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NATO scrambles to respond to Pakistan’s anger

BRUSSELS — NATO moved Sunday to contain the damage from the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers, seeking to soothe Islamabad’s rage against the US and its military allies in Afghanistan over the airstrike. Alliance Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stopped short of issuing a full apology to Pakistan premier Yousuf…

Germany backs Taliban talks in Afghanistan

BERLIN — Germany’s foreign and defence ministers called Sunday for the Taliban to be included in Afghanistan peace talks, ahead of a major international conference for the war-ravaged country next month. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that negotiations with…

Russia’s Putin accepts presidential nomination

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Vladimir Putin accepted his ruling United Russia party’s nomination on Sunday as its candidate in a March 4 presidential vote, paving the way for his return to the country’s top office after four years as prime minister. The timing of the announcement, which was a certainty after…

Emirates security court jails blogger

A United Arab Emirates court on Sunday sentenced a blogger and four other democracy activists to prison terms after finding them guilty of charges including insulting the Gulf state’s leaders. The State Security Court handed the blogger, Ahmed Mansoor, a three-year prison sentence and the four others each received two…

Iran parliament votes to expel British ambassador

Iran’s parliament voted Sunday to expel Britain’s ambassador in retaliation for fresh Western sanctions imposed over Tehran’s nuclear programme. A majority of 179 lawmakers voted in favour of reducing diplomatic relations to the more junior level of charge d’affaires within two weeks and paring economic relations with Britain to a…

Nuclear train protesters cleared in Germany

German police early Sunday began to clear thousands of anti-nuclear protestors from railroad tracks to allow the passage of a train carrying radioactive water from France for storage. The police moved in around 0100 GMT to tracks around the town of Harlingen, telling several thousand protestors gathered there to clear…

Gulf states advise nationals to leave Syria

Bahrain and Qatar on Sunday called on their citizens to leave unrest-swept Syria after the United Arab Emirates also advised its citizens to stay away. The call, issued on the day the Arab League was deciding on sanctions against Damascus over its deadly crackdown on dissent, was issued because of…

Britain steps up eurozone breakup plans

Britain is stepping up its contingency plans in case the eurozone breaks up, even though analysts believe that only Greece is currently at risk of departing the 17-nation bloc over the debt crisis. A senior official at Britain’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services Authority, said Thursday that Britain’s banks were…

50 bodies found in two days of carnage in Mexico

Fifty dead bodies have been discovered over the past two days in western Mexico, victims of a fierce war waged between the government and the nation’s powerful drug cartels. The bodies of 26 young men were dumped in three vehicles near a busy intersection in Guadalajara. It bore the signs…

Egypt braces for protests on eve of elections

Egypt braced for fresh demonstrations on Sunday amid a tense standoff between the country’s military rulers and pro-democracy protesters on the eve of the first elections since the January revolution. Egyptians go to the polls on Monday to cast their first votes for a new parliament after the end of…

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