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Russian plane crash leaves 44 dead

MOSCOW (AFP) – A Russian plane exploded into flames after crashing on a highway just short of its airport, killing 44 and leaving eight survivors fighting for their lives, officials said Tuesday. The RusAir Tupolev 134 was trying to land at its destination of Petrozavodsk in the Karelia region of…

Clinton accuses Gaddafi of using rape as a tool

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused the forces of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi on Thursday of using rape and violence against women as “tools of war.” Clinton said the United States was “deeply concerned” by reports of widescale rape in Libya and “troubled” by reports that governments…

North, South Sudan agree to demilitarized zone

JUBA, Sudan (Reuters) – Representatives from north and south Sudan have agreed to set up a demilitarized zone along their shared border, the African Union said Tuesday, ten days after the north seized the disputed Abyei region. South Sudan is scheduled to become an independent country in less than six…

Robert Gates travels to Asia with message of continuity

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates heads to Asia for a final time as Pentagon chief on Tuesday, looking to reassure allies the United States is committed to regional security despite tightening defense budgets and his own imminent departure. Gates, who leaves office at the end of June, will…

HIV on rise in Eastern Europe, AIDS experts warn

ALLINN (AFP) – More must be done to stem HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe, as infections continue to spiral in nations in the region, notably Russia, experts warned on Friday. “Western Europe, including southern states like Portugal that used to cause a lot of worry on HIV years ago, have been…

U.S. hopes Iraq will ask troops to stay: Gates

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday he hopes Iraqi leaders will ask US troops to stay in their country beyond a year-end deadline but acknowledged the United States was unpopular there. While extending the US military presence beyond this year would send an important message to Arab…

Over 250 killed as tornadoes ravage US south

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Tornadoes and storms carved a trail of “catastrophic” destruction across the southern United States, killing over 250 people in the worst US weather disaster in years, officials said Thursday. Shocked residents of cities and towns in more half a dozen states crippled by the ferocious spring storms…

Is Al Jazeera turning a blind eye to Bahrain?

DUBAI (Reuters) – Pan-Arab broadcasters who played a key role reporting Arab uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt are helping dynastic rulers police the gates of the Gulf to stop the revolts from spreading on their patch, analysts say. Qatar-based Al Jazeera, the leading Arabic language network, was pivotal in keeping…

U.S. drone strike kills 6 in Pakistan, first since March

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – U.S. drone aircraft fired four missiles in Pakistan’sSouth Waziristan tribal region on Wednesday, killing six militants, days after the head of the country’s intelligence agency called for an end to the strikes that have caused deep anger. The missiles were fired from two unmanned planes and aimed…

U.S. military spending up 81 percent since 2001: report

STOCKHOLM — Growth in global military spending slowed to its lowest level since 2001 last year as the world economic crisis hit defence budgets, Swedish think-tank SIPRI said Monday. World military spending rose only 1.3 percent in 2010 to $1.63 trillion (1.14 trillion euros), after average annual growth of 5.1…

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