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French consul injured after Israeli raid on Gaza

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s consul to the Gaza Strip, his wife and 13-year-old daughter were injured during an Israeli air strike on Sunday night, French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said. Valero told reporters the three were hit by shrapnel at their residence in Gaza, which is located 200 meters…

China tax office refuses Ai appeal funds: lawyer

Ai Weiwei has raised enough money to launch an appeal against his 15 million yuan ($2.36 million) tax bill, but authorities are refusing to accept the cash, the artist and dissident’s lawyer said Monday. Ai — who maintains that the government’s tax evasion charge is politically motivated — had said that he…

IMF chief warns world economy risks ‘downward spiral’

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Wednesday warned the world risked plunging into a “downward spiral” of financial instability and urged Asian economies to be on their guard. Lagarde said Asia was not immune to problems currently sweeping the eurozone, as she began a two-day visit to China likely to focus on the deepening debt…

China strongly denies connections to cyber espionage

Beijing on Friday hit out at a US intelligence agency report accusing the Chinese of extensive cyber spying, saying it was unprofessional and irresponsible. The unusually blunt report on foreign cyber spying submitted to the US Congress on Thursday said the Chinese were the world’s “most active and persistent perpetrators”…

U.S. dismisses Iranian letter as a ‘rant’

WASHINGTON — The United States on Tuesday dismissed as “a rant” an Iranian letter to Washington over allegations of an Iranian plot to murder the Saudi ambassador in Washington. “We did receive a lengthy diplomatic note from the Swiss protecting power on behalf of the Iranians,” US State Department spokeswoman…

Iran seeks U.S. apology over plot claims

Iran has sent a letter to the United States seeking an “apology” overallegations of an Iranian assassination plot on US soil, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday. “A letter has been sent… It is our right to seek the official apology of the Americans in protest of this made-up scenario as these allegations are not…

Russia reveals visa blacklist, includes high-ranking U.S. officials

Russia said Saturday it had put high-ranking US officials implicated in “human rights crimes” on a visa blacklist, warning Washington against increasing diplomatic pressure over the prison death of a lawyer. Washington had earlier outraged Moscow by banning visas for an unspecified number of Russian officials linked to the 2009…

China’s top newspaper slams U.S. currency bill

China’s top newspaper on Wednesday accused US lawmakers of “passing the buck” over America’s economic problems with a bill to punish Beijing for alleged currency manipulation. A commentary in the People’s Daily — viewed as the Communist Party mouthpiece – said the bill was an attempt by lawmakers to cover up their…

China says ‘firmly opposes’ U.S. Senate currency bill

China said Tuesday it “firmly opposed” a US Senate bill aimed at punishing Beijing for its alleged currency manipulation, which is expected to make its final passage later this week. The bill — which comes 13 months ahead of US elections in which high unemployment is likely to be an issue — sets…

Turkey set to host NATO early warning radar

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey is set to host a NATO early-warning radar system as part of improved defenses for the Western military alliance, the foreign ministry said on Friday. Turkey, with NATO’s second biggest military, has a geo-strategic importance to the alliance dating back to its role as a front-line…

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