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Gaddafi taken deep into desert for secret burial

ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Two trusted loyalists of Libya’s interim government were handed Muammar Gaddafi’s body to bury secretly deep in the Sahara desert on Tuesday after a cleric prayed over his decomposing corpse, an official said. The National Transitional Council (NTC) had disquieted many outsiders by putting the bodies…

U.S. doubts military option on Syria

WASHINGTON — The United States said Monday that it did not envision the use of force in Syria in the wake of Libya as it renewed its call for President Bashar al-Assad to step down. Republican Senator John McCain, speaking Sunday in Jordan, raised the prospect of military action to…

Obama urges Egypt army chief to lift state of emergency

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama urged Egypt’s army chief to lift a state of emergency and end military trials for civilians, according to a telephone conversation announced Monday by the White House. Obama also asked Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi to “reaffirm the close partnership between the United States and…

U.S. urges Libya to probe alleged executions

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday urged Libya to uphold human rights and to probe a report of summary executions of Moamer Kadhafi loyalists, calling the allegations “extremely disturbing.” The US State Department also called on Libya to respect the rights of women after Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the interim…

Scottish whiskey named best in the world

LONDON — A single malt whisky produced by a distillery in a remote part of Scotland has beaten 1,200 whiskies from around the world to be crowned World Whisky of the Year. The Old Pulteney whisky produced by the Pulteney distillery in Wick, northern Scotland, took the top spot in…

Analysis: What would happen if the Chinese economy crashes?

(Reuters) – The China hard-landing debate is a classic tail risk story — an unlikely scenario, but if it materializes the consequences could be catastrophic. Because of their close trade links, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong would be among the first to feel the pain should China’s…

EU ‘relatively close’ to bank deal on Greece debt

Negotiators from the European Union and banks are “relatively close” to a deal to write off around half of Greece’s 350-billion-euro debt pile, an EU official said on Monday. “We’re relatively close to a deal,” said EU economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn’s spokesman, Amadeu Altafaj. While talks are ongoing, he underlined…

U.S. envoy quits Syria for ‘security reasons’

US envoy to Syria Robert Ford, an open critic of President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on political dissent, has gone on indefinite leave for security reasons, an embassy official said on Monday. “Ambassador Robert Ford is on leave indefinitely. Washingtondecided to give him the leave out of concerns about his personal safety,” the…

Liberated Libya begins task of forming govt

Libya’s new leaders began Monday the tough task of forging aninterim government uniting the nation’s disparate political forces after 42 years of Moamer Kadhafi’s iron-fisted rule, promising a system of Islamic sharia law. “Today, we begin preparing for a new phase… the phase after the liberation, the phase that we will plan and…

Desperate hunt for survivors after Turkey quake

Rescuers scrambled through the rubble in a desperate search on Monday for survivors of an earthquake that killed at least 264 people in Turkey as residents fled the scenes of carnage. People living in eastern Van province issued cries for help on Twitter, giving out the addresses of collapsed buildings…

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