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Turkish Minister Says Fending off “Mini-Coup Attempt”

Ankara - Turkey’s government said on Tuesday it was fending off a "mini coup attempt" by elements in the police and judiciary who served the interests of foreign and domestic forces bent on humbling the country. Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said the ruling AK Party had in the past survived military coup plots and attempts in the courts to outlaw it. It would not now yield to a corruption investigation ...

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Putin Vows to Annihilate “Terrorists” After Suicide Bombings

Moscow- President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday vowed to annihilate "terrorists" following two deadly bomb attacks in less than 24 hours in the southern Russian city of Volgograd that raised security fears ahead of the Winter Olympics. The uncompromising remarks in a New Year's Eve address were Putin's first public comments since suicide bombers killed at least 34 people in attacks on a railway station and a tr ...

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Religious Extremism Blamed for Xinjiang Attack

Beijing- Chinese police said the nine people responsible for a deadly "terrorist attack" in the western region of Xinjiang were promoting religious extremism, state media reported on Tuesday.Xinjiang is home to a Turkic-speaking, Muslim people known as Uighurs, some of whom resent what they see as oppressive treatment by the government. The Xinjiang government said police shot dead eight people on Monday du ...

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Karzai Orders Arrest of Student’s Killer

KABUL - President Karzai on Tuesday ordered interior and defence) ministries to arrest the killers of a school student, who was allegedly shot dead by an Afghan soldier in central Kapisa province.Syed Mustafa Sherzai, the provincial education director, said Tawabullah, son of Mudassir, was a seventh class student at the Qudratullah-i-Shahid High School. He was gunned down in Tagab district. Tawabullah was k ...

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US Opposes Release of 88 Dangerous Detainees

KABUL - Several dangerous individuals posing legitimate threats were among hundreds of prisoners freed from the Bagram detention facility in central Parwan province, a US official said on Tuesday. A day earlier, a review board investigating prisoner cases announced the release of 650 “innocent” inmates. Abdul ShakoorDadras, a member of the board, told a news conference the men had been found innocent. He re ...

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State Department Again Warns of Zero Option

WASHINGTON - The United States on Monday urged Afghanistan to “promptly” sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), or else it would be forced to begin the process of withdrawal of all its troops from the country. “If we cannot conclude a BSA promptly, we will be forced to initiate planning for a post-2014 future in which there would be no US or NATO troop presence in Afghanistan,” State Department deputy ...

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Taliban Can Return Through Reconciliation: Faizi

KABUL - The Afghan government on Tuesday rejected a new American intelligence assessment, saying it would never allow the Taliban’s imposed from abroad. President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman AimalFaizi described as unsubstantiated claims the analysis of the country’s situation by US or other intelligence services. A new American intelligence assessment on the Afghan war predicts the gains the United States and ...

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Policy Review Needed for Releasing Prisoners

More than six hundred militant prisoners have been released from Bagram prison as part of government’s efforts to deal with the cases of prisoners who have been arrested by US forces during past twelve years. The officials say these prisoners have spent behind bars without sufficient evidences against them to prove their involvement in terrorist activities. According to the reports, cases of over a hundred ...

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Election Materials Being Sent to Provinces

KABUL -: As preparations for next year’s vote continue, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Monday said it had started sending non-sensitive materials to provinces.IEC Secretary ZiaulHaqAmarkhel told Pajhwok Afghan News the materials, including booths, were being transported to four central provinces -- Kapisa, Parwan, Wardak and Logar. The process would be completed on January 15, the secretary sa ...

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Support for Afghan War Slips among Americans

KABUL - Support for the Afghanistan war among US citizens has slipped below 20 percent, making America’s longest military conflict arguably the most unpopular, a new poll revealed on Monday.A majority of Americans favoured the pullout of US troops from Afghanistan before the December 2014 deadline, according to the survey conducted by ORC International for Cable News Network (CNN). Conducted between Decembe ...

