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France defends arms airlift to Libya rebels

NEW YORK/MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) – France said it did not break a U.N. arms embargo by airlifting weapons to Libya’s rebels because the arms were needed to defend civilians under threat. France on Wednesday became the first NATO country to openly acknowledge arming rebels seeking to topple Muammar Gaddafi, who…

U.S. vows to support India’s nuclear waiver

The United States will support India’s continued exemption from global nuclear trade rules despite moves to tighten up restrictions, the US ambassador to India said on Thursday. Last week the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which governs global nuclear trade, decided to tighten guidelines for transfers of sensitive uranium enrichment and…

Greek parliament expected to endorse second austerity bill

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece’s parliament is expected to pass a second austerity bill on Thursday to enable the country to avert bankruptcy by securing a 12 billion euro ($17 billion) loan tranche from the EU and IMF. After two days of violent protests just meters (yards) from where deputies passed initial austerity legislation on…

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez postpones summit amid health concerns

CARACAS — The mystery surrounding the medical condition of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez deepened with the postponement of a major regional summit he was due to host next week. Officials say the 56-year-old anti-American firebrand, who has been in Cuba since beginning an official visit on June 8, is still…

Syria troops storm villages killing seven

Syrian troops killed seven civilians on Wednesday when they stormed two villages in the northwest to quash dissent against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, a rights activist said. The latest military action came as hundreds of lawyers staged a sit-in in the second city of Aleppo calling for freedom…

Lightning strike kills 19 children in Uganda

A lightning strike at a primary school in western Uganda killed 19 students and injured 50, Ugandan police said on Wednesday. Lightning on Tuesday hit Runyanya primary school in Kiryandongo district, about 225 kilometres (135 miles) northwest of Kampala, killing 18 children outright with a further child dying from burns…

Microsoft director admits E.U. data not exempt from Patriot Act spying

In the brave new world of cloud computing, where data is stored off-site in massive server farms instead of on a user’s local hard drive, privacy and security are paramount in the consumer’s mind. Unfortunately for privacy advocates, their concerns are essentially moot thanks to the U.S.A. Patriot Act, which…

Exiled former Tunisian President Ben Ali faces drug and weapons charges

Tunisia’s ousted president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali faces new weapons and drug charges in a Tunis court Thursday a week after he was sentenced in absentia to 35 years in jail for embezzling public funds. The disgraced ex-strongman, who fled to Saudi Arabia in January at the height of…

Iraq sentences Al-Qaeda chief’s widow to life

A Baghdad court has handed a life jail sentence to the widow of Al-Qaeda’s top chief in Iraq, killed last year in a joint US-Iraqi military raid, a judiciary official said on Wednesday. Abdel Sattar al-Beriqdar, spokesman of Iraq’s High Council of Justice, told AFP the woman was an Iraqi,…

France providing weapons to Libya rebels: report

PARIS (Reuters) – France is providing weapons to Libyan rebels in the Western Mountains in an effort to help them push on to Muammar Gaddafi’s stronghold in the Libyan capital Tripoli, Le Figaro newspaper reported on Wednesday. Citing unidentified sources, Le Figaro said France had parachuted “large amounts” of weapons,…

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