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Thousands of Bahrainis March Peacefully for Democratic Reforms

Manama - Thousands of Bahrainis were allowed to march peacefully outside Manama calling for democratic reforms on Friday, 10 days after police cracked down on scattered protests organized by an online group inspired by recent demonstrations in Egypt. Waving Bahrain's red and white flag and carrying pictures of political prisoners, the protesters denounced King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa and Prime Minister Sh ...

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Italy Center Left Rejects Berlusconi ‘Blackmail’

Rome - Italy's center left will not accept any "blackmail" from its center-right coalition partner, its leader said on Monday, after Silvio Berlusconi's party threatened to bring down the government if he is ejected from parliament. Relations between Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) party and Prime Minister Enrico Letta's Democratic Party (PD) are at breaking point ahead of a Senate vote due by October ...

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U.N. Experts in Syria Head to Site of Poison Gas Attack

Beirut - U.N. inspectors left central Damascus on Monday to investigate sites of an alleged chemical weapons strike on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, a Reuters witness said, after calls from Western powers for military action to punish what may be the world's worst chemical attack in 25 years. Syria agreed on Sunday to allow the inspectors to visit the site. But the United States and its allies say ev ...

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Israeli Troops Kill Three Palestinians in Predawn Raid: Hospital

Ramallah - Israeli troops shot dead three Palestinians and wounded about a dozen in an early morning raid on Monday to arrest a suspected militant in a refugee camp near Jerusalem, Palestinian medical sources told Reuters. Witnesses said Israeli armored jeeps entered the Qalandiya camp at around 3 a.m. (0000 GMT) and were met by stone-throwing local residents. The Israeli forces responded with gunfire and l ...

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UK’s Cameron Cuts Short Holiday to Chair Syria Meeting

London - British Prime Minister David Cameron is cutting short his holiday to chair a meeting of Britain's National Security Council to discuss how best to respond to a reported chemical weapons attack in Syria, a government source said on Monday. "He's come back because of the situation in Syria in general ... and to be here to carry on discussing all the potential options," the source told Reuters. Camero ...

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IEC Rules out More Voter Registration Centers

KABUL -Residents of different provinces demand opening of more voter registration centres, but election officials say they cannot positively respond to such calls due to paucity of funds. In the build-up to presidential and provincial council polls in April 2014, voter registration centres were set up on May 24 in the capitals of all the 34 provinces and the second phase started in July at district level. A ...

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Zakhilwal, Dar Confer on Joint River Management

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Dr Hazrat Omer Zakhilwal and his Pakistani counterpart Ishaq Dar have agreed in principle on moving towards joint management of common rivers, starting with construction of a hydropower project on Kunar River, a media report said on Monday. Kunar River is a major tributary of Kabul River, contributing almost 13 million acres feet (MAF) annually to Pakistan. The issue will be deba ...

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Karzai Visits Pakistan, Seeks Help in Taliban Peace Process

ISLAMABAD: Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked Pakistan on Monday to help arrange peace talks between his government and Taliban insurgents, and called for a joint campaign against extremism in both countries. The two leaders in a one-on-one meeting at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad that lasted for an hour, focused on issues of common interest including strengthening of bilateral ties and the evolvin ...

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The Munich Process

Some Afghan and foreign experts, Afghan prominent politicians from the opposition parties and political activists attended a gathering in Munich, Germany, discussing the current affairs and the future of Afghanistan. The gathering was concluded on Sunday and issued a resolution stressing on a fair and transparent presidential election, an all-inclusive peace process and proposing changes to the government s ...

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Regaining the Public Trust

Omar Samad – Despite the recent repudiation of elections by the Afghan Taliban's fugitive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, and despite the increased bloodshed experienced by Afghans this year, there is a growing public desire to see the election process move forward and a historic and peaceful transfer of power and legitimate order. Signs of growing enthusiasm are not only detected among the political elites an ...

