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World - Tunisia MPs slam `light` verdicts for Ben Ali officials

Tunisian lawmakers on Monday condemned as excessively lenient appeal sentences handed to top security officials in Zine El Abidine Ben Ali`s ousted regime for their part in repressing protests during the 2011 uprising. The military court in Tunis ruled on Saturday in several appeals trials of officials implicated in the bloody crackdown on protesters that left more than 300 people dead in Tunis and Sfax during the revolt that ousted Ben Ali and ignited the Arab Spring. The former head of presidential security, Ali Seriati, was given a three-year prison sentence, as was Rafik Belhaj Kacem, the interior minister at the time. Former chief of Tunisia`s special brigades, Jalel Boudriga, originally jailed for 10 years for pre-meditated murder, also saw his sentence reduced to three years, after the allegations against him were re-defined as non-assistance to people in danger.

Monday, April 14, 2014  19:54


World - Algeria`s Bouteflika wins 4th presidential term

Abdelaziz Bouteflika, whose poor health forced him to vote from a wheelchair in Algeria`s presidential election, has won a fourth term with 81.53 percent of the votes, the interior minister announced Friday. The 77-year-old incumbent`s main rival, Ali Benflis, received 12.18 percent in an election which saw 51.78 percent of Algerians cast their ballots, Tayeb Belaiz told a news conference. The youngest candidate, Abdelaziz Belaid, came third with 3.03 percent of the vote, followed by the only female candidate Louisa Hanoune, who mustered 1.37 percent. The two other candidates, Ali Fawzi Rebaine and Moussa Touati both won less than one percent.

Friday, April 18, 2014  17:35


World - Row over plan to merge Asia`s top posts

Prince Ali bin Al Hussein has savaged plans to hand his current role as FIFA vice-president to Asia`s football boss in a row which threatens to plunge regional soccer into a fresh round of infighting. In an open letter, the Jordanian royal `strongly opposed` the proposal backed by Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, which will be put to the vote in June. `I stand firm by my conviction that all sport... should be free from politics and completely devoid of politicos and self-interest individuals and groups that exploit the sport and all its stakeholders for their own personal gains,` Prince Ali wrote. Four of football`s six global confederations combine the role of regional president and FIFA vice-president, with the AFC and South America`s CONMEBOL the two exceptions.

Thursday, April 17, 2014  19:22


Most Recent - Asif Ali Zardari Fast Facts

Tuesday, April 15, 2014  16:05


World - Chinese newcomer Xiao thrills Crucible

Chinese debutant Xiao Guodong came close to pulling off a major upset in his first round match against two-time runner-up Ali Carter at the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield on Sunday. At 8-8, the 25-year-old qualifier was on the brink of a famous victory, only for Carter to take control of the next frame with a break of 80 before capitalising on a mistake by Xiao to complete victory. Carter, who overcame testicular cancer last year, will play either Mark Selby or Michael White in round two. Xiao`s compatriot Ding Junhui established a 6-3 lead over English qualifier Michael Wasley in his first round match, which concludes on Monday.

Sunday, April 20, 2014  19:39


World - Rouhani says Iranian women not second class citizens

Iran`s President Hassan Rouhani admitted Sunday that women in his country still face discrimination and cultural barriers but he insisted they are not universally treated as second-class citizens. In a speech marking Women`s Day in Iran, Rouhani, seen as a moderate reformer, said more had to be done but that the West did not offer a model that had to be followed. The remarks were followed by confirmation that the country`s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had agreed to pardon or commute the sentences of some women prisoners. Rouhani`s speech was consistent with his promise of more social freedoms, a cornerstone of the campaign that gave him a surprise victory in the June presidential election.

Sunday, April 20, 2014  15:32


World - Seven candidates stand for post of Libya prime minister

The Libyan parliament on Sunday began hearing seven candidates who are vying to replace prime minister Abdullah al-Thani who quit last week just days after his appointment. Thani announced he was stepping down on April 13, five days after the General National Congress, or parliament, tasked him with forming a new cabinet, saying he had been the victim of an attack. He had replaced Ali Zeidan, who was ousted a month earlier by the GNC, Libya`s highest political authority, for failing to rein in the lawlessness gripping the country. Members of the GNC, were due to hear the candidates present their programme of government on Sunday, but no date had been fixed for the vote.

Sunday, April 20, 2014  15:32


World - Iran says it watered down, converted over 200 kg of enriched uranium

Iran said on Saturday it had completed watering down and converting more than 200 kilograms (440 lb) of enriched uranium under a deal reached in Geneva last November with world powers over its disputed nuclear program. `Based on the agreement with the West, we were supposed to have half of our 200 kilogram stock of uranium diluted and the other half converted to uranium oxide,` Iran`s atomic chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the Arabic-language Al Alam television channel. The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday that Iran has acted to cut its most sensitive nuclear stockpile by nearly 75 percent in implementing a landmark pact with world powers, but a planned facility it will need to fulfil the six-month deal has been delayed. Salehi, who heads the country`s atomic energy organization, said the fast process of uranium conversion was expected to expedite the release of frozen Iranian assets in the West.

Saturday, April 19, 2014  23:51


World - Iran says Arak nuclear reactor row all but resolved

Iran`s dispute with world powers over its unfinished Arak heavy water reactor has been `virtually resolved,` it said Saturday, less than a month before nuclear talks seeking a permanent agreement. The facility -- whose remaining components Iran cannot commission or install under an interim agreement struck in November -- is of international concern as it could theoretically give Tehran a second route to a nuclear bomb. Nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran and the so-called P5+1 group of world powers were now seeing eye to eye on the Arak reactor after Tehran offered to make certain changes.

Saturday, April 19, 2014  18:00


World - Iran says Arak heavy water reactor dispute virtually solved

Iran`s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Saturday that a dispute with world powers over the Arak heavy water reactor has been `virtually resolved`, the Al-Alam Arabic-language television reported. `Iran has made a proposal to the P5+1 (group of world powers) to make certain changes in Arak and they have accepted. Tehran has been engaged in negotiations with six world powers aimed at clinching a comprehensive agreement on its nuclear drive.

Saturday, April 19, 2014  15:50

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