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NATO still split on taking over Libya operation

BRUSSELS – NATO failed again to agree on Wednesday on taking over command of military operations against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in Libya from the United States, chiefly due to Turkish reservations. After ambassadors of the 28-nation NATO alliance ended a third day of wrangling in Brussels without a deal, one senior NATO diplomat said: “No…

Yemeni president offers early elections

Yemen’s president has offered to hold parliamentary and presidential elections before the end of the year, in his latest attempt to appease protesters calling on him to step down. “At this historic moment Yemen needs wisdom to avoid slipping into violence … that would destroy gains and leave the country facing a dangerous fate,” Ali Abdullah…

Dissidents’ release draws line under Cuba crackdown

The Cuban government has freed the last two political prisoners detained during a major crackdown on opposition activists in 2003. Felix Navarro, 57, was a teacher and political activist; 40-year-old Jose Ferrer a fisherman and member of one of the opposition movements. They were serving 25-year jail terms and considered prisoners of conscience by…

Syria crackdown on protests continues; 15 killed

Security forces raided a mosque in the city of Dara where demonstrators had sought shelter, witnesses say. The government says it stepped in only after a doctor and two others were killed by armed groups….

Portugal PM resigns after parliament rejected new austerity plan

PORTUGAL’S Prime Minister Jose Socrates tendered his resignation today after parliament rejected a new government austerity plan, greatly…

Jerusalem bomb: Benjamin Netanyahu in security pledge

Israel’s prime minister has pledged to act “aggressively and responsibly” to restore security after a bomb exploded at a bus stop in central Jerusalem. One person was killed and more than 30 others were injured after the blast at a crowded bus stop in Jerusalem….

Gates visits Egypt to take stock of democratic transition

Following US Secretary Clinton’s visit to Egypt last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived unannounced in Egypt today to hold talks with Egypt’s interim Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, as well as meet with his counterpart, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. Upon arrival, Secretary Gates was greeted by Egyptian Maj. Gen. Hassan al-Roueini,…

Blast Strikes Outside Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station

JERUSALEM — A small device exploded outside Jerusalem’s central bus station on Wednesday, leaving at least 12 injured, according to Israeli emergency services. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the bomb was strapped to a telephone poll near the stop, located outside the International Convention Center and across from the central…

West will end in ‘dustbin of history’, Gaddafi says

Western powers attacking Libya will end up in the dustbin of history, Muammar Gaddafi said as his troops held back poorly equipped rebel forces despite four nights of coalition air strikes. While Western air power has grounded Gaddafi’s warplanes and pushed back his forces from the brink of rebel stronghold Benghazi, disorganised and poorly…

Portugal bail-out looms as government nears collapse

Portugal’s opposition parties have withdrawn their support for austerity policies that may lead to the Lisbon government’s collapse on Wednesday. The government’s expected defeat in a parliamentary vote is likely to trigger an international financial rescue.

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