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Crisis-hit Spain glows with pride over soccer finals win

They entered the realm of legend and restored pride to a nation in crisis: the Spanish press Monday lavished praise on their team’s history-making victory in the Euro 2012 final. “Spain and no-one else,” cried the front page of the biggest-selling sports daily Marca, above a photo of the cheering team…

Israel sought $1 billion IMF loan for Palestinians

Israel sought a $1 billion IMF bridging loan for the Palestinian Authority earlier this year, but was turned down, an Israeli newspaper said Monday in a report confirmed to AFP by a seniorIsraeli official. Haaretz reported that Israel’s central bank chief Stanley Fischerapproached the International Monetary Fund for the money after discussing the Palestinian Authority’s financial crisis with…

Rocket fired from Lebanon wounds two Syria police

A rocket fired from Lebanon wounded two Syrian border police on Monday, Lebanon’s General Security agency said in a statement. “On Monday at dawn, gunmen fired a rocket from Buqaya, inLebanese territory, towards Syria, hitting a Syrian immigration post and wounding two border police,” the statement said. It is the first time that General Security has reported…

Yemen says it foiled Sanaa suicide bombings plot

Yemeni security forces have foiled a plot to carry out 10 suicide bombings against government buildings in the capital Sanaa, the defence ministry’s news website reported on Monday. A wave of arrests targeting a suspected Al-Qaeda cell held responsible for a May attack that killed more than 100 soldiers in the capital netted the 10 militants charged…

India floods displace two million and kill 79

At least 79 people have died and 2.2 million forced to leave their homes over the last week as torrential monsoon rains triggered floods across India’s northeast, officials said Monday. Assam state, which borders Bhutan and Bangladesh, has been worst hit with the massive Brahmaputra river breaching its banks, while extensive flooding has…

Pufferfish a hit in Japan despite the risks

Every year in Japan people are hospitalised after eating pufferfish; sometimes the result is fatal. But despite apparent dangers, strict rules on serving the toxic delicacy in Tokyo are to be relaxed. Aficionados say the tingle that the meat of the pufferfish leaves on your lips — caused by the potent neurotoxin it contains —…

Afghanistan threatens Pakistan with UN Security Council referral

Afghanistan on Monday threatened to report Pakistan to the UN Security Council over what Kabul alleges is the shelling of its villages along the border between the two countries. Authorities in the eastern province of Kunar, a hotbed for Taliban militants, have complained for weeks of being bombarded from across the frontier, blaming the barrage on…

Syria rebels to boycott Cairo opposition talks

Syria-based rebel fighters and activists said they would boycott an opposition meeting in Cairo on Monday, denouncing it as a “conspiracy” that served the policy goals of Damascus allies Moscow and Tehran. The two-day meeting, to be attended by the main exiled opposition bloc, the Syrian National Council, and other smaller groups, is intended forge a common…

Hamas ‘temporarily’ suspends voter registration

The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip said on Monday it has “temporarily” halted voter registration just over a month after granting the electoral commission permission to work. In a statement, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri cited various “obstacles” that needed to be resolved before the electoral commission could resume its work. “Hamas and the government in Gaza have provided the Central Election…

Journalists in Ethiopia jail say held ‘unnecessarily’

Two Swedish journalists in Ethiopia jailed on terrorism charges say they are being detained unnecessarily, one year into their 11-year sentence, Swedish diplomats said Monday. Diplomats last week visited reporter Martin Schibbye and photographer Johan Persson, who have been held in an Ethiopian jail since their arrest on July 1 last year. “I think they’re very bored but physically…

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