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Taiwan city offers to turn dog poo into gold

TAIPEI (Reuters) – A city in northern Taiwan is trying the Midas touch to persuade reluctant residents to clean up after their canines: offering a chance to win gold bars to anyone handing in bags of doggy deposits. Starting from August 1, dog owners and other residents of New Taipei…

Britain expels Libyan diplomats, recognizes rebels

Britain on Wednesday recognised Libya’s rebel council as the country’s sole legitimate government, after dramatically expelling all remaining staff loyal to Moamer Kadhafi from the London embassy. Foreign Secretary William Hague said he had invited the National Transitional Council (NTC) to take over the embassy and appoint an official envoy…

Suicide bomber kills Kandahar mayor

The mayor of Kandahar, the biggest city in southern Afghanistan and the birthplace of the Taliban movement, was killed in a suicide attack on Wednesday, police said. The death comes two weeks after the assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai, the so-called “King of Kandahar”, who was a key strongman in…

India, Pakistan top diplomats hold peace talks

India and Pakistan’s foreign ministers held their first talks for a year Wednesday, looking to breathe fresh life into a peace process still stifled by the trauma of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. India suspended contacts with its arch-rival after the attacks and the peace dialogue has struggled to gain any…

Egypt’s Mubarak ‘refuses food, extremely weak’

Egypt’s ex-president Hosni Mubarak, due to go on trial next week for murder, is refusing food in his hospital detention and has become extremely weak, state media reported on Wednesday. Mubarak, 83, has been detained since April on charges of ordering the killings of anti-regime protesters and corruption. He is…

Russia faces crisis if Putin returns: Kremlin advisers

Russia faces a massive crisis including economic collapse and social tensions if Vladimir Putin rather than Dmitry Medvedev stands in presidential polls, two Kremlin advisers warned on Wednesday. In the most vocal call yet for Medvedev to seek a second mandate in 2012 elections, the advisers from the Institute of…

Palestinian leaders meet to endorse UN bid

The PLO Central Council was on Wednesday expected to endorse a decision by the Palestinian leadership to seek full membership in the United Nations in September. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was to address council members at the meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, which got under way late…

Norway finds ‘no proof’ of British link to gunman

Norway’s domestic intelligence chief said Wednesday there was no evidence that the gunman who admitted last week’s twin attacks had links to other cells in the country or in Britain. Janne Kristiansen also rejected defence arguments that suspected killer Anders Behring Breivik was insane, saying that he was sane and…

Landslides kill 22 after downpours in S. Korea

Torrential rain pounding South Korea on Wednesday triggered landslides which killed 22 people, flooded hundreds of homes and turned main roads into rivers of churning, muddy water. Thirteen people died when a mudslide hit an inn and three homes in the mountainous Chuncheon area 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of…

Lockerbie bomber attends pro-Gaddafi meeting

Ailing Libyan agent Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, convicted for life over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, made his first public appearance in nearly two years at a meeting in support of strongman Moamer Kadhafi. Megrahi, 59, who has terminal cancer, was released from a Scottish jail on compassionate grounds in August…

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