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  • Draft Egypt constitution strengthens army as talks drag on

    28 November 2013 8:33 PM 125

    CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's new constitution would strengthen the army's hand and could ban Islamist parties outright, according to a draft published in state media on Thursday, though the drafting body missed a self-imposed deadline for finalising the text. Mohamed Salmawy, spokesman for the 50-member assembly, had said the committee would announce it had completed

  • Syria exodus reaches over three million, UN appeals for help for host countries

    28 November 2013 5:10 PM 119

    THE number of Syrians who have fled their country has surpassed three million, the UN says, appealing for "massive" support to help host countries cope with the growing influx. UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) High Commissioner Antonio Guterres said that the agency had registered more than 3 million Syrian refugees across the Middle East, in addition to thousands

  • Sri Lanka to count civil war dead after international pressure

    27 November 2013 9:28 PM 117

    SRI Lanka said it would begin a nationwide survey to compile a death toll from its ethnic conflict after international pressure over allegations of mass civilian deaths at the end of the war. The six-month census would begin today and would see some 16,000 officials fan out across the island to compile a definitive toll, said a government statement posted

  • British police interview 'Maoist slave' women for first time

    27 November 2013 11:04 AM 144

    London (AFP) - British police were Wednesday for the first time interviewing three women allegedly held captive by a Maoist couple in London for 30 years, as fresh details of their secretive commune emerged. An elderly Indian-born man and his Tanzanian wife -- believed to have led a small Marxist splinter group in the 1970s -- were arrested last week accused

  • Aung San Suu Kyi in Australia to push for more democratic reform in Myanmar

    27 November 2013 1:13 AM 139

    Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has arrived in Australia to encourage global interest in further democratic reform in Myanmar. The country's opposition leader - described by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop as one of the world's most inspiring figures in the past 100 years - will be in Australia for five days. "Australia supports the political and economic

  • Julian Assange unlikely to face U.S. charges over publishing classified documents

    26 November 2013 8:30 PM 122

    U.S. flies two warplanes over new China air defense zone The Obama administration has charged government employees and contractors who leak classified information — such as former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning — with violations of the Espionage Act. But officials said that although

  • France to send troops to Central African Republic amid genocide warning

    26 November 2013 7:47 PM 131

    DAKAR, Senegal -- France has promised to send 1,000 troops to the near-anarchic Central African Republic, pledging Tuesday to help bring stability as human rights groups and United Nations officials warn that the seeds of genocide are being planted in the former French colony. Whether the French forces will save lives, though, depends on how far the foreign

  • Thai protesters vow to seize state offices nationwide, escalating political crisis

    26 November 2013 2:01 PM 114

    BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra fought a two-front political war Tuesday, fending off attacks during a parliamentary no-confidence debate while protesters besieged and occupied several ministries in their attempt to topple her from power. Protest leaders threatened to extend the battlefield to government offices in provincial

  • China carrier steams towards disputed South China Sea for drills

    26 November 2013 10:28 AM 130

    BEIJING (Reuters) - China sent its sole aircraft carrier on a training mission into the South China Sea on Tuesday amid maritime disputes with the Philippines and other neighbors and tension over its plan to set up an airspace defense zone in waters disputed with Japan. The Liaoning, bought used from Ukraine and refurbished in China, has conducted more than 100 exercises

  • Call for ceasefire before peace talks

    25 November 2013 7:09 PM 154

    Tehran and Ankara will press for a ceasefire in Syria before peace talks, dubbed Geneva 2, planned for January, Iran's top diplomat says. ''All our efforts should be carried out to finish the conflict and reach a ceasefire even before Geneva 2,'' Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said during a press conference with his Turkish counterpart