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Pentagon report faults Pakistan over Afghan war

Despite an easing of tensions with the United States, Pakistan is persistently undermining security in Afghanistan by permitting safe havens for insurgents, a Pentagon report said. In a biannual war assessment mandated by Congress, the Defense Department said that the 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan and their allies had succeeded…

Frail Nelson Mandela’s ‘sparkle fading’: wife

Ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was Tuesday spending a fourth day in hospital for more tests, as his wife said his trademark “sparkle” was waning. Looking calm in an interview with a local television network, Graca Machel did not give details about Mandela’s health status, just saying it was painful…

Dominique Strauss-Kahn court case settled as hotel maid receives rumored $6 million

A hotel maid who claims she was brutally sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn has settled her civil action against the former IMF chief for an undisclosed sum, a move that allows her to “move on with her life”, lawyers said. In Bronx supreme court yesterday, a judge announced that an…

New York judge’s ruling on $20 billion hedge fund sparks nationalist surge in Argentina

New York judge's ruling sparks nationalist surge in Argentina The stakes couldn’t be higher for Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as a legal tug-of-war with a $20 billion US hedge fund plays out in a New York case that has sent nationalist sentiment soaring in Argentina and raised concerns…

New UN plan to get girls in school boosted by Malala’s father

New UN plan to get girls in school boosted by Malala's father The Pakistani government and the United Nations’ education agency unveiled a plan today to motivate girls around the world to enroll in schools by the end of 2015.  Organizers dubbed it the “Malala Plan,” after Malala Yousufzai, the…

Ecuador says asylum for Syria’s Assad not ruled out

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, in an interview published Monday, said his country would consider granting asylum to his embattled Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad. “Any person that requests asylum in Ecuador, obviously we are going to consider as a human being whose basic rights we have to respect,” he told the…

Northern Ireland protesters hit police with petrol bombs

Rioters in Belfast pelted police with petrol bombs on Monday in the latest violence to flare up in Northern Ireland over a decision by the city’s council not to fly the British flag all year round. Officers were targeted on the Upper Newtownards Road near the offices of the east…

Zurich struggling to find more than 5,000 misplaced works of art

Switzerland’s largest city Zurich acknowledged Monday it had lost trace of 5,176 works of art, including an original painting by Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier. The city had carried out its first full inventory of its vast collection of 35,000 pieces in nearly a century, only to discover that nearly 15…

Stylish IKEA monkey triggers Internet meme frenzy

A stylishly-attired monkey became an instant Internet celebrity, and triggered an animal welfare investigation, when it was found wandering in a Canadian furniture store car park. The months-old rhesus macaque, named Darwin, spent the night at an animal shelter in Toronto after he was found wandering around an IKEA lot…

Race group slams ‘white as snow’ Miss France as unrepresentative

A black rights group on Monday slammed the latest Miss France competition for producing a “white as snow” winner from a field it claimed was unrepresentative of the country’s ethnic make-up. Marine Lorphelin, 19, a brunette medical student from Burgundy, was on Saturday crowned Miss France 2013, having edged out…

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