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Wary on Greece, EU mulls deepening bailout fund

Greece and the euro are facing a tough week as European Union and IMF experts resume an audit of progress on cutting the public deficit and reforming the economy, with default threatening. The EU and IMF will decide on the basis of the audit whether to release the next slice…

U.S. citizen killed by Afghan at Kabul ‘CIA compound’

A United States citizen has been shot dead by an Afghan employee at an annex to the US embassy in Kabul used by the Central Intelligence Agency, officials said Monday. The attack at the Ariana Hotel compound late Sunday also wounded another US citizen, and the gunman was killed in…

N. Korean heir apparent cements status: S. Korea

The son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has cemented his status as leader-in-waiting through frequent field trips with his ailing father, the South’s unification ministry said Monday. Kim Jong-Un has accompanied his father 100 times, or on two-thirds, of his trademark “field guidance” trips, since he was confirmed as…

Pakistan ‘will not launch’ Haqqani offensive

Pakistan will not launch an offensive against Haqqani extremists despite Washington ramping up the pressure after a series of attacks on US targets in Afghanistan, an official said on Monday. The US and Pakistan are key allies in the war against Islamist militants in Afghanistan, but their relationship is often…

Shell in Nigeria shuts in 25,000 bpd of oil

Anglo-Dutch oil group Shell said Monday it has shut in 25,000 barrels per day of crude in a southern Nigerian oil field due to spills caused by sabotage and theft. “The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) has shut in production from Imo River Field due to a…

Leftist parties win control of French Senate

By Dave Clark PARIS — France’s left-wing opposition struck a blow against embattled centre-right leader President Nicolas Sarkozy’s hopes for re-election Sunday, winning a historic victory in a senatorial vote. The Socialist Party and its Communist and Green allies won enough seats to give the left control of the upper…

Kabul police report hearing gunfire in CIA compound

KABUL — Gunfire was heard from a compound used by the US’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Kabul, Afghan officials said Sunday, although details of any deaths or injuries were unclear. Afghan interior ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqui said police had heard “a couple of minutes” of gunfire from inside the…

U.S. hikers arrive home after two-year Iran ordeal

Two US hikers held by Iran for more than two years arrived back in the United States Sunday after the Gulf sultanate of Oman paid $1 million bail for their release from Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. “They landed two seconds ago,” Samantha Topping, a spokeswoman for the hikers’ families, told…

China launches gold vending machine

BEIJING — China, already the world’s second largest bullion consumer, has installed the country’s first gold vending machine in a busy shopping district in Beijing, state media said on Sunday. Shoppers in the popular Wangfujing Street can insert cash or use a bank card to withdraw gold bars or coins…

Ahmadinejad slammed over talk of resuming U.S. relations

TEHRAN — Influential conservative MPs and media slammed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday for repeatedly talking about resuming ties with the United States during his visit to the UN General Assembly. “Expressing an interest in resumption of ties with America and saying in an interview that lack of such…

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