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UK troops in Libya to get operational allowance

British military personnel serving in Libya will receive an operational allowance in recognition of the “rigour and risk” they face, Defence Secretary Liam Fox said on Wednesday. UK servicemen and women operating in Libyan airspace and territorial waters will be paid an extra £29.02 a day tax-free, backdated to the…

‘Flytilla’ activist says mistreated by Israel

An Austrian pro-Palestinian activist deported from Israel has complained of ill treatment at the hands of aggressive Israeli forces. Julia Hurnaus, 25, was one of about 40 so-called “flytilla” activists expelled on Tuesday from Israel, where they had flown for a protest action over the weekend. “People were injured, people…

Israel bombs Gaza after rocket fire

Israeli jets bombed two sites in Gaza early on Wednesday, wounding one woman, after Palestinians fired three rockets into southern Israel, Israeli and Palestinian sources said. The Israeli military said its aircraft “targeted two weapons manufacturing sites in the northern Gaza Strip.” “Direct hits were confirmed and secondary explosions were…

Afghan president buries assassinated brother

A weeping Afghan President Hamid Karzai Wednesday led thousands of mourners at the funeral of his brother, whose assassination could push southern Afghanistan into renewed instability. Ahmed Wali Karzai may have been dogged by allegations of links to the drugs trade and corruption, but his shock killing at home by…

West piles pressure for UN action on Syria

Western governments ratcheted up the pressure for UN Security Council action against Syria on Wednesday with France branding blocking moves by China and Russia “indecent.” US President Barack Obama said Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad had no legitimacy after repeatedly ducking opportunities for reform, as ties between Damascus and Western governments…

Obama blasts Syria’s Assad after embassy attacks

President Barack Obama said Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad had lost legitimacy, as ties with Damascus nosedived after pro-regime protesters attacked the US and French embassies. US rhetoric against Assad mounted after the attacks, also condemned by the UN Security Council and UN chief Ban Ki-moon, and a senior US official…

China admits “long way to go” for citizens to enjoy human rights

BEIJING (Reuters) – China still has “a long way to go” before its citizens can enjoy full human rights, a senior Chinese official said in a rare admission of the challenges ahead, pointing to social conflict and even rising house prices as stumbling blocks. Wang Chen, head of the State…

Greenpeace loses appeal in Japan whale meat case

TOKYO — A Japanese court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by two Greenpeace activists sentenced to suspended one-year jail terms for stealing a box of whale meat as part of an investigation. Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki were convicted of theft and trespass last September by the Aomori district court…

German spy chief admits HQ blue prints stolen

BERLIN — Germany’s foreign intelligence chief Ernst Uhrlau Tuesday admitted that blueprints for his service’s new headquarters in Berlin had been stolen, but played down the danger posed by the loss. The missing blueprints are those of a parking area and of a “power generating centre”, not those “at the…

CIA using secret Somalia prison facility: report

WASHINGTON — The US Central Intelligence Agency is using a secret facility in Somalia for counterterrorism purposes as well as a secret prison in the Somali capital, the magazine The Nation reported Tuesday. The report said the CIA has “a sprawling walled compound” on the coast of the Indian Ocean…

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