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Over 2,000 rally against nuclear plants in Taiwan

TAIPEI – Around 2,000 anti-nuclear protesters demonstrated in Taiwan on Sunday, demanding an immediate halt to the construction of an atomic power plant. The march comes amid a crisis in Japan after a huge quake on March 11 unleashed a tsunami which crippled an atomic plant 250 kilometres (155 miles)…

Saudi stocks soar on king’s spending spree

RIYADH – Saudi stocks rose sharply at the start of trading on Sunday, in the stock market’s first session since King Abdullah ordered unprecedented economic benefits worth around $100 billion. Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) gained 5.6 percent just minutes after trading opened. All 145 listed shares increased as well as…

US hails Egypt vote as ‘important step’

CAIRO – The United States said Sunday that a weekend vote in Egypt that drew millions to the polls was an “important step” towards achieving the goals of the protesters who ended decades of authoritarian rule. US ambassador Margaret Scobey hailed the huge turnout for the referendum on constitutional changes…

Haitians begin voting in presidential run-off

PORT-AU-PRINCE – Haitians went to the polls on Sunday to choose between a popular singer and a former first lady as the quake-ravaged country’s next leader in an environment dominated by the return of ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Voting began throughout the country at 6:00 am (1000 GMT), as scheduled, an…

West pounds Libya, Gaddafi vows long war

TRIPOLI – US, British and French forces have hammered Libya from the air and sea, prompting leader Moamer Kadhafi to warn on Sunday of a long war in the Mediterranean “battlefield”. The US military said the first stage of coalition raids under a UN Security Council remit to enforce a…

20,000 dead, missing in Japan crisis

KITAKAMI, Japan (AFP) – Crews fighting to cool reactors at Japan’s stricken nuclear plant struggled Sunday to switch partial power back on after a natural disaster that has left more than 20,000 people dead or missing. The discovery of radiation in foodstuffs in regions around the plant, and of traces…

Exiled Tibetans to elect new leader

DHARAMSHALA, India (AFP) – Thousands of Tibetans worldwide vote Sunday for a new leader who hopes eventually to become the new face of the struggle for freedom in China, a cause embodied for decades by the Dalai Lama. The famous and celebrated monk, now 75, announced 10 days ago that…

Western warplanes, missiles hit Libyan targets

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Western forces hit targets along the Libyan coast on Saturday, using strikes from air and sea to force Muammar Gaddafi’s troops to cease fire and end attacks on civilians. Libyan state television said 48 people had been killed and 150 wounded in the allied air strikes. It…

Stability at stake in close Haiti run-off vote

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haitians vote in a presidential run-off on Sunday that international donors hope can cement in place the stability needed to rebuild the crippled nation after last year’s huge earthquake. The election presents Haiti’s 4.7 million voters with a choice between a political newcomer, energetic entertainer and singer…

Japan reports progress at Fukushima plant

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan saw some success in its race to avert disaster at a tsunami-damaged power plant, though minor radiation leaks underlined perils from the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years ago. Three hundred engineers have been battling inside a danger zone to salvage the six-reactor Fukushima…

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