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Brazil candidate elected UN Food agency head

ROME — Brazil’s former food security minister Jose Graziano da Silva was elected Sunday as the next head of UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation, the first South American ever to get the post. Graziano beat off his main competitor, former Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, winning by 92 votes…

New Zealand Revenue Minister Peter Dunne defends ‘dead possum’ hairdo

WELLINGTON — A New Zealand minister has hit out at critics of his “dead possum” haircut, chastising bald-headed journalists for mocking his manicured mane. In a light-hearted video blog posted on YouTube this week, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said too much attention was paid to his bouffant hairstyle. “What’s this…

Quake-hit Japan open for business: foreign minister

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s foreign minister says the country is open for business and travel as domestic firms are recovering at “surprising speed” from the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. “We promise all of you that Japan will reshape itself into a more dynamic country” through overcoming…

First war crimes hearing for former Kenyan minister

THE HAGUE — Former Kenyan government minister William Ruto arrived at the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Thursday for the first hearing in his trial for crimes against humanity. Former higher education minister Ruto and two other co-accused, former industry minister Henry Kosgey and radio presenter Joshua Arap…

Prominent Vietnam dissident jailed for seven years

HANOI — The son of a Vietnamese revolutionary leader was jailed for seven years on Monday for spreading anti-state propaganda, in one of the communist nation’s most politically charged cases in years. After a trial lasting about half a day, Cu Huy Ha Vu was convicted of advocating an end…

Libya rebels reject transition under Kadhafi sons

BENGHAZI, Libya (AFP) – The Libyan rebels insisted Monday that the whole Kadhafi family must leave before there can be any truce with regime forces amid reports that his sons are offering to oversee a transition. Rebel troops made a new attempt to recapture the oil town of Brega, advancing…

Israeli minister proposes Gaza artificial island

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel is considering building an artificial island with sea and air ports off blockaded Gaza, as a long-term solution to shipping goods into the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave, the transport minister said. Yisrael Katz told Army Radio on Wednesday he wants an international force to control the island for…

British PM demands release of Blair’s secret letters to Bush on Iraq war

It appears the British are much harder on their former leaders than Americans. Amid an inquiry into the 2003 military invasion of Iraq, David Cameron, the sitting British Prime Minister, called for public pressure on former Prime Minister Tony Blair over his refusal to release letters sent to US President…

Iraq oil daily production exceeds 2.6M barrels

Oil minister: Iraq’s crude production exceeds 2.6 million barrels a day Iraq’s newly appointed oil minister on Monday said the country’s daily oil production has increased by about 100,000 barrels a day, exceeding 2.6 million barrels per day for the first time in 20 years. Abdul-Karim Elaibi said Iraq’s production…

Netanyahu: Only US military threats can stop Iran from making nukes

Diplomacy and sanctions won’t stop Iran from building a nuclear warhead, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “There has only been one time that Iran actually stopped the program,” Netanyahu told Fox News’ Chris Wallace Sunday. “That was when it feared US military action.” The prime minister agreed with…

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