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Trial of China politician's wife wraps up in 7 hours

HEFEI: The woman at the centre of China's most politically explosive trial in three decades did not contest charges of murder on Thursday in a hearing that lasted just seven hours and could determine the fate of former Politburo member Bo Xilai. A formal verdict will be delivered at a later date, a court official said, recounting details of the closed-door hearing. Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, chose not to contest the charge of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood whose alleged secretive dealings with the couple fuelled a scandal exposing the intimate nexus between money and power in China's ...
Published On: 2012-08-09

Russia to attend Iran talks on Syria despite short notice

MOSCOW: Russia said it would take part in planned talks in Tehran about the Syria crisis on Thursday and would repeat its calls for an end to violence and a political dialogue, but indicated that preparations for the forum had been rushed. In a statement on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said Russia would be represented by its ambassador to Iran, Levan Dzhagaryan, "if the meeting in Tehran really takes place". It said Russia had received an invitation but that plans to hold the meeting on Thursday meant "time for the necessary preparations is very short". The Foreign Mi...
Published On: 2012-08-09

UN sounds alarm on reality of food crisis threat

ROME: World food prices surged in July after falling in the previous three months and could rise further, increasing the potential for a food crisis of the kind seen in 2007/08, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday. "Prices have the potential to increase further," the Food and Agriculture Organisation's senior economist and grain analyst Abdolreza Abbassian told Reuters. "Definitely it is not going to be a season where prices fall below the previous year." A food crisis erupted five year ago as soaring grain futures markets helped push up prices and sparked vio...
Published On: 2012-08-09

Renewed clashes in Egypt's Sinai: state TV

SINAI: Egyptian police and gunmen traded fire in the Sinai town of El-Arish on Thursday as security forces pressed an unprecedented campaign to quell Islamist militants, state television reported. The state-owned Nile News television reported that the clashes were taking place outside a police station in the north Sinai town, a day after reported air strikes killed 20 militants in a neighbouring village. ...
Published On: 2012-08-09

Murder trial for wife of Chinese politician ends

HEFEI: The secretive murder trial of the wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has ended after just one day. There has been no immediate word on when a verdict will be delivered. Gu Kailai and a household aide face charges of murdering Neil Heywood, a British businessman who had close ties to the Bo family. The trial is being held the Hefei Intermediate People's Court in eastern China. The accused are being represented by government-appointed lawyers from Anhui province, of which Hefei is the capital. The court's deputy director Tang Yigan said the trial has ended but would not say ...
Published On: 2012-08-09

Bomb hits bus carrying Turkish troops‚ 30 wounded

ANKARA: Turkey's state-run television says a roadside bomb struck a bus carrying Turkish troops to a navy base in the country's west, killing one and wounding 30 others. TRT television says the blast occurred near the base on the outskirts of the Aegean resort town of Foca on Thursday. The attack came days after Turkey's interior minister claimed Sunday that Turkish troops have killed as many as 115 Kurdish rebels in a major clash near the southeastern town of Semdinli. Kurdish rebels are fighting for autonomy in the country's Kurdish-dominated southeast but have also staged attacks elsewhe...
Published On: 2012-08-09

US starts landmark Agent Orange cleanup in Vietnam

DANANG: Fifty years after American planes first sprayed Vietnam's thick jungles with Agent Orange to destroy enemy cover, the United States began for the first time cleaning up dioxin left from the chemical defoliant. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday at a former U.S. air base in Danang. Dioxin, a chemical linked to cancer, birth defects and other disabilities, has seeped into Vietnam's soils and watersheds, creating a war legacy that remains a thorny issue between the former foes nearly four decades after the Vietnam War ended. Washington has been slow to respond. Since 2007 it h...
Published On: 2012-08-09

Teenager killed‚ 4 others hurt in Ohio car crash

COLUMBUS: A 15-year-old has been killed and four other teenagers have been injured after the car they were riding in crashed in Brown Township. David Phillips III, the front seat passenger, died after he was thrown from the vehicle around 5 p.m. Wednesday. The driver, 16-year-old Trent Andrew Burchett and three other passengers — 16-year-old Joshua T. Jaccaud, 14-year-old Ian T. Latorrie and 15-year-old Alex M. Stemple — were taken to Nationwide Children's Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Police say Burchett lost control of a 1993 Saab and the vehicle went...
Published On: 2012-08-09

Obama and Romney battle for campaign edge in Iowa‚ Colorado

DES MOINES/DENVER: President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney traded barbs over the economy and women's rights on Wednesday, each seeking an edge in critical states that could tip the result of the November 6 election. Romney, who told supporters in drought-ravaged Iowa that their state felt like a "second home," accused the Democratic president of mismanaging the economy and unraveling rules that require welfare recipients to get jobs. A second term for Obama would lead to "chronic high levels of unemployment as far as the eye can see," the former Massac...
Published On: 2012-08-09

Pro-Ouattara forces killed 700 in I.Coast crisis: report

IVORY COAST: A probe ordered by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara on the 2010-2011 post-election crisis found that his forces killed over 700 people and those of ex-leader Laurent Gbagbo about twice as many. "The crisis gave rise to massive violations of human rights and international humanitarian law," said the president of the National Commission of Inquiry, Paulette Badjo. The commission reported that overall 3,248 people were killed during the crisis, without identifying how many were combatants and civilians. But Badjo said the real figure was probably much higher. It held ...
Published On: 2012-08-09