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South Korean president pushes Japan to settle grievances

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said Monday his unprecedented visit to islands claimed by Japan was intended to press Tokyo to settle grievances left over from its colonial rule. The visit on Friday last week to the Seoul-controlled islands in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) infuriated Japan, which recalled…

Report: G20 to tackle rising food prices

The Group of 20 top economies will meet shortly to try and coordinate a response to soaring food prices, driven by drought and rising demand, the Financial Times reported Monday. Over the weekend, US President Barack Obama called on Congress to help farmers struggling with the worst US drought in…

Castro celebrates 86th birthday Monday

Fidel Castro, who led Cuba for a half century and became known worldwide for decades of Cold War-era clashing with the United States, celebrates his 86th birthday Monday far from the limelight. Officially, there are no plans to publicly honor the communist country’s one-time “commander-in-chief,” who tightly orchestrated public life…

Iran quake death toll up to 306 as 16,000 left homeless

Twin earthquakes that devastated rural villages in northwest Iran killed a total of 306 people, most of them women and children, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi said on Monday, adding that the search for bodies was ongoing. Another 3,037 were injured, of whom 2,011 were given first aid at the…

Olympian exodus begins from London

London’s Heathrow Airport set up a special terminal designed to resemble a city park to cope with the busiest day of the Olympics as around 15,000 athletes, officials and media headed home Monday. Just hours after the closing ceremony the gateway airport for the Games said it was ready to…

Venezuela allegedly training ‘guerrilla army’ to repel possible U.S. invasion

CARACAS — Venezuela is training a “guerrilla army” aiming to be a million strong by 2013 to fight off a possible US invasion, an opposition lawmaker said Sunday. “Plan Sucre” — apparently crafted with input from close ally and fellow US foe Cuba — covers the legal, logistical and other…

Mexican mayor-elect and campaign manager found shot dead

MEXICO CITY — A mayor-elect from the Institutional Revolutionary Party that scored a comeback in recent elections was found shot dead Sunday with an aide in northern Mexico, officials said. “The lifeless body of mayor-elect Edgar Morales was found in a van this morning” in the town of Matehuala in…

Guinea opposition demands probe of police killings at protest of Brazilian mining firm

Guinean opposition leaders called Sunday for an independent investigation into police violence at recent demonstrations in which at least six people were killed. “We learned with great dismay and indignation of the barbaric acts… perpetrated on the night of August 3 to 4″ in the small town of Zogota in…

Philippines fear disease outbreak as flooding persists

Emergency relief officials and doctors deployed to flood devastated communities in the Philippines Sunday to prevent outbreaks of disease as the death toll jumped to 85. The flooding that submerged 80 percent of Manila early in the week has largely subsided but more than 150 towns and cities around the…

London Olympics conclude with mass sing-along

The London 2012 closing ceremony kicked off with a typically British mass singalong Sunday to bring the curtain down on an Olympic Games that have retained the feelgood factor throughout. The show in the Olympic Stadium, entitled “A Symphony of British Music”, is a celebration of Britain’s pop prowess, featuring…

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