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Iraqi defector ‘Curveball’ admits to WMD lies that led to war

An Iraqi defector, codenamed Curveball, who allegedly helped convince the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein had a secret stash of biological and chemical weapons, has admitted for the first time that he made it all up. Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi told The Guardian that he invented the stories to help…

Hillary Clinton: Iran needs to follow Egypt’s lead and ‘open up’

WASHINGTON – Amidst a new wave of protests in Iran, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday accused the Iranian government of “hypocrisy,” saying it must listen to the wishes of its demonstrators. “What we see happening in Iran today is a testament to the courage of the Iranian people,…

Iraq protesters demand electricity, jobs

KIRKUK, Iraq — Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Iraqi cities on Tuesday, inspired by popular protests around the Arab world, to demand job-creation programmes and better electricity supplies. The biggest turnout was in Fallujah where about 800 protesters marched through the city of western Iraq that a…

Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi to stand trial for underage prostitute

MILAN (Reuters) – An Italian judge ordered Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to stand trial on Tuesday on charges that include paying an underage girl for sex. Following weeks of scandal that have shaken his struggling center-right government, trial has now been set to start in a criminal court in Milan…

US to spend $75 million on new Yemen military training

WASHINGTON – The United States aims to spend $75 million to double the size of a special Yemeni counter-terrorism unit, a US official said on Monday. The funding, which has yet to be approved by Congress, is part of a broader effort to increase pressure on al Qaeda’s Yemen-based affiliate,…

Congressman Ron Paul slams Obama: ‘He’s a warmonger’

Republican Congressman Ron Paul said Monday his unwavering opposition to war could help him defeat President Barack Obama in a national election. “The reality is it would be very, very difficult,” Rep Paul (R-TX) said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “But if you look at the polls, and there aren’t that…

Japan overtaken by China as No. 2 economy

TOKYO – Japan lost its 42-year ranking as the world’s second-biggest economy to China in 2010, with data on Monday showing a contraction in the last quarter due to weak consumer spending and a strong yen. While Japan was expected to fall behind a surging China in the year, the…

7 charged in US in Taliban plot for weapons, drugs

WASHINGTON – Seven people, including two US citizens, were charged in connection with a plot to aid the Afghan Taliban by sending weapons to the insurgents and moving tons of Afghan heroin through West Africa, officials said Monday. The US Justice Department said the two Americans were charged with conspiracy…

UN urges ‘permanent’ Thai-Cambodia ceasefire

UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council called Monday for a “permanent ceasefire” between Thailand and Cambodia after a border dispute erupted into deadly clashes last week around a Hindu temple. Council president Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil made the call after a closed door session with the foreign…

Rocks and batons fly as Yemen protests erupt

SANAA – Rocks and batons flew in central Sanaa on Monday as pro-democracy protesters clashed violently with police and supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, witnesses said. Clashes between police and protesters also erupted in the city of Taez, south of Sanaa, where thousands of people joined demonstrations against Saleh,…

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