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Middle East - Shiite Rebels Make New Demands to Yemen

Members of a Shiite rebel group on Monday presented Yemen`s government with new demands in order to stop their protests, hardening their positions and prolonging a standoff in the capital.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014  03:43


World - Japan lawmaker wrestles with N. Korea `sport diplomacy`

A Japanese wrestler-turned-politician hopes his vision of `sports diplomacy` can repair his country`s fraught relationship with North Korea, as he prepares to host an extraordinary sporting event in Pyongyang. Standing 1.9 metres (six feet three inches) tall, with a square jaw and a penchant for red scarves, Inoki is instantly recognisable on Japanese television, but is best known abroad for taking on world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in a zany wrestler-versus-boxer match in Tokyo in 1976. The grappler also organised and competed in a `Sports and Cultural Festival for Peace` in Pyongyang in 1995, featuring bouts between Japanese and American pro wrestlers publicly staged for the first time in the reclusive country, with an ailing Ali as a guest.

Sunday, August 24, 2014  03:55


World - Deposed Egypt president`s spokesman faces trial

The former spokesman for Egypt`s deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi faces trial for allegedly helping an ex-premier try to flee to Sudan, a judicial source said on Saturday. Yasser Ali, who was arrested in Cairo in December, is accused of aiding a `convicted man sought by the judicial authorities`, a reference to Islamist former prime minister Hisham Qandil. Qandil, premier under Morsi, had a one-year jail sentence overturned on appeal in July. The judicial source said no date has yet been fixed for Ali`s trial.

Saturday, August 23, 2014  20:38


World - Fighting between rival factions kills 17 in Central Africa

At least 17 people were killed in fighting between rival factions of the former rebel movement Seleka in the Central African Republic, an officer in the African peacekeeping force there said Tuesday. The dead were all ex-rebels who battled on Monday in the heart of the central town of Bambari, where the Seleka forces set up their headquarters in May, said the officer in the MISCA force deployed by the African Union, asking not to be named. `One side was the group of General Joseph Zoundeko, head of the Seleka general staff in Bambari, and the other is that of General Ali Djarras, made up of armed ethnic Peuls (Fulani)` active in the region,` he added. A transitional president, Catherine Samba Panza, took office that same month, and she has overseen the signing of a ceasefire pact between Seleka forces and the largely Christian `anti-balaka` militias that emerged to wreak vengeance against Muslims for atrocities by ex-rebels.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014  14:35


World - Iran says `completing` nuclear steps agreed with IAEA

By Fredrik Dahl and Michelle Moghtader VIENNA/DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran is `in the process` of completing measures on transparency in its nuclear research that were agreed with the U.N. atomic agency, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying, suggesting Tehran had at least partly met a Monday deadline for cooperation. Atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi did not give details in remarks reported by the official IRNA news agency. Those remarks came a few days after diplomatic sources in Vienna told Reuters the U.N. watchdog`s investigation into suspected atomic bomb research by Iran appeared to be making only limited headway. Western officials say Iran must address the questions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Monday, August 25, 2014  17:24


World - Iran opens nuclear fuel plant

Iran has opened a uranium dioxide factory that will produce fuel for civilian nuclear plants, the head of its atomic energy agency announced Saturday. Ali Akbar Salehi said the factory in Esfahan, central Iran, which produce uranium dioxide enriched to a level of less than 5 percent was opened in keeping with an agreement between Tehran and world powers. Its main use would be for the Bushehr nuclear reactor in southern Iran, he said, quoted by state news agency IRNA, . The deal with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany -- known as P5+1 -- calls for a scaling back of Iran`s controversial nuclear programme in return for a partial lifting of Western sanctions.

Saturday, August 23, 2014  14:26


World - Yemen Shiite rebels weigh draft deal on new govt

A Yemeni presidential delegation has handed the Shiite Huthi rebels a draft proposal on forming a technocrat government, an official spokesman said Saturday, amid tensions around a rebel encampment in Sanaa. The presidential delegation has been holding talks with rebel commander Abdulmalik al-Huthi in his northern Saada stronghold since Thursday to convince his group to join a new government. The government, headed by Prime Minister Mohamed Basindawa, was formed in December 2011 under a transition agreement that paved the way for ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh`s ouster.

Saturday, August 23, 2014  12:13


World - Sistani calls on Iraqis to confront Islamic State insurgents

(Reuters) - Iraq`s most influential cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said on Friday that all sides agreed on the need to form a `proper` government in Baghdad and repeated his call on compatriots to fight Islamic State insurgents. Speaking through an aide after Friday prayer sermons in the sacred Shi`ite Muslim city of Kerbala, Sistani expressed concern over the plight of about 18,000 Shi`ites in the town of Amerli who are surrounded by Islamic State militants. (Reporting by Raheem Salman; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Friday, August 22, 2014  11:29


World - Dubai property giant repays debt four years early

Nakheel, the real estate giant at the heart of Dubai`s financial crisis, confirmed Wednesday that it would repay all of its 7.9 billion dirhams ($2.15 billion) bank debt almost four years ahead of schedule. Nakheel, which built high-profile projects including a palm-shaped island in the Gulf and a cluster of isles in the form of a world map, also said it would pay interest of 129 million dirhams owed. Nakheel`s final instalment had been due in March 2018 but in June chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said the entire sum would be paid this summer. He said then that the cash was being `generated from Nakheel`s own income, not from the support fund of the government`.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014  19:16

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