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Second Blast in Russia’s Volgograd Kills 14 on Trolleybus

Moscow- A bomb blast ripped a trolleybus apart in Volgograd on Monday, killing 14 people in the second deadly attack in the southern city in two days and raising fears of further violence as Russia prepares to host the Winter Olympics.The morning rush-hour bombing, which left mangled bodies in the street, underscored Russia's vulnerability to militant attacks less than six weeks before the Sochi 2014 Games, ...

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Iraq Police Start Removing Sunni Protest Camp, Clashes Erupt: Officials

Baghdad - Police moved to dismantle a Sunni protest camp in Iraq's western Anbar province on Monday after tribal leaders and local government and defense ministry officials reached a deal, officials said. Thousands of Sunnis have taken to the streets in the region to protest what they see as marginalization of their minority sect since December 2012. Hardline Sunni militants linked to al Qaeda have meanwhil ...

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China’s Xi to Take Personal Charge of Pushing Through Reforms

Beijing - Chinese President Xi Jinping will head a group steer economic and social reforms, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday, underscoring his determination to push through change amid fears of resistance from vested interests. China last month unveiled its boldest set of reforms in nearly three decades, relaxing its one-child policy and further freeing up markets in order to put the economy o ...

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China Says Japan PM ‘Shuts Door’ on Talks with War Shrine Visit

Beijing- China said on Monday that its leaders will not meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after his visit to a shrine seen by critics as a symbol of Tokyo's wartime aggression, underscoring the deteriorating ties between Asia's two biggest economies. Abe had repeated his hopes for talks with Beijing last week, when he visited the Yasukuni shrine where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an ...

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Blast at Egyptian Army Building Wounds Four Soldiers

Cairo- A bomb exploded outside an Egyptian army building north of Cairo on Sunday, wounding four soldiers, the army said, in the second bomb attack on security forces in the Nile Delta in less than a week. The bomb partly destroyed the back wall of the military intelligence building in the village of Anshas, 100 km (60 miles) north of the capital. The army described the bombing as a terrorist attack. Its st ...

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Bahrain Jails Five for 15 Years for Bomb Attacks: Agency

Manama- A Bahraini court sentenced five men to 15 years in prison for two attacks by homemade bombs - including one during last year's Formula 1 race - the Gulf Arab state's official BNA news agency said. BNA said the men had admitted being behind the bombings but an activist who monitors such cases said they pleaded not guilty to involvement in the attacks, which destroyed several vehicles but caused no in ...

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Thailand’s Army Moves to Allay Coup Fears

Bangkok -  Thailand's powerful but politicized army sought to ease fears on Monday it might step in to resolve a festering political crisis, while anti-government protesters entrenched positions around Bangkok as they seek to disrupt a February election. The latest round of an all-too-familiar political conflict in Thailand has dragged on for weeks. It flared last week into deadly clashes between police and ...

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Egypt Likely to Call Presidential Poll First: Sources

Cairo- Egypt's government will likely call a presidential election ahead of parliamentary polls, two officials said on Monday, rearranging the political timetable in a way that could see army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi elected head of state by April. Parliamentary elections were supposed to happen first under the roadmap unveiled after the army deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July. But some secu ...

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New Ministers Sworn in, Greeted by Karzai

KABUL -: Five Cabinet members, who won a vote of confidence from the Wolesi Jirga on Wednesday, were sworn in by President Hamid Karzai on Monday. Zarar Ahmad Osmani took oath as foreign minister, Mohammad Arif Noorzai as energy and water minister, Shakir Kargar as commerce minister, Mohammad Akbar Barakzai as petroleum and mines minister and Din Mohammad Rashidi as counternarcotics minister. According to a ...

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Threats to Afghan Journalists Rise in 2013

KABUL -: South Asia has not been a safe place for journalists in the year 2013 when violence against journalists continued to remain a major threat to media freedom, the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) said in its report released on Monday. During the year, 22 journalists were killed, including three in Afghanistan, despite the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1738 on the safety of journalists an ...

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