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Iran denies U.S. claims it armed Iraq rebels

TEHRAN — Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Monday rejected accusations by US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta that Iran had armed rebels in neighbouring Iraq. “The United States is not in a good position in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are doing everything they can to maintain their military presence…

Hillary Clinton in Africa on U.S. trade drive

LUSAKA (AFP) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Saturday the United States wanted to expand trade with Africa by investing in the continent’s people, warning against a “new colonialism” as China expands its presence. In Zambia on the first leg of a three-nation African tour, Clinton defended US policies…

Pakistan orders probe of Osama bin Laden’s hideout

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan on Tuesday ordered an investigation to discover “the full facts” of how Osama bin Laden lived undetected, likely for years, on its soil until being killed in a US commando raid on May 2. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced that an independent commission would probe the…

US mulls ‘keeping 10,000 troops in Iraq’

WASHINGTON — US and Iraqi officials are looking into keeping 10,000 US troops in the country beyond a year’s end deadline for a complete withdrawal, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The talks are politically sensitive for both countries, with Americans keen to end their involvement in Iraq and Iraqis…

Irish bomb could have been a killer, say police

Irish police are saying that the 500-pound bomb found abandoned under an overpass on the main Dublin to Belfast road was a “sophisticated and substantial” device. Chief Police Superintendent Alasdair Robinson said in a press conference today that the bomb, if detonated, could have caused massive destruction and loss of…

US mission will be safe after Iraq withdrawal: officials

WASHINGTON – The US envoy to Baghdad and the senior US commander in Iraq assured skeptical lawmakers Thursday that the US diplomatic mission there will be well protected after US troops withdraw in late 2011. A private security force some 5,500 strong will protect the large US diplomatic presence in…

Lindsey Graham calls for permanent US military presence in Afghanistan

The US military will never leave Afghanistan if Sen. Lindsey Graham has his way. The Republican senator from South Carolina expressed his hope Sunday that the country would invite the US to install permanent military bases. “I hope that we can find an enduring relationship with Afghanistan that will make…

Nine years, 50 days: US presence in Afghanistan as long as Soviet slog

The Soviet Union couldn’t win in Afghanistan, and now the United States is about to have something in common with that futile campaign: nine years, 50 days. On Friday, the U.S.-led coalition will have been fighting in this South Asian country for as long as the Soviets did in their…

Karzai: US should reduce military operations

WASHINGTON — Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that the United States must reduce the visibility and intensity of its military operations in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported. The United States should end special operations forces raids that aggravate Afghans and could exacerbate the Taliban insurgency, Karzai said in an…

Cocaine, ecstasy found in waters of Spanish nature reserve

Spanish scientists said Wednesday they have detected cocaine, ecstasy and six other drugs in the waters of a nature reserve, and warned of a possible risk to wildlife and public health. Investigators from the University of Valencia analysed the water in canals and irrigation channels of eastern Spain’s Albufera Natural…

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