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Pope aide behind 'Vatileaks'

VATICAN CITY: The Vatican’s inquisition into the source of leaked documents has yielded its first target with the arrest of the pope’s butler, but the investigation is continuing into a scandal that has embarrassed the Holy See by revealing evidence of internal power struggles, intrigue and corruption in the highest levels of the Catholic Church governance. The detention of butler Paolo Gabriele, one of the few members of the papal household, capped one of the most convulsive weeks in recent Vatican history and threw the Holy See into chaos as it enters a critical phase in its eff...
Published On: 2012-05-27

Egypt's uprising activists weigh Brotherhood vote

CAIRO: The apparent results of Egypt’s first free presidential vote have left many of the young activists who led the country’s 2011 uprising dismayed and despondent, facing deeply unpalatable options. Unofficial results show Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi set for a run-off against Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak. For the activists who helped overthrow the regime, many of whom seek a secular, civil state, having to choose between Mubarak holdover Shafiq and the Islamist Mursi feels like barely having a choice at all....
Published On: 2012-05-27

Islamists held after rampage in Tunisia

TUNIS: Police have arrested about 15 people after hardline Islamists went on the rampage, torching police stations and attacking bars selling alcohol in Tunisian towns, the interior ministry said today. Police used tear gas to stop gangs of ultra-conservative Salafists, some armed with clubs and swords, who went on the attack in the northwestern towns of Jendouba and Ghardimaou yesterday. “About 15 people have been arrested and calm has been restored,” interior minstry spokesman Khaled Tarrouche said, adding that security reinforcements had been brought in to the region. The TAP...
Published On: 2012-05-27

Damascus denies role in massacre

DAMASCUS: The Syrian government denied today its forces were responsible for killing 92 people, a third of them children, in the central city of Houla as Arab and Western states accused it of a massacre. The government was “not at all” responsible for the massacre in the central town of Houla that sparked an international outcry, foreign ministry spokesman Jihad al-Makdissi said. Blaming “terrorists” for the killings on Friday and Saturday, the spokesman said the government had opened an investigation. Makdissi added that UN-Arab envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, was expect...
Published On: 2012-05-27

Manmohan arrives in Myanmar

NAYPYIDAW: India’s prime minister began a visit to Myanmar today, stepping up efforts to woo the resource-rich nation and seizing the chance to counter the influence of regional rival China. Manmohan Singh will hold talks with Myanmar President Thein Sein as well as opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during the three-day trip, the first by an Indian premier to the Southeast Asian nation in a quarter of a century. Energy-hungry India is eyeing Myanmar’s large oil and natural gas reserves and is eager to boost trade after a half-century of military rule left Myanmar isolated and he...
Published On: 2012-05-27

Russia blocks UN

UNITED NATIONS: Russia has blocked a UN Security Council statement on the massacre in Syria and has called for an urgent meeting of the council, diplomats said Sunday. They said the meeting could be held on Sunday. Britain and France had proposed a statement condemning the massacre in the Syrian town of Houla where at least 92 people, many of them children, were killed on Friday and Saturday. But diplomats said Russia would not agree to the condemnation until a briefing was given by the head of the UN mission in Syria, Major General Robert Mood. ...
Published On: 2012-05-27

4 NATO soldiers killed

KABUL: Four NATO soldiers were killed in separate roadside bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan, the alliance said Sunday. According to a NATO statement, all four deaths occurred on Saturday. No other details, including the nationalities of the service members were provided. According to British Ministry of Defense, one British soldier was killed in an explosion in the Nahr-e Saraj region of southern Helmand province on Saturday. Another NATO service member died on Friday in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan.Their deaths bring to 33 the number of NATO soldiers killed so far this month...
Published On: 2012-05-27

Eight Afghans killed in airstrike

KABUL: A NATO airstrike killed eight members of a family, including children, according to Afghan officials who claim that such attacks damage the civilian population’s trust in international troops who have been fighting in the country for more than a decade. The US-led coalition said it was aware of the allegation and was investigating the attack late Saturday in a remote part of Paktia province. The killings of civilians by foreign forces has been a major irritant in President Hamid Karzai’s relationship with his international partners. The Afghan leader warned earlier this mo...
Published On: 2012-05-27

Taiwan oppn picks ex-PM as leader

TAIPEI: Taiwan’s main opposition party elected a former premier as its new leader today after a disappointing showing in the presidential elections in January. As widely expected, the front runner Su Tseng-chang was chosen by party members, beating four other candidates, as the new chairman of the China-sceptic Democratic Progressive Party. Su succeeds Tsai Ing-wen, who was Taiwan’s first female presidential candidate but stepped down after failing to unseat President Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang party. Since the January vote, leading DPP members have debated if...
Published On: 2012-05-27

Bodies of Britons found in Kaveri River

NEW DELHI: Police in south India have recovered the bodies of two British men who fell into a river while rafting a week ago, British officials said today. The two men, Ian Turton (45) and Michael Easton (57) were rafting on the Kaveri river, near Bangalore, when police believe their boat was swept away in the rapids before hitting rocks and capsizing. “After an extensive week-long search, the police divers have found the bodies,” British High Commission spokesman Marcus Winsley said in New Delhi. Both men were living in Bangalore. Turton was a project manager with US company Te...
Published On: 2012-05-27