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Qatar emir says he favors Arab force in Syria

Qatar favours sending Arab forces into Syria to stop the deadly 10-month crackdown on dissent as the Arab League said Saturday it will reassess its heavily criticised observer mission there. The emir of Qatar, in an interview with US network CBS to air Sunday, says he favours dispatching Arab troops to Syria to “stop the…

Iran says it has evidence U.S. behind scientist’s killing

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranian state television said on Saturday Tehran had evidence Washington was behind the latest assassination of one of its nuclear scientists. In the fifth attack of its kind in two years, a magnetic bomb was attached to the door of 32-year-old Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan’s car during the Wednesday…

ElBaradei will not run for Egypt’s presidency

The ex-head of the UN nuclear watchdog and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei said on Saturday he would not run for the Egyptian presidency, saying there is still no real democracy in the country. “My conscience does not allow me to run for the presidency or any other official position unless…

Iran says not storing oil in Gulf due to sanctions

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran has not stored oil on tankers in the Gulf, and its crude exports have not been disrupted due to mounting international pressure over its disputed nuclear program, an oil official told the semi-official Mehr news agency on Saturday. On Tuesday shipping sources told Reuters the volume…

North Korea denies punishment of ‘insincere mourners’

North Korea angrily hit back at allegations citizens who failed to appear sincere in the mourning of leader Kim Jong-Il were being rounded up and sentenced to hard labour. Some media outlets in the South have claimed North Koreans who did not participate in organised public mourning, failed to cry,…

Syria’s First Lady falling from grace

Not so long ago, she was the darling of the international press, described as a “rose in the desert” and “a ray of light in a country full of shadow zones.” But today, Syria’s First Lady is being likened to a modern-day Marie-Antoinette, drawing criticism for staying mum on a…

Thousands protest against nuclear power in Japan

About 2,000 demonstrators hit the streets of Yokohama on Saturday calling for an end to nuclear energy in Japan after the March 11 disaster that sparked the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl. They marched in the port city southwest of Tokyo chanting in chorus: “We don’t need nuclear power. Give…

Sarkozy tries to limit damage after France downgrade

President Nicolas Sarkozy struggled Saturday to contain the damage after France was stripped of its top triple-A credit rating just three months ahead of the right-wing leader’s re-election bid. He sent his prime minister to face the press and try to convince skeptical voters that Standard & Poor’s rating was…

Palestinian artist ‘creates’ Gaza metro

Underground train travel to bypass a chaotic traffic system? Welcome to Gaza, one of the world’s most crowded places, where a conceptual art installation expresses this tantalising idea. Palestinian artist Mohamed Abusal erected luminous red metro signs in 50 different, and often unlikely places, across the Gaza strip, the dusty…

Russian ship to pump fuel to ice-bound Alaska port

A Russian ship carrying vital fuel to a remote Alaskan port could finally deliver its load Saturday after battling through some 300 miles (480 km) of Arctic ice, the US Coast Guard said. Helped by a US Coast Guard ice-breaker, the Russian tanker Renda was within seven miles of the…

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