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Ukraine extradites suspect in Putin murder plot

Ukraine on Saturday extradited one of the men suspected of plotting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin, state-owned Channel One reported. Ilya Pyanzin, who was arrested in Odessa in February, had already been taken to Moscow, the channel said, showing him at Odessa airport and then aboard a plane in handcuffs.…

Report: Germany calls for new EU treaty

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a new European Union Treaty but is facing lukewarm interest from her EU partners, the weekly Der Spiegel reported. “The federal government would like to further European integration,” it said in its issue to be published Monday, adding that Merkel advocated a meeting…

Vatican: Christian girl held on blasphemy charges cannot read

French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran on Saturday went to the defense of the young Pakistani girl accused of blasphemy, stressing that she “cannot read or write.” Interviewed on Radio Vatican, Tauran, who is in charge of interfaith dialogue in the Vatican, said “that before asserting a sacred text has been the…

Cuba releases award-winning dissident

Leading Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas told AFP Saturday he had been released after being detained 40 hours earlier, following an argument with agents guarding his home. Farinas said he was released at around 8:15 am, in a telephone interview from his home in the central city of Santa Clara. The…

Venezuela refinery blast kills 24

A massive explosion tore through Venezuela’s largest refinery on Saturday, killing at least 24 people and wounding more than 50 in South America’s largest oil producer, officials said. Vice President Elias Jaua said most of the dead were members of the country’s National Guard who were protecting the refining facility…

Syria media warn of ‘fake email’ saying VP sacked

Syria’s state news agency SANA said on Saturday that a fake email had been sent out in its name claiming that Vice President Faruq al-Shara had been sacked. Speculation has swirled since last week over the fate of Shara, the most high-ranking Sunni Muslim official in President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite-led…

Tropical Storm Isaac hits Haiti on way to Florida

Tropical Storm Isaac battered impoverished Haiti early Saturday as a hurricane warning was issued for southern Florida days before the opening of the US Republican convention. With wind gusts of up to 60 miles (95 kilometers) per hour, the storm was expected to sweep over eastern Cuba later Saturday and…

American states back Ecuador over Assange

The Organization of American States declared “solidarity and support” for Ecuador in its dispute with Britain over granting asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The meeting of the Americas bloc was convened at Ecuador’s request to consider a resolution rejecting any attempt to put at risk the “inviolability” of its…

Egypt blocks 120 tunnels in the Sinai

Egyptian military engineers have blocked 120 tunnels used for smuggling to and from the Gaza Strip since the start of operations in the neighbouring Sinai Pensinsula, security officials said on Saturday. “Tunnel entrances are being demolished every day and the operation will continue until all underground passageways are shut,” one…

Guantanamo 9/11 hearings delayed to mid-October

Preliminary hearings for the trial of five alleged 9/11 plotters were canceled this week over Tropical Storm Isaac are now set for mid-October, the US military said Friday. The hearings, at which confessed September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is due to appear, are now due to take place from…

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