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Iranian nuclear scientist shot dead in front of home

TEHRAN — A nuclear scientist was shot dead on Saturday by unknown assailants on a motorcycle, the latest expert with links to Iran’s controversial atomic programme to be targeted, local media reported. “A physics professor and nuclear scientist was assassinated a few hours ago in front of his house in…

U.S. forces to stop joint operations in Iraq’s north

TIKRIT, Iraq — In one week US troops will cease joint operations with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, begun in early 2010 to dampen tensions between Kurds and Sunni Arabs in disputed northern zones, a US military official said on Saturday. Colonel Michael Bowers said that from August 1, American forces…

China double high-speed train crash kills 16

A Chinese high-speed train derailed Saturday when it was hit by another express, state media said, throwing two carriages off a viaduct and killing at least 16 people. The derailed train had been crippled by a lightning strike and was stationary when the second one ploughed into it, the reports…

Asylum seeker cuts throat in Australia protest

An asylum seeker cut his throat and dozens more were on hunger strike at an northern Australian detention centre, refugee activists said, taking immigration protests into their fourth day. Two men had cut themselves, “one on his arm and one on his throat”, at the remote Scherger detention centre in…

U.S. ‘encouraged’ by Korea nuclear talks

The United States said Saturday it was “encouraged” by surprise talks between North and South Korea over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, but remained cool on resuming disarmament talks. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told regional foreign ministers at an Asian security forum in Indonesia that the onus remained squarely on…

Japan’s quake region holds samurai festival

Japan’s tsunami-hit Fukushima region has kicked off a thousand-year-old horse festival, with riders in samurai armour defying an ongoing nuclear crisis to take to the streets and vow recovery. The “Soma Namaoi”, or wild horse chase, featured some 80 horses with riders in full samurai armour, and was dedicated this…

U.S., New Zealand leaders bond on trade, security

The United States and New Zealand hailed new cooperation in a once frosty relationship as President Barack Obama called for work on a trans-Pacific trade deal by November. Obama welcomed New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to the White House on Friday, hours after deadly attacks stunned Norway — an…

At least 80 killed in Norway twin attacks: police

Twin shooting and bomb attacks in Oslo and a nearby island have claimed at least 80 lives, a Norwegian police spokesman told AFP on Saturday. “We have confirmation that at least 80 people are dead. We do not exclude a higher toll,” said Are Frykholm. Earlier reports said at least…

UN fears crimes against humanity in Syria

UN officials have said Syrian security forces may have committed crimes against humanity in their crackdown on protesters, as at least eight more civilians were killed in massive protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule. The UN concerns were expressed in a statement late Friday by Francis Deng, special adviser to…

World condemns ‘cowardly’ Norway attacks

Western governments lined up to condemn twin attacks in Norway which have claimed at least 87 lives, slamming the “cowardly” perpetrators as they vowed to step up intelligence cooperation. With Norway involved in both the Afghan and Libya campaigns, NATO’s chief said the alliance stood united against the “heinous” acts…

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