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Philippines’ Cebu Declares Calamity as Sunken Ferry Leaks Oil in Pristine Waters

Cordova - The central Philippine province of Cebu, famous among divers around the world for its clear waters and coral reefs, declared a state of calamity on Monday as an oil slick from a ferry that sank late last week spread to about 20 percent of the coast. A 40-year-old ferry owned by 2GO Group Inc sank about a kilometer offshore on Friday after a collision with a cargo vessel. At least 52 people were ki ...

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William Hague: Mid-East Turmoil ‘to Last Decades’

London - It will take "years or maybe decades" for the turmoil in the Middle East to "play itself out," UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has told BBC News. Mr Hague said the situation in Egypt was "very bleak" and there was only a limited amount Western powers like Britain could do to help resolve it. "We have to do our best to support democratic institutions" without taking sides, he added. He is to meet ...

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Gunmen Kill 24 Egyptian Police in Sinai Ambush

Cairo - Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 24 Egyptian policemen on Monday in the Sinai peninsula, where attacks on security forces have multiplied since the army overthrew President Mohamed Mursi on July 3. Three policemen were also wounded in the grenade and machinegun attack near the north Sinai town of Rafah on the border with Israel, medical and security sources said. The attack underlined th ...

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Germany: Man Holds Hostages at Ingolstadt Town Hall

Berlin - A man is holding three people hostage at the old town hall in Ingolstadt, southern Germany, forcing Chancellor Angela Merkel to cancel a visit that had been planned for later on Monday. Police say they believe a deputy mayor, Sepp Misslbeck, is among the hostages and the assailant is said to be armed. The police are reported to be in contact with the man. His motives are as yet unclear. Mrs Merkel ...

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Wife of China’s Bo Would Only Testify to Protect Son: Sources

Beijing - The wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai would only agree to provide evidence against him at his trial if a deal had been reached to protect their son, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters. Bo, a charismatic senior leader of the Communist Party whose ambitions to join the country's apex of power were dashed last year, goes on trial on Thursday, charged with corruption, acc ...

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President Rohani: Iran, Land of Stability

Tehran - According to IRNA, making the remarks during inauguration ceremony of his Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, he referred to the inherent task of the Interior Ministry as providing security. He regretted that enemies are hatching numerous plots. Outlining the most urgent issues in the country which have to be addressed soon, he referred to many topics in economic, social, cultural and enviro ...

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Guessing Game as Kayani’s Extension Nears End

Islamabad - In a nation long plagued by military coups, the question of who will replace Pakistan's all-powerful army chief has taken on new urgency this year as the country tries to shake off the legacy of decades of military dictatorship. General Ashfaq Kayani, arguably the most powerful man in the country, is expected to step down from the post after six years in November — presenting Prime Minister Nawa ...

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Governors Look to Address Kabul-Kandahar Highway Security Crisis

Kabul - The Governors of Ghazni, Maidan Wardak, Zabul and Kandahar provinces held a meeting on Sunday in Maidan Shahr, the capital city of Wardak province, to address the concerns of logistics and supply companies who have been subject to Taliban attacks on the Kabul-Kandahar highway. The Provincial Governors urged security institutions to take immediate steps to address increasing security problems along t ...

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US Respects Afghan Sovereignty: Kerry

WASHINGTON - Afghanistan has made inspiring progress across many sectors, creating a better life for its citizens, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, greeting the Afghans on their country’s Independence Day. Sending the Afghans best wishes on behalf of President, Barack Obama, Kerry said on Sunday he had been to Afghanistan many times and had seen firsthand the enduring partnership between the two count ...

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Amanullah Khan’s Tomb in Rundown Condition

JALALABAD - As the nation celebrates its 94th Independence Day, the tomb of Ghazi Amanullah Khan, the hero of Afghanistan’s freedom, is in rundown condition. Authorities have failed to pay heed to the dome of Khan’s mausoleum in the Amir Shaheed Garden area of Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province. Dozens of writers and journalists, who gathered at the site on Monday, lashed out at the provin ...

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