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Bidders scramble for royal underwear

A pair of ample bloomers once owned by Queen Victoria sold for more than £9,000 ($14,330, 10,500 euros) at an Edinburgh auction, more than three times the original estimate. An anonymous buyer paid £9,375 for the white silk undergarments during an auction of items from London’s Old Battersea House —…

Assange awaits London court ruling on extradition

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange finds out on Wednesday whether he will be forced to leave Britain in order to face questioning over rape allegations in Sweden. The High Court in London is set to announce at 0945 GMT whether the 40-year-old Australian, whose whistleblowing website has enraged governments around the…

‘Occupy London’ protesters get legal reprieve

LONDON — London’s St Paul’s Cathedral and the city authorities suspended legal action Tuesday against anti-capitalist protesters camped outside the historic landmark. The management of St Paul’s said it unanimously agreed to suspend its current legal action against the demonstrators who have turned the churchyard into a sprawling campsite and…

U.S. sanctions militant Haqqani network commander

WASHINGTON — The United States took action Tuesday aimed at ensuring that a jailed commander of the militant Haqqani network or his associates never benefit from funds under American jurisdiction. The State Department blacklisted commander Mali Khan under an executive order signed by President George W. Bush in 2001 in…

U.S. dismisses Iranian letter as a ‘rant’

WASHINGTON — The United States on Tuesday dismissed as “a rant” an Iranian letter to Washington over allegations of an Iranian plot to murder the Saudi ambassador in Washington. “We did receive a lengthy diplomatic note from the Swiss protecting power on behalf of the Iranians,” US State Department spokeswoman…

British police surveillance system can turn off mobile phones

Police in London possess a surveillance technology that sounds like something straight out of science fiction: a mobile GSM device that pretends to be a cellular tower, tricking nearby phones into connecting to it, then intercepting all their communications. The system was developed by the British firm Datong plc, according…

Greek referendum ignites German anger

ATHENS (Reuters) – Prime Minister George Papandreou’s shock decision to call a referendum on Greece’s bailout drew veiled threats from Germany on Tuesday and hammered markets edgy over the euro zone crisis. European politicians complained that Athens was trying to wriggle out of the rescue deal agreed only last week, concerned not so much about…

Almost half China’s richest want to emigrate: survey

Nearly half of China’s wealthiest citizens are considering emigrating, with the United States and Canada the most popular destinations, according to a new report from the authors of China’s rich list. The survey by the Bank of China and the Hurun Report, which publishes luxury magazines and runs a research institute, found that 46 percent…

Afghanistan, Pakistan presidents meet in Turkey

Turkey hosts the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan Tuesday for a trilateral summit designed to reduce tensions and promotecooperation between the two neighbours amid stepped-up Talibanattacks. Turkish President Abdullah Gul will hold separate talks with Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Asif Zardari of Pakistan before the three-way talks later Tuesday, said a Turkish diplomatic source. The meeting ahead of an international…

UN warns on weapons as Libya elects new PM

Libya’s new prime minister pledged his interim government would set respect for human rights as its priority, as the UN warned against the proliferation of arms looted from Moamer Kadhafi’s huge stockpile. Abdel Rahim al-Keib, an academic and wealthy businessman who is a native of Tripoli, was elected interim prime minister in a public vote…

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