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Chinese Leader Calls for Curb on ‘Hedonism’

Beijing - A senior Chinese leader is urging Communist Party members to help restrain the "hedonism" that he says has infected Chinese society. Politburo member Wang Qishan said party members should live frugally in order to counter decadent lifestyles. Economic reforms have brought prosperity to a country that was once desperately poor. China's leaders have encouraged consumption to spur growth, but now see ...

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Kerry Urges EU to Postpone Funding Ban in Israeli-Occupied Territories

Vilnius - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the European Union on Saturday to put off a planned ban on EU financial assistance to Israeli organizations in the occupied Palestinian territories, a U.S. official said. Kerry made the request at a meeting with EU foreign ministers at which he also called on them to support Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, which resumed on July 29 after a nearly thr ...

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Conservative Leader Abbott Wins Landslide Australia Election Victory

Sydney - Australia's conservative leader Tony