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‘Rebel’ Greek lawmakers may block austerity plan

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s deputy prime minister warned on Sunday that rebel lawmakers may block some reforms sought by international lenders, though parliament will probably back an overall austerity package this week to avert national bankruptcy. Adding to Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou’s dire problems, the conservative opposition rejected appeals…

Japan hopes to convince public of nuclear reactor safety

TOKYO — Japan began a campaign Sunday to convince communities hosting nuclear reactors to let operations resume, with several local governments blocking nuclear power generation after the atomic crisis in Fukushima. Central government officials held a briefing in Saga prefecture, where two reactors at the Genkai power plant are among…

Palestinians going ahead with UN statehood bid

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Sunday that with no renewal of peace talks on the horizon, the Palestinians would pursue their unilateral bid for recognition in September. “I say that if negotiations have failed we will go to the United Nations for membership,” Abbas told…

Gaddafi renews offer to hold elections to end Libyan unrest

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – The Libyan government on Sunday renewed its offer to hold a vote on whether Muammar Gaddafi should stay in power, a proposal unlikely to interest Gaddafi’s opponents but which could widen differences inside NATO. Pressure is growing from some quarters within the alliance to find a political…

Clashes erupt outside Egyptian court trying ex-minister

CAIRO — Hundreds of Egyptians angry with the delays in the trial of ex-interior minister Habib Adly clashed on Sunday with anti-riot police outside the courtroom, an AFP reporter witnessed. Adly, once one of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak’s most trusted ministers, and six other defendants are accused of ordering the…

Wheelchair suicide bomber kills two in Iraq

BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber in a wheelchair attacked a police station north of Baghdad on Sunday, killing two people and wounding 17, nine of them policemen, officials said. “A suicide bomber detonated his explosives vest at the entrance to a police station, killing two civilians and wounding 17 people,…

British climber finds six dead in French Alps

VILLAR-D’ARENE, France — An English climber on Sunday found the bodies of six mountaineers in the French Alps who appeared to have died after a fall caused by an avalanche of snow and stones, officials said. The bodies found on Neige Cordier summit at 2,700 metres (8,850 feet) were taken…

Brazil candidate elected UN Food agency head

ROME — Brazil’s former food security minister Jose Graziano da Silva was elected Sunday as the next head of UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation, the first South American ever to get the post. Graziano beat off his main competitor, former Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, winning by 92 votes…

Syria protest group warns of coming ‘volcano’

DAMASCUS (AFP) – Syrian security forces continued their crackdown on protestors with another four civilians killed, as a protest group called for demonstrators to expect “a volcano” this week. “Two civilians were killed in Kassir by gunfire from the security forces who have reinforced there since Friday” near the Lebanese…

Taliban militant and wife staged attack on Pakistani police

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (Reuters) – A Taliban militant and his wife carried out a suicide bombing on a police station in Pakistan on Saturday that killed 12 policemen, a Taliban spokesman said on Sunday. The pair, armed with assault rifles and hand grenades, raided the compound and took a…

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