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Retired police officer said he was personally followed by News of the World surveillance team

Lisa O’Carroll, guardian.co.uk The News of the World “jeopardised” the hunt for the Ipswich serial killer in 2006 after it hired former special forces soldiers to follow a police surveillance team tracking suspects, the Leveson inquiry has heard. Dave Harrison, a retired officer with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca),…

Asia is world’s top weapons importer

Asia leads the world when it comes to weapon imports, according to a study released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Globally the volume of international transfers of majorconventional weapons was 24 percent higher in the period 2007-11 compared to the 2002-06 period, the report said. Over the past five…

China firm sacks four over diseased ducks scandal

A leading Chinese poultry company said on Monday it had sacked four employees suspected of being involved in a food safety scandal that saw diseased ducks sold to unsuspecting consumers. The case is the latest in a long list of high-profile food safety problems to hit China that have included pork deliberately laced with chemicals, dyed buns…

NATO must probe, pay for errors in Libya: Amnesty

NATO must investigate the killing of dozens of civilians during its air campaign in Libya last year and provide reparations to the people affected, Amnesty International said on Monday. “Adequate investigations must be carried out and full reparation provided to victims and their families,” said the rights group in a statement released one year after the first…

Gunman kills four at French Jewish school

A gunman burst into a Jewish school in France on Monday, shooting dead three children and a teacher in the third deadly gun attack in a week by a man who made his escape on a motorbike. The children, aged three, six and 10, and a 30-year-old religious education teacher were mowed down…

China ‘in for bumpy ride’ as new generation prepares to take power

The ousting of leadership contender Bo Xilai may be a sign of trouble ahead as once-a-decade power transition approaches. It was the greatest political upheaval in years, but it may not be the last. China’s dramatic ousting of the leadership contender Bo Xilai on Friday may have been an anomaly…

North Korea seeking to develop nuclear missile, Seoul says

South Korea accused North Korea on Monday of trying to develop a nuclear-armed missile through a satellite launch next month, after Pyongyang dismissed international calls to abandon the exercise. “Our government defines North Korea’s so-called working satellite launch plan as a grave provocation to develop a long-distance delivery means for…

Far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon calls for a ‘civic insurrection’ in France

Leader of Leftist Front makes gains in French presidential race but François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy still likely to top polls. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the charismatic far-left firebrand whose anti-capitalist stance has seen him rise sharply in the French presidential polls, on Sunday told a vast Paris street rally that France…

India called major factor in 25% growth in global arms trade

The global arms trade has grown by nearly a quarter over the last four years, with new growth mainly in poorer countries and India now officially the world’s biggest importer of arms, research has revealed. Statistics published on Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute show that demand from…

East German rights activist Gauck elected president

BERLIN — Activist pastor Joachim Gauck became German president by an overwhelming majority Sunday, marking the first time a candidate from the former communist east will serve as head of state. Gauck claimed 991 votes out of 1,232 from a special assembly of MPs and other dignitaries, parliamentary speaker Norbert…

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