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OECD detects world economy slowing down

Leading indicators all point to a slowdown in the world’s major developed economies, the OECD said on Monday. The composite index of leading indicators, designed to highlight turning points in performance, “point to a slowdown in economic activity in all major economies but with some variation” in individual countries, it…

Giving birth is a battle for survival in Afghanistan

HERAT, Afghanistan (Reuters) – She was 15 years old, heavily pregnant and had travelled eight days on the back of a donkey to reach hospital. Suffering from seizures and high blood pressure, she died soon after at the Herat Maternity Hospital in western Afghanistan, one of the thousands of women…

PM David Cameron’s camp ‘world’s stupidest’: French regulator

PARIS (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron proved the British political right is the world’s stupidest by refusing last week’s European summit deal on fiscal reform under pressure from narrow financial lobby interests, the head of France’s financial sector regulator said Monday. “For a long time it was said that…

Ex-strongman Noriega back in Panama, behind bars

Former strongman Manuel Noriega returned home to face justice in Panama after serving more than 20 years in prisons in the United States and France for drug trafficking and money laundering. Noriega, military dictator 1983-1989, now faces three separate sentences after being convicted in absentia for crimes committed in Panama,…

Japan launches new spy satellite

Japan launched a new spy satellite into orbit on Monday amid concerns over North Korea’s missile programme and to monitor natural disasters in the region, officials said. The Japanese H-2A rocket carrying an information-gathering radar satellite lifted off at 10:21 am (0121 GMT) from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern…

Deadly attack on NATO convoy in Pakistan

Gunmen attacked NATO oil tankers stranded in southwest Pakistan for the second time in days as Islamabad warned it could enforce its blockade of the US lifeline into Afghanistan for weeks. The attackers shot dead a driver and destroyed seven tankers in a blaze of fire late Sunday, the second…

Protests won’t alter Russia vote result: Putin aide

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said Monday the results of Russia’s contested parliamentary polls will stand despite massive street protests and a probe by the election authorities. “Even if you add up all this so-called evidence, it accounts for just over 0.5 percent of the total number of votes,” Putin’s…

Dutch architects apologize for 9/11 blast look-alike design

SEOUL (Reuters) – A Dutch architectural firm has apologized for its design of twin skyscrapers in central Seoul which resemble the exploding World Trade Center towers in New York and have infuriated families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The blueprint for the luxury apartment buildings was released last…

Some U.S.-listed firms told to reveal Syria, Iran links: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) – At least a dozen U.S.-listed companies have been told by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose business activity in and with Syria, Iran and others deemed “state sponsors” of terror by the state department, the Financial Times said on Sunday. The inquiries are part…

Pakistani government denies talks with Taliban

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s interior minister and prime minister have both denied the government is holding peace talks with its homegrown Taliban, according to media, saying it would do so only if the militants first disarmed and surrendered. The deputy commander of the Pakistan Taliban, who have been waging a…

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