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U.S. posts $10 million bounty on al Qaeda financier

The United States on Thursday offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest of a key Al-Qaeda fundraiser, who is said to be a Syrian operating from Iran. The reward for Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil marks the first time that a “terrorist financier” has been targeted in…

Model busted for smuggling cocaine in breast, buttocks implants

ROME — Italian airport police eyeing up a busty Spanish model’s curves made a startling discovery on Wednesday — 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) of pure cocaine stashed as implants in her bust and backside. The 33-year-old woman arriving in Rome from Sao Paulo in Brazil was wearing tight-fitting clothes to…

Pakistan army wants Zardari out but not a coup

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s powerful army is fed up with unpopular President Asif Ali Zardari and wants him out of office, but through legal means and without a repeat of the coups that are a hallmark of the country’s 64 years of independence, military sources said. Tensions are rising between…

A third of south Asians ‘made to pay bribes’ to officials

More than one in three south Asians say they were forced to bribe officials in the last year, mainly for services they were legally entitled to, an international anti-graft watchdog said Thursday. A survey released by Berlin-based Transparency International in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu showed bribery has become so endemic…

Russia’s Medvedev tries to appease protesters

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Dmitry Medvedev called on Thursday for comprehensive reform of Russia’s political system to try to appease protesters staging the biggest demonstrations since Vladimir Putin rose to power 12 years ago. In his last state of the nation address to parliament as president, Medvedev outlined plans that…

North Korea’s military to share power with Kim’s heir

BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korea will shift to collective rule from a strongman dictatorship after last week’s death of Kim Jong-il, although his untested young son will be at the head of the ruling coterie, a source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing said. The source added that the…

Bombs kill 57 as Iraq mired in political crisis

A wave of attacks in Baghdad Thursday killed 57 people as Iraq faced a political crisis, with its vice president accused of running death squads and the premier warning he could break off power-sharing. The apparently coordinated blasts and the murder of a family-of-five in restive Diyala province were the…

Pakistan Prime Minister fears ouster

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday said conspirators were plotting to bring down his government, giving his most public indication yet that he fears being ousted from power. He spoke as the Supreme Court met again to decide whether to order a formal inquiry into a secret memo,…

Medvedev to vow reform in ‘farewell’ address

President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday is expected to vow a revamped reform drive in Russia after protests rattled the authorities, in his final annual address to the nation as head of state. Medvedev will at 0800 GMT address the Federal Assembly made up of both houses of parliament, a speech…

Mexicans flood home for Christmas, wary of crime

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico — Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans and Central Americans have been clogging crossings at the US-Mexico border, braving bandits and corrupt authorities in a perilous migration south to be home for Christmas. This year, travelers are taking greater precautions to avoid being robbed or kidnapped as they…

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