the luxury apartment buildings was released last…

Some U.S.-listed firms told to reveal Syria, Iran links: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) – At least a dozen U.S.-listed companies have been told by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose business activity in and with Syria, Iran and others deemed “state sponsors” of terror by the state department, the Financial Times said on Sunday. The inquiries are part…

Pakistani government denies talks with Taliban

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s interior minister and prime minister have both denied the government is holding peace talks with its homegrown Taliban, according to media, saying it would do so only if the militants first disarmed and surrendered. The deputy commander of the Pakistan Taliban, who have been waging a…

Visitors crowd South Pole for anniversary of conquest

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg will join dozens of adventurers at the South Pole this week to mark the 100th anniversary of countryman Roald Amundsen’s groundbreaking expedition to the frozen continent. Often described as “no man’s land”, the pole will be a relative hive of activity for Wednesday’s anniversary. Stoltenberg…

NATO to halt Iraq mission at year-end

LONDON — NATO will withdraw its Iraq training mission at year-end after Baghdad refused to grant it legal immunity, Iraq’s top security adviser said on Sunday, mirroring the nearly-complete pullout of US forces. The decision, which “surprised” Iraq, means NATO’s troops will depart in the coming weeks for the same…

Karzai says foreigners fuel Afghan corruption

KABUL — Foreigners are fuelling the problem of corruption in Afghanistan, a country already ranked as one of the most corrupt in the world, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Sunday. At a major international conference in Germany on the future of Afghanistan last week, Karzai pledged to step up…

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