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Rebels seize control of Yemen’s second-largest city

SANAA (AFP) – Yemen’s second-largest city Taez has mostly fallen to armed dissidents, a tribal leader said, as protesters in Sanaa called for a “millions march” to thwart plans by wounded President Ali Abdullah Saleh to return to power. Fighting also raged between Yemeni troops and suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen Tuesday…

Food prices to stay high into 2012: UN agency

ROME (AFP) – Food prices are to remain high and volatile into 2012, presenting a “threat” to poor countries that will have to spend up to a third more on food imports this year, the UN food agency said on Tuesday. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said its…

Apple takes leap into new iCloud services

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has interrupted his medical leave to unveil a free service called iCloud that stores music, photos and other content on the Web and shares it across multiple devices. “We’re going to move the digital hub to the cloud,” the 56-year-old Jobs…

Singapore to overtake Vegas this year: US gaming head

MACAU (AFP) – Singapore is set to overtake Las Vegas as the world’s second-largest gambling hub this year, a US gaming industry head said Tuesday, as Asia cements its place as a major betting market. Singapore has emerged as Asia’s hottest new gambling destination with a revamped cityscape and billions…

Japan doubles plant radiation leak estimate

TOKYO — Japan has more than doubled its initial estimate of radiation released from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in the week after the March 11 tsunami, ahead of the launch of an official probe Tuesday. The nation’s watchdog, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), now says it believes…

Nuclear weapons ‘as numerous as ever’: study

STOCKHOLM — Disarmament vows have failed to reduce the nuclear threat as nations invest in new weapons systems, a leading think-tank said Tuesday, amid a rise in global tensions due to competition for scarce resources. “More than 5,000 nuclear weapons are deployed and ready for use, including nearly 2,000 that…

NATO nearing ‘decisive blow’ in Afghan war: Gates

KABUL (AFP) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates, wrapping up a final visit to Afghanistan as Pentagon chief, said Tuesday that US-led forces are on the verge of securing a “decisive blow” against the Taliban. “I leave Afghanistan today with the belief that if we keep this momentum up we will…

Syria to send army to town after scores killed

AMMAN (Reuters) – A restive Syrian town awaited a threatened military crackdown on Tuesday after bloody events in which state media say over 120 security personnel were killed. Exactly what happened in the northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughour at the weekend is unclear, but it seems to have been one of the bloodiest…

Mexico soldiers find narco ‘tank’ factory

MONTERREY, Mexico — Soldiers on patrol in a Mexican border town discovered a warehouse where armor-plated “tanks” were being prepared for the Gulf drug cartel, a military source said Monday. The patrol came across the warehouse when they clashed with a group of armed men in the town of Ciudad…

Source of deadly European bacteria outbreak remains unknown

BERLIN – The source of a killer bacteria remained elusive Monday after Germany announced that initial tests on suspected organic sprouts had proved negative, while the outbreak’s death toll grew to 23. The probes were carried out on a farm in the northern state of Lower Saxony after regional agriculture…

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