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Afghan presidential rivals make breakthrough in poll dispute

Kabul (AFP) – Afghanistan’s two presidential rivals have agreed to a historic deal to audit all eight million votes cast in the disputed election after two days of intense shuttle diplomacy by top US diplomat John Kerry. An audible gasp rippled through a packed press conference held Saturday at the UN headquarters in Kabul as […]

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China’s leader Xi departs for South America tour

Beijing (AFP) – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday departed for a visit to four South American countries, including Brazil, to build ties in a resources-rich region traditionally considered the backyard of the United States. Xi left Beijing on Sunday morning, the official Xinhua news agency reported, with a delegation which includes State Councillor Yang Jiechi, […]

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Pressure on as Iraq lawmakers meet to pick new government

Baghdad (AFP) – Iraq’s fractious parliament is expected to meet Sunday under heavy pressure to set differences aside and make progress on forming a new government to help counter a raging jihadist-led offensive. The process could be eased somewhat by agreement among Sunni Arab lawmakers late Saturday on a candidate for speaker of parliament, a […]

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New EU executive likely to be stacked with ‘men in grey suits’

Brussels (AFP) – The EU boasts several powerful women — indeed German Chancellor Angela Merkel may be the continent’s most powerful person — but the top jobs being decided for its European Commission are likely to be overwhelmingly filled by men. ”Imagine the photo: men in grey suits!” Ann Mettler, head of the Brussels-based Lisbon […]

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Misery stalks South Sudan refugees in camps

Gambela, Ethiopia (AFP) – Nyayoul Gach was first driven from her home in South Sudan because of violence, but escaped into Ethiopia because of hunger, unable to feed her five children who were rapidly wasting away. Now in the caked mud settlements of western Ethiopia, she faces further misery: hunger and disease stalk the crowded […]

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Uncertainty for Indonesia after disputed vote

Jakarta (AFP) – Indonesia faces a long period of uncertainty after last week’s disputed presidential election, analysts warn — raising fears for Southeast Asia’s top economy as growth sits at four-year lows, foreign investment slows and corruption remains rife. After a bitterly-fought campaign, Jakarta governor Joko Widodo and his rival, ex-general Prabowo Subianto, both used […]

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Ukraine president to be at World Cup final in Rio

Rio de Janeiro (AP) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will attend the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro, along with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian authorities said Saturday. An official in Brazil’s government with direct knowledge of the trip and a press officer for Brazil’s Foreign Ministry both confirmed that Poroshenko would be at […]

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Israel vows to fight ‘with all power’

Gaza/Jerusalem (Reuters) – An airstrike outside a family home early Saturday pushed the Palestinian death toll past 100 in four days of cross-border fighting as Israel showed no sign of pausing despite international pressure to negotiate a ceasefire with the militants. Asked if Israel might move from the mostly aerial attacks of the past four […]

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Iraq division widens as Kurds take over 2 major oil fields

Baghdad (AP) — Kurdish security forces took over two major oil fields outside the disputed northern city of Kirkuk before dawn Friday and said they would use some of the production for domestic purposes, further widening a split with the central government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The takeover of the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk […]

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Ukraine furious as rebels kill 23 soldiers

Kiev/Donetsk Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko vowed to “find and destroy” pro-Russian rebels who killed 23 servicemen and wounded nearly 100 in a missile attack on Friday. Poroshenko issued his angry statement following an emergency meeting of his security chiefs called in response to the early morning strike by Russian-made Grad missiles on […]

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