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U.S. pushing Gulf nations to develop missile defense

The United States is pushing Gulf countries to develop missile defense plans, amid what they see is a rising threat from Iran, US officials said Friday. “It’s the United States’ goal, to encourage the GCC countries to develop this missile defense architecture, because… to truly protect the region by missile…

Blair could have prevented Iraq war: Annan

Former prime minister Tony Blair was the only person capable of turning George Bush against the 2003 Iraq invasion, ex-United Nations chief Kofi Annan claimed in an interview published Saturday. Annan argued in an interview published in the Times that Blair could have changed Bush’s mind because of the special…

Peru readies for South America-Arab summit

Security was tight in Lima as Peru prepared to welcome dignitaries for a third summit between South American nations and Arab countries. Some 10,000 police officers on Friday were on “maximum alert” to provide security for the two-day summit, which starts Monday, said National Police chief General Raul Salazar. The…

Greek police send crime victims to neo-Nazi ‘protectors’

Far-right Golden Dawn party filling vacuum for those neglected by state after MPs elected to fight “immigrant scum” Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party is increasingly assuming the role of law enforcement officers on the streets of the bankrupt country, with mounting evidence that Athenians are being openly directed by police…

French village renounces knife name that made it famous

Residents of Laguiole, a village synonymous with the manufacture of France’s most famous knives, have symbolically ‘unnamed’ the place in protest at losing control of the name. The villagers are furious that the name Laguiole has passed into the hands of an entrepreneur who allows it to be used to…

Daniel Craig’s swimming shorts up for grabs in James Bond auction

Props, costumes and memorabilia from 50 years of James Bond films went up for auction in London on Friday, with an Aston Martin car and a pair of Daniel Craig’s swimming trunks among the lots. Christie’s auction house expects the tight sky-blue shorts — which left some fans shaken and…

French judge seeks to ID photographer of topless Kate for royal family

A French judge will lead a probe into how topless photos were obtained of Prince William’s wife Catherine and will seek to identify the photographer, sources close to the inquiry said Friday. French prosecutors last week ordered a preliminary investigation into whether Closer magazine, which published the images on September…

Royal family files complaint over naked Prince Harry photos

The British royal family will not formally complain to a press watchdog over the publication of nude photos of Prince Harry by Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun newspaper, officials said on Friday. Harry’s office at St James’ Palace said lodging a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) would be a…

France and Germany revive plan to tax financial markets

France and Germany are bidding to revive a controversial financial transactions tax (FTT), seeking support from the European Commission and enough EU partners to start the tax in a core group. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and French counterpart Pierre Moscovici wrote to European Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Semeta and their…

Starbucks to open first outpost in tea-loving India

Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee chain, said Friday it will open its first outlet in India next month as it seeks to tap the beverage’s growing popularity in a country famed for its love of tea. Seattle-based Starbucks, which has eyed the Indian market for years, has chosen to launch…

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