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North, South Sudan agree to demilitarized zone

JUBA, Sudan (Reuters) – Representatives from north and south Sudan have agreed to set up a demilitarized zone along their shared border, the African Union said Tuesday, ten days after the north seized the disputed Abyei region. South Sudan is scheduled to become an independent country in less than six…

Afghan leader warns NATO not to become ‘occupying force’

KABUL (Reuters) – President Hamid Karzai warned NATO-led forces in Afghanistan on Tuesday they were at risk of being seen as an occupying force rather than an ally after a spate of civilian casualties, and said he would take unspecified “action” if they continue. Raids on Afghan homes in pursuit…

Bangladeshi woman cuts off rapist’s penis and gives it to police

DHAKA (AFP) – A 40-year-old Bangladeshi woman cut off a man’s penis during an alleged attempted rape and took it to a police station as evidence, police in a remote part of Bangladesh said Monday. The woman, a married mother of three, was attacked while she was sleeping in her…

Damn! Aussies to be fined for swearing

MELBOURNE (AFP) – Australians may have a love of plain speaking but new laws are set to curtail some of their more colourful language with police issuing on-the-spot fines for obnoxious swearing. The country’s second most populous state Victoria is due to approve new legislation this week under which police…

Former Egypt bank head charged with sex assault on NYC hotel maid

NEW YORK (Reuters) – An Egyptian businessman and one-time head of a major Egyptian bank has been charged with sexually assaulting a hotel maid at a luxury New York City hotel, police said. The arrest Monday of Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar came two weeks after former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique…

Japan PM, facing no-confidence vote, says won’t quit

TOKYO (Reuters) – Unpopular Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Tuesday refused to step down in the face of a no-confidence motion in parliament this week, saying he wanted first to resolve the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years. Analysts say Kan would probably survive the vote, which could…

Robert Gates travels to Asia with message of continuity

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates heads to Asia for a final time as Pentagon chief on Tuesday, looking to reassure allies the United States is committed to regional security despite tightening defense budgets and his own imminent departure. Gates, who leaves office at the end of June, will…

Court rejects Mladic appeal, extradition cleared

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia’s war crimes court has rejected the appeal of former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, paving the way to his extradition to the war crimes court in The Hague, a court spokeswoman told Reuters on Tuesday. The Hague court indicted Mladic for genocide in the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and the massacre of…

Egypt’s Mubarak unfit for prison move: prosecutor

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s public prosecutor said on Tuesday ousted President Hosni Mubarak was not in a condition to be transferred to a prison hospital and would remain in a hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh for the time being. The prosecutor said in a statement that a medical team had concluded “not to transfer the patient…

Centennial anniversary of Titanic launch marked in Belfast

BELFAST (AFP) – Dignitaries on Tuesday marked the 100th anniversary of the launch of the Titanic from Belfast in Northern Ireland with a religious service and the firing of a flare. The ill-starred ocean liner slid down the slipway of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, then the largest in the…

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