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South Sudan's vice president dismisses talk of military coup

NEW YORK: South Sudan's vice president, Riek Machar, dismissed on Friday rumors of a planned military coup, saying it would be "unwise" for army officers to attempt a takeover of the year-old state. The speculation was serious enough to prompt South Sudan's President Salva Kiir to visit the headquarters of Sudan's army (SPLA) this week to warn that any successful coup leaders would be isolated internationally, according to the Sudan Tribune. During a visit to New York to meet with potential investors, Machar laughed off the rumors of a coup as not a serious threat and said that a r...
Published On: 2012-10-20

China power brokers agree leadership team

BEIJING: China’s three most powerful men have come up with preferred candidates to head up the nation’s incoming new leadership team, sources said, in a ticket that includes financial reformers but leaves a question mark over itscommitment to political reform. The seven-member list has been drawn up by past, present and future presidents ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership change to be finalised next month at the ruling Communist Party’s 18th congress, said three sources with ties to senior party leaders. They said former President Jiang Zemin, current President Hu Jintao...
Published On: 2012-10-19

Bomb claims 19

KABUL: A roadside bomb killed at least 19 people, mostly women and children, who were on their way to a wedding in Afghanistan’s north on Friday, local police officials said. Fourteen more people were wounded in the blast in the Dawlat Abad district of Balkh province, said provincial police spokesman Shir Jan Durani, adding that the Taliban were behind the attack. “They wanted to attend a wedding party in a village ... The bomb was planted by the enemies of Afghanistan,” Durani said. Separately, a bus carrying players for the country’s first soccer league — who ar...
Published On: 2012-10-19

India's Supreme Court grants bail to scribe accused over Israel bombin ...

NEW DELHI: Supreme court judges today granted bail to an Indian journalist who has been charged with planning a bomb attack on an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi in February this year. Syed Mohammad Kazmi, a freelance journalist who worked for Iran’s IRNA news agency, is accused of helping a group of Iranians organise an attack in which a magnetic bomb was attached to an Israeli embassy car. Israeli diplomat Tal Yehoshua Koren, the wife of the embassy’s defence attache, was badly wounded in the blast. Israel immediately blamed Iran for the attack which came only a few days after a ...
Published On: 2012-10-19

Obama and Romney trade jokes at dinner

NEW YORK: Locked in a tense race with time running out, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney took time off to exchange light-hearted jabs and make fun of each other yesterday in a joint appearance at a high-profile charity dinner. Two days after a brutal debate in which they exchanged verbal blows and stalked each other on stage, Obama and Romney greeted each other warmly, dressed formally in white tie and tails. But the combativeness of the campaign trail was ever-present as the two foes gave back-to-back speeches at the 67th annual Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation ...
Published On: 2012-10-19

NATO chief calls for free elections in Afghanistan

MAZAR-E SHARIF: NATO's chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged the Afghan government on Friday to strive for free, fair and transparent elections in the 2014 presidential poll, saying they marked a critical juncture in the country's quest for peace. His words came a day after President Hamid Karzai suggested foreign members be removed from the election watchdog, in a step that could be seen as bolstering his grip on power. "I think it is essential for building trust and confidence between the Afghan people and the Afghan government that the presidential elections take place in a manner that i...
Published On: 2012-10-19

'Dead‚ wounded' in Beirut car bombing: agency

BEIRUT: A car bomb attack left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut on Friday, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. An AFP photographer saw two apartment buildings devastated by the bombing in a narrow street near Sassin Square. One building was still ablaze as Red Cross workers evacuated bloodied casualties. Balconies were torn off by the force of the blast, windows shattered and cars crushed by falling masonry. "We heard a powerful explosion. The earth shook under our feet," said Roland, 19, among a large cro...
Published On: 2012-10-19

China practices stopping "illegal entry" near disputed seas

BEIJING: China's navy and civilian maritime patrol vessels practiced on Friday stopping "illegal entry" into Chinese waters in the East China Sea, state media said, an area where Beijing is embroiled in a territorial dispute with Japan. State news agency Xinhua said the drill was the largest in recent years, made up of 11 vessels, eight aircraft and more than 1,000 sailors. While the report made no mention of tensions with Japan over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, it left little doubt the maneuvers were aimed at sending a message to Tokyo. "The drill in...
Published On: 2012-10-19

US commander issues apology for Japan rape case

TOKYO: The commander of U.S. forces in Japan apologized Friday for a case in which two American sailors allegedly raped a woman in Okinawa and said all U.S. military personnel in the country will now be subject to a curfew and other restrictions. A statement released by U.S. Forces Japan says the 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will apply to U.S. military personnel whether they are stationed in Japan or just visiting. It requires them to be in their homes, on base or wherever they are lodging. Lt. Gen. Salvatore Angelella said U.S. military members in Japan also will have to take "core values ...
Published On: 2012-10-19

French Jews to sue Twitter over anti-Semitic tweets

AFP: Twitter, a day after saying it blocked a neo-Nazi group's account in Germany in a global first, faced a new battle Friday in France where Jewish students are taking it to court to force it to remove anti-Semitic messages. The UEJF Jewish students' union said it was filing a suit against the micro-blogging site to try to make it remove the offending tweets that have proliferated in recent days in France with the hasghtag #unbonjuif. The hashtag -- which in English means "a good Jew" -- has been one of the top trending words on French-language tweets and is often followed by off...
Published On: 2012-10-19