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France committed to political solution in Syria: Hollande

French President Francois Hollande said France was committed to finding a political solution to the Syrian conflict as he paid tribute Saturday to the 88th French soldier killed in Afghanistan. He noted that France had deployed a field hospital in Jordan “as close as possible to the border with Syria…

Turkey treating Iraqi Kurdistan ‘as independent’

Turkey has been dealing with Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region as though it were an independent state, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said in a statement released on Saturday. Turkey is “dealing with the (Kurdistan) region as an independent state, and this is rejected by us,” Maliki said in a soon-to-be…

‘Teddy bear’ stunt trio summoned by Belarus KGB

Three Swedes behind the so-called “teddy bear” stunt in Belarus which is believed to have sparked a diplomatic row with Stockholm have been summoned to appear before the KGB, they said Saturday. “We’ve received a document from the KGB … Three of us have been asked to appear before the…

Tropical Storm Ernesto kills five in Mexico

Ernesto killed five people in Mexico, officials said Friday, with the weakening storm threatening more heavy rain and possible flooding. A 17-year-old fisherman drowned off the coast of the southeastern town of Centla, according to authorities, and the body of a second victim was found in a river near Cunduacan,…

Belgians ‘skeptical’ that nuclear reactor will come back online after cracks discovered near core

The head of Belgium’s federal agency for nuclear safety AFCN said on Friday he was “sceptical” that an ageing reactor closed over fears of cracks could be restarted. “I’m fairly sceptical for the moment,” Willy de Roovere told RTBF public radio, even if “the possibility remains that I am wrong.”…

Police seek grandmother’s boyfriend after discovering child’s body at her house

Police hunting a missing 12-year-old girl have launched a murder inquiry after finding a body at her grandmother’s house in south London, Scotland Yard said Friday. Tia Sharp was last seen at the house on the the New Addington estate near Croydon, south London, a week ago. Officers are now…

German University launches effort to identify those killed by Communist regime while fleeing to the West

Germany launched a project on Friday to shed light on the identities of the hundreds of people killed along its internal Cold War border while trying to flee the communist East. While research into deaths at the Berlin Wall was completed in 2009, there has been no official effort so…

Rich Germans donated only €165,489 Euros to reduce €2.1 trillion debt

An appeal by Germany’s government for generous-hearted citizens to help wipe out the country’s debt has fallen short… by over two trillion euros, Der Spiegel reported Friday. Germans have only donated 165,489 euros ($203,556) to the finance ministry cause since the launch of its appeal in 2006 to reduce the…

Analysts: North Korea seeking economic reforms

North Korea’s new leadership is apparently pushing for reforms in a bid to revive its crumbling state-directed economy, analysts and a South Korean official said Friday. “Our government is aware of North Korea’s discussion and consideration of various changes in the economic sector since the launch of its new leadership,”…

Venezuela claims arrested American is part of a plot to remove Chávez

Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan president, is claiming a US citizen has been arrested and interrogated on suspicions he is a mercenary involved in a conspiracy against the government. Chávez, who faces an election on 7 October, suggested the man is part of a plot to destabilise the country if he…

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