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Europe splits over fiscal union, Britain isolated

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe divided on Friday in a historic rift over building a fiscal union to preserve the euro, with a large majority of countries led by Germany and France agreeing to move ahead with a separate treaty, leaving Britain isolated. Twenty-three of the 27 leaders agreed to pursue…

Pakistan army believes NATO attack planned: reports

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – A senior Pakistani military officer said a NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani troops on the border with Afghanistan last month was pre-planned, newspapers reported on Friday, comments likely to fuel tension with the United States. Major General Ashfaq Nadeem, director general of military operations, also…

Anne Frank’s pre-war apartment to open to public

THE HAGUE — An Amsterdam apartment where Jewish teenager Anne Frank and her family lived for nine years before going into hiding due to the Nazi occupation will be opened Saturday, a spokesman for its owner said. “Around 400 people will be allowed to enter the home,” Andre Bakker, a…

Iran airs footage of U.S. drone, protests ‘violation’

TEHRAN — Iran made a formal protest on Thursday over a US drone entering “deep” into its eastern airspace last week, and aired footage of what appeared to be the downed aircraft on state television. Swiss ambassador Livia Leu Agosti was summoned to the foreign ministry and told the incident…

Syria says pipeline blown up by rebel saboteurs

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A Syrian pipeline carrying oil from the east of the country to a vital refinery in Homs was blown up Thursday in what the official news agency SANA said was an act of sabotage by an armed terrorist group. Opposition activists said flames and clouds of thick…

Scotland in lockdown as huge storm sweeps in

Scotland has closed schools and travellers have been warned to expect disruption on key routes on Thursday due to gale-force winds, as Britain’s first major winter storm of the season sweeps in. Schools in western, central and southern Scotland are closed after forecasters issued a “red alert” and warned of…

Japan mulls $13 billion Fukushima bailout -source

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Japanese government may inject about $13 billion into Tokyo Electric Power Co as early as next summer in a de facto nationalization of the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, sources said on Thursday. Tepco’s future as an independent firm has been in doubt…

Putin says U.S. stoked Russian protests

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Thursday of stirring up protests against his 12-year rule and said foreign countries were spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence Russian elections. In his first public remarks about daily demonstrations over allegations that Sunday’s election was…

Package sent to Deutsche Bank CEO was bomb

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A suspicious envelope sent to Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Josef Ackermann was a letter bomb capable of exploding, investigators said on Thursday. No one has so far claimed responsibility for the package, which was intercepted late on Wednesday. It raised fears that a wave of protest against…

Thai court jails U.S. citizen for royal insult

A court in Thailand on Thursday jailed a Thai-born American for two-and-a-half years for defaming the monarchy — a sentence that the United States criticised as “severe”. The conviction of Joe Wichai Commart Gordon — who appeared in court in shackles — is the latest in a series of cases…

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