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Taliban dimisses UN global sanctions against Haqqani network

The UN Security Council ordered global sanctions against the Haqqani militant network in Afghanistan, a move welcomed by Kabul but dismissed as meaningless by the Taliban. The Haqqani group, whose leaders are based in Pakistan, is accused of carrying out a string of major attacks in Afghanistan including strikes against…

Vladimir Putin fires Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov in corruption scandal

Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday fired defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov over a corruption scandal, the most dramatic change to the government since he returned to the Kremlin for a third term. Putin replaced Serdyukov, who had been implementing an unpopular but Kremlin-backed military reform, with Moscow region governor and long-standing…

Israel to build 1,213 new settlement homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank

Israel on Tuesday published tenders for 1,213 new homes in settlement neighbourhoods of east Jerusalem, and re-offered tenders for another 72 homes in a West Bank settlement, an Israeli NGO said. Peace Now, citing tenders published by the Israeli housing ministry, said tenders for 607 units in Pisgat Zeev and…

Anti-capitalist protesters criticize war spending outside British parliament

Around 200 anti-capitalist protestors, many affiliated to the Occupy movement, gathered outside parliament late Monday in a demonstration against government cuts. There was brief unrest when police moved in to move the demonstrators — many of whom were wearing Guy Fawkes masks — back from the main parliament gates and…

Greek workers stage mass anti-austerity walkout

Greek workers began a two-day mass walkout on Tuesday, bringing public transport in Athens to a halt, as public anger mounts over a new government austerity bill aimed at securing international aid needed to prevent the debt-crippled nation from defaulting. Public bus workers in the capital joined taxi drivers as…

British banks set aside £10 billion to compensate clients who were ‘mis-sold’ insurance policies

British banks have ramped up the amount of cash they are setting aside to compensate clients who were mis-sold insurance policies to more than £10 billion, significantly slashing their profits in the process. The latest earnings season for major banks wrapped up on Monday, with HSBC announcing it was hiking…

Israel ready to strike Iran ‘if necessary’: Netanyahu

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was ready to order a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities “if necessary”, in an interview aired by Channel Two television on Monday. “I am, of course, ready to press the button if necessary,” Netanyahu said in the interview. “I hope that…

Canada circus shows off long-lost Salvador Dali painting

MONTREAL — A massive painting by Salvador Dali created in 1944 as a backdrop for a ballet put on by New York’s Metropolitan Opera was recently found and displayed Monday in Montreal. The eight by 15 meter piece was offered to circus master Daniele Finzi Pasca, who will use it…

American writer Julie Otsuka wins French foreign novel prize

US writer Julie Otsuka won France’s Femina foreign novel prize Monday for “The Buddha in the Attic”, a novel about the thousands of Japanese women sent to California in the early 1900s for arranged marriages. The novel follows Fumiko, Hanako and Miyoshi with their kimonos, sandals and long black hair,…

China files WTO complaint over EU renewable energy subsidies

China has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the European Union over renewable energy subsidies, a source close to the world trade body said Monday. “I can confirm we have received a complaint from China against … the EU, Italy, and Greece on certain measures affecting the…

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