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India’s ‘Mr Fix-it’ set to be elected president

Powerful politician Pranab Mukherjee looked set to be elected India’s new president on Sunday and analysts said the canny veteran could play a key role in steering the nation through testing times. Mukherjee, 76, a ruling Congress party loyalist, was the overwhelming favorite for the post of head of state…

At least 130 dead in latest battles in Syria

Heavy clashes raged between Syrian troops and rebels on Saturday, with at least 130 people killed nationwide, as the clock ticked down on a 30-day “final” extension of a troubled UN observer mission. At least 64 civilians were among the dead as clashes rocked both of the country’s largest cities,…

More protests in Spain amid escalating financial crisis

Thousands of jobless Spaniards marched through Madrid Saturday in the latest angry demonstrations against economic crisis cuts, as fears rose for the country’s financial stability. Young people thrown out of work by the recession converged on the capital, many of them having hiked hundreds of miles from around Spain, and…

LIBOR scandal: What is it and why you should care

LIBOR scandal: What is it and why you should care The latest banking fraud is centered in Britain, where the financial firm Barclays will pay half a billion dollars in fines for efforts to manipulate a benchmark interest rate. Other banks must have been involved, though, and the full range…

Pope’s butler placed under house arrest in Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI’s butler was released from a Vatican cell and placed under house arrest on Saturday as he awaits a ruling on whether he should stand trial for leaking confidential papers. “His detention is no longer necessary,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters, adding that the ruling would come…

Putin signs Russia into World Trade Organization

President Vladimir Putin on Saturday signed the bill ratifying Russia’s entry to the World Trade Organization after 18 years of often acrimonious negotiations, the Kremlin press office said. Economists have long argued that Russia needed to join the WTO as it was the only major economy outside the body —…

Olympics legend Comaneci takes flame on London tour

Olympics legend Nadia Comaneci held the 2012 torch aloft over London on Saturday as the flame began a seven-day tour of the host city that will culminate at the Games opening ceremony. Olympics organisers hope that with the flame now in the British capital, attention will turn towards sport and…

Departing IMF economist rips fund’s leadership

A departing senior IMF economist has excoriated the fund, alleging it failed to address Europe’s crisis and “suppressed” its challenges, according to a letter published Friday. In the letter obtained by CNN, Peter Doyle also accused Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, of being “tainted” by…

Conflict, hunger, cholera and locusts: Mali’s woes mount

A toddler’s cries ring out in a paediatric ward where about 20 children lie emaciated from malnutrition in this northern Mali town, whose occupation by Islamists has caused a humanitarian crisis. “He is suffering from chronic malnutrition,” says chief nurse Ibrahim Maiga of the crying three-year-old, pointing out other children…

Japan firm ‘told workers to lie’ about radiation dose

A subcontractor at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant told workers to lie about possible high radiation exposure in an apparent effort to keep its contract, reports said Saturday. An executive at construction firm Build-Up in December told about 10 of its workers to cover their dosimeters, used to measure cumulative…

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