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Merkel, Sarkozy demand tough new eurozone pact

France and Germany want a new EU treaty by March with tougher budgetary rules to deal with the eurozone debt crisis, President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday. The two leaders made the announcement after crunch talks in Paris at the start of a crucial week for the…

Hundreds of flights cancelled due to Beijing smog

Beijing authorities cancelled hundreds of flights and shut motorways on Monday as thick smog descended on the Chinese capital, reducing visibility at one of the world’s busiest airports. Air quality in Beijing reached “hazardous” levels on Monday, according to the US embassy, which conducts its own measurements, while the official Xinhua news agency said…

Sarkozy, Merkel to thrash out euro crisis plan

French President Nicolas Sarkozy hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday to thrash out details of a plan to save the euro at the start of a pivotal week for the single currency. The meeting comes as Italy kicked off the crucial week with a draconian austerity package of cuts, taxes and pension reforms to…

Assange can take extradition fight to top UK court

LONDON (Reuters) - British judges ruled on Monday that Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, could take his year-long fight against extradition to Sweden to theSupreme Court, the highest court in the land. Swedish authorities want to question the 40-year-old Australian over accusations of rape and sexual assault made by two female former WikiLeaks…

U.S., Israel covert war against Iran suspected: report

Many former US intelligence officials and Iran experts believe last month’s explosion at a military base near Tehran was part of a covert effort by the US, Israel and other states to disable Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, The Los Angeles Times reported late Sunday. The huge explosion ripped through…

Top accused says Khmer Rouge not ‘bad people’

The Khmer Rouge were not “bad people”, the regime’s highest-ranking surviving member said on Monday as Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes tribunal began hearing evidence in a long-awaited atrocities trial. “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, seen as the chief ideologue of the brutal 1970s movement, was the first of three accused…

Putin’s party may lose parliamentary majority in close vote

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian voters have dealt Vladimir Putin’s ruling party a heavy blow by cutting its parliamentary majority in an election that showed growing unease with his domination of the country as he prepares to reclaim the presidency. Incomplete results showed Putin’s United Russia was struggling even to win…

Seven Israeli women held over right-wing violence

JERUSALEM — Seven young Israeli women, six of them minors, have been arrested on suspicion of participating in the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian olive trees, Israeli police said on Sunday. The women are also accused of taking part in demonstrations against the dismantling of illegal settlement outposts in the…

More than 100 detained in Moscow vote protest

MOSCOW — More than 100 people were detained in central Moscow on Sunday during an unsanctioned opposition rally against the conduct of Russia’s parliamentary elections, city police said. “After repeated warnings about the illegal nature of the event, more than 100 people were detained,” the Interfax news agency quoted a…

Websites downed in Russia poll ‘hack attack’

MOSCOW — Websites which exposed violations in Russia’s parliamentary polls were inaccessible Sunday in a hacking attack their operators said was aimed at preventing them revealing the extent of election day fraud. Popular Russian radio station Moscow Echo and election monitoring group Golos said their websites were the victims of…

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