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Shaken by rallies, Putin says Russian society maturing

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, facing an outburst of protest against his rule, called Monday for an update of Russia’s political system in response to what he said was a maturing civil society. “We need to create a political system where people can and must speak the truth,” Putin said in…

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II marks 60 years on throne

Queen Elizabeth II renewed her vow to serve on Monday as she made a deliberately low-key start to five months of diamond jubilee celebrations marking her 60 years on the throne. Six decades since the sudden death of her father King George VI on February 1952 made the young princess…

Oil may hit $160 amid tension: Kuwait official

Oil prices could soar to as high as $160 a barrel if tension over an Iranian oil embargo persists or in the event of conflict, a top Kuwaiti oil executive said in remarks published on Monday. “If the embargo on Iranian oil persists, or in case of a military move…

China rejects U.S. accusations it protects Syrian regime

China Monday rejected US accusations that Beijing and Moscow were responsible for protecting the Syrian regime, after they vetoed a UN resolution condemning Damascus for its crackdown on protests. “China does not accept the accusations” of the United States on the Syrian veto, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reporters.…

Panama ex-dictator Noriega suffers possible stroke

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was taken from his prison cell to a public hospital for treatment following a possible stroke, officials said. The 77-year-old Noriega was taken to the Hospital Santo Tomas after suffering “hypertension with a possibility of a stroke,” national police said in a statement that did…

Record floods in Australia force mass evacuation

Flood waters rose Monday in parts of Queensland as the Australian state raced to complete the largest evacuation in its history with police boosting their presence to prevent looting. Thousands of Australians have been forced to abandon their homes as a record deluge sweeps through areas still reeling from last…

Obama says U.S. working ‘in lockstep’ with Israel on Iran

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Sunday sought to reassure Americans over the threat posed by Iran, saying the United States was working “in lockstep” with Israel to bring Tehran to heel over its suspect nuclear program. Obama said the Islamic republic was “feeling the pinch” of ever tougher sanctions…

U.S., Canadian imams issue fatwa against honor killings

Over 30 American imams signed a fatwa Saturday condemning honor killings, after a Canada court convicted Afghan immigrants for murdering four female relatives accused of damaging the family’s reputation. “There is no justification for honor killings, domestic violence and misogyny in Islam,” according to the religious order issued by the…

Cash-strapped Europe struggles to up military might

MUNICH, Germany — With little cash to spare for their armed forces, Europeans must deepen military cooperation after incessant US pressure urging old allies to start pulling their own weight. A parade of world defence leaders and experts meeting at the Munich Security Conference issued stark warnings about Europe’s place…

Clinton seeks alternatives to turn screws on Assad

SOFIA, Bulgaria — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed Sunday to bolster existing sanctions against the Syrian regime and seek further ones to block funding and arms shipments to Damascus. Seeking other ways to turn the screws on Assad a day after Russia and China vetoed a resolution on…

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