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Incoming Greek finance minister allegedly faints hours before taking oath

Incoming Greek finance minister Vassilis Rapanos was admitted in hospital on Friday, the government said, with unconfirmed reports saying the 65-year-old senior banker had fainted. The chairman of leading Greek lender National Bank, Rapanos was taken to a private hospital in Athens, a government spokesman said, hours before he was…

Syrian Olympic chief ‘banned from London 2012′

General Mowaffak Joumaa, head of Syria’s National Olympic Committee, is believed to have been barred over links to regime The head of Syria’s National Olympic Committee, General Mowaffak Joumaa, is understood to have been banned from attending the London Olympics next month because of his links with Bashar al-Assad’s regime…

World’s top banks hit with Moody’s downgrade

The health of 15 of the world’s largest financial institutions has been called into serious question after Moody’s downgraded their credit ratings, citing risk exposure and the eurozone crisis. Some of the biggest names in banking — including Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC and Deutsche Bank — saw their ratings…

More protests planned against Egypt military ‘coup’

Egypt’s political forces have called for more protests on Friday against the ruling military’s power grab, as the nation nervously awaits the results of the first post-Mubarak presidential election. Hundreds of people spent the night in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, with more protests planned for Friday afternoon, the Muslim Brotherhood and…

Taliban storm lakeside hotel in Kabul, 16 dead

Taliban militants armed with guns and rockets attacked a lakeside hotel near Kabul overnight, seizing dozens of hostages including women and children and killing at least 16 people. The four or five attackers were also killed in the brazen assault on the Spozhmai Hotel that will exacerbate fears that insecurity…

U.S. diplomats in Pakistan ‘facing harassment’

WASHINGTON — US diplomats working in Pakistan face increasing harassment amid a sharp deterioration in ties in the wake of last year’s killing of Osama bin Laden, a State Department report said. Such harassment and obstruction is described by US embassy staff as “deliberate, willful and systematic,” according to the…

Lawyers slam Canada as Guantanamo inmate languishes

MONTREAL — Lawyers for a young Canadian held for 10 years at the US military base at Guantanamo Bay said Thursday the government has failed to honor a deal with the United States to bring him home. Omar Khadr, who was born in Toronto and became a child soldier for…

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange has ‘no idea’ if Ecuador asylum bid will succeed

Julian Assange has admitted that he has no idea whether his bid for political asylum in Ecuador to avoid extradition to Sweden will be successful. The WikiLeaks founder, who has sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he did not know when a…

UN aims at universal access to clean energy by 2030

RIO DE JANEIRO — UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday outlined plans at the Rio+20 summit to provide universal access to energy by 2030, with tens of billion of dollars in funding from business and investors. The initiative aims to ensure universal access to clean and efficient energy for 1.3…

Mexico arrests son of Sinaloa drug cartel boss

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s military on Thursday said it had captured the son of Sinaloa drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, dealing a major blow against the notorious crime syndicate run by this country’s most wanted man. “Following an intelligence operation, Jesus Alfredo Guzman, the presumed son of Joaquin…

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