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Ahmadinejad’s press aide denies arrest reports

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s media adviser denied on Monday reports in local print media that he had been arrested after holding a news conference. Iran’s conservatives accuse Ahmadinejad of being in the grip of a “deviant current” of advisers seeking to undermine the power of hardliners, including the influential…

Several hurt as Saudi forces fire on protest: report

Saudi security forces opened fire on protesters in the Eastern Province Shiite region of Al-Qatif on Monday, wounding several people, witnesses said. The demonstrators had taken to the streets in the town of Shwika to protest against the death overnight Sunday of a 19-year-old Shiite man, Nasser al-Mheishi, accusing police of killing him, the witnesses…

Taliban commanders claim peace talks with Pakistan

Senior commanders in the Pakistani Taliban on Monday claimed to be holding initial peace talks with the government that could end a wave of bombings that has killed thousands of people. Reports of the contacts emerged on the same day that 16 Pakistani troops were killed in two separate attacks — 14 in an ambush blamed on separatist…

UK cuts ties with Iran banks over nuclear concerns

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said Monday Britain was cutting links with Iranian banks because of “evidence” that they are involved in the development of a nuclear weaponsprogramme. “The UK government has just announced new financial sanctions against Iran. We are ceasing all contact between the UK financial system and the Iranian banking system,” Osborne said.…

Gaddafi’s son, spymaster face Libyan justice

Moamer Kadhafi’s son Seif al-Islam and his spymaster Abdullah Senussi were on Monday both behind bars as Libya’s new leaders moved to bring the former regime’s two most wanted men to justice. The National Transitional Council, Libya’s interim authority, insists that Seif, arrested on Saturday in the country’s far-flung Saharan south, be brought to trial in…

U.S. to announce ‘new steps’ against Iran: Treasury

The US Treasury Department on Monday said it would announce “new steps” to pressure Iran amid renewed suspicion about Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner are expected to make an announcement of further sanctions around 2130 GMT. The two will “outline new steps the United States is taking to…

Greenhouse gases rise to record high in 2010: UN

The amount of global warming-causing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere rose to a new high in 2010, and the rate of increase has accelerated, the UN weather agency said on Monday. Levels of carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas and major contributor to climate change – rose by 2.3 parts per million between 2009 and 2010,…

24 dead as clashes rock Cairo’s Tahrir Square

Fresh clashes erupted in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Monday between police and protesters demanding the end of army rule, as the rulingmilitary council faced its worst crisis since Hosni Mubarak was toppled. The clashes, which have left 24 left dead in three days according tothe interior ministry, threatened to derail the country’s first elections since Mubarak’s ouster…

U.S. says China trade talks achieve ‘concrete’ results

The United States on Monday hailed key trade talks with China as a success, saying they had made “meaningful, concrete progress” on piracy and market access, but warned more work needed to be done. US Commerce Secretary John Bryson said China had pledged to better enforce intellectual property rights and give US firms a “level playing field”…

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards dare Israel to attack

Iran dares Israel to attack, because the retaliation would send the Jewish state to “the dustbin of history,” a senior Revolutionary Guards commander said, according to the Fars news agencyMonday. “Our greatest wish is that they commit such a mistake,” the chief of the Guards’ aerospatial division, Amir-Ali Hadjizadeh, was quoted as saying. “For some time there…

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