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China urges U.S. to protect creditors after S&P warning

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that the United Statesmust take “responsible” measures to protect investors in its debt after Standard & Poor’s threatened to lower its credit rating on the United States due to a bulging budget deficit. “We hope the U.S. government will take responsible policies and measures to…

Tunisian prime minister resigns amid new clashes

UNIS (AFP) – Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi resigned Sunday, as security forces clashed with protesters in Tunis demanding the removal of some ministers of his interim government. “I have decided to quit as prime minister,” Ghannouchi told a news conference, saying that he thought carefully before taking the decision which…

Somali anti-insurgent push leaves 50 dead

MOGADISHU – Somali government forces backed by African Union troops on Wednesday launched a fresh offensive against Al Qaeda-inspired rebels, leaving at least 50 people dead nationwide, witnesses said. “We have counted at least 20 civilians killed,” Ali Muse, head of the Mogadishu ambulance service said. Residents spoke of one…

Inter-Korea military talks collapse: official

SEOUL — Military talks aimed at easing high tensions between North and South Korea collapsed Wednesday when the North’s delegation walked out, Seoul’s defence ministry said. It was the first cross-border dialogue since the North’s deadly shelling of a South Korean island on November 23, which briefly sparked fears of…

Iran hangs woman for drug smuggling

TEHRAN/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – An Iranian-Dutch woman, arrested in Iran after taking part in demonstrations has been hanged for drug smuggling, prompting the Netherlands to freeze official contacts and issue a travel advice to such nationals. Dutch foreign affairs minister Uri Rosenthal received official confirmation of the execution on Saturday after…

Afghan war claims 10,081 lives in 2010

KABUL — More than 10,000 people, about a fifth of them civilians, lost their lives in violence in Afghanistan last year, an AFP count based on official figures and an independent website tally showed Sunday. Afghanistan’s interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary revealed new figures for the number of civilians, police…

China could ban VoIP services, including Skype

BEIJING - China will crack down on what it called illegal Internet telephone providers, according to a circular from the Chinese government seen on Friday that could potentially affect Internet calling service Skype. The statement, from the powerful Ministry of Information and Industry Technology, did not mention any carriers by name. It…

‘Anonymous’ topples, defaces Zimbabwe government websites

The Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu-PF) website, Zimbabwean government website and Zimbabwean Finance Ministry website were the target of cyber attacks on Thursday by a loose-knit group of online hacktivists known as “Anonymous.” The websites were hit with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks after Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe,…

China orders state-owned firms to pay more money

China has ordered major state-owned companies to divert more of their profits to the central government, giving Beijing more money to spend on priorities such as education, healthcare and the military. The finance ministry announced the increase in dividend payments on Thursday as Beijing seeks to improve social services and…

North Korea may stage atom test ‘to boost heir’

SEOUL – North Korea may carry out another atomic test next year to bolster the status of leader-in-waiting Kim Jong-Un, a Seoul state think-tank said Friday, a day after the North threatened a nuclear attack. Tensions remain high on the peninsula a month after the North bombarded a South Korean…

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