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U.S. flouts law at Guantanamo, despite Obama vow: U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States is still flouting international law at Guantanamo Bay, despite President Barack Obama’s election pledge to shut the facility, the United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay said on Monday. “It is ten years since the U.S. Government opened the prison at Guantanamo, and now…

Egypt army hands legislative power to new parliament

CAIRO, Egypt — Egypt’s ruling military Monday handed legislative powers to the new Islamist-dominated lower house of parliament, which convened for the first time since a popular uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak. “Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, has announced in a letter…

German city says ‘sex meter’ a success

BERLIN — A German city that introduced a surcharge on street prostitutes via kerb-side meters said Monday the programme had been a success and would continue. The Bonn government said a “sex tax” covering levies on sauna clubs, “erotic centres” and automated pay stations similar to parking meters that were…

Poland aims to boost tourism at Hitler’s WWII lair

Polish authorities said Monday they plan to boost tourism at Nazi German dictator Adolf Hitler’s “Wolfsschanze” (Wolf’s Lair), which ended up on their territory after post-war border changes. Artur Kurek, a senior official of the Polish forestry office, told AFP it would invite tenders to run the 250-hectare (618-acre) site…

EU slaps oil embargo on Iran

The EU agreed an embargo on Iran’s oil exports Monday as well as financial sanctions as the West ramped up pressure on Tehran’s suspect nuclear drive to press it to return to the negotiating table. “This is an important decision. It will be a major strengthening of the sanctions applied on Iran,”…

Yemen president en route to U.S.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh was en route to the United States formedical treatment, Yemen’s state news agency said on Monday, after a dramatic farewell speech that left his opponents wary. The announcement came a day after Saleh in a televised address apparently marking the end of his rule appealed for forgiveness from the Yemeni people…

France risks Turkey anger with genocide law vote

French senators vote Monday on a bill to outlaw denial of theArmenian genocide, a move that a furious Turkey has vowed it would punish with “permanent” sanctions if it is passed into law. The French lower house drew a first wave of Turkish ire last month, when it approved the bill which…

U.S. drone strike kills four in Pakistan: officials

A US drone fired missiles into a vehicle, killing four militantsMonday in Pakistan’s Taliban and Al-Qaeda hub of North Waziristan that hugs the Afghan border, security officials said. It was only the third such US attack reported in the nuclear-armed state so far this year, following a moratorium after US firepower inadvertently killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November, plunging…

Syria rejects Arab League call for power change

Syria on Monday rejected an Arab League plan for President Bashar al-Assad to transfer power to his deputy, calling the initiative a “flagrant interference,” state TV quoted an official as saying. “Syria rejects the decisions taken which are outside an Arab working plan, and considers them an attack on its…

Year of the Dragon roars into Asia

A billion-plus Asians welcomed the Year of the Dragon on Monday with a cacophony of fireworks, hoping the mightiest sign in the Chinese zodiac will usher in the wealth and power it represents. From Malaysia to South Korea, millions of people travelled huge distances to reunite with their families for…

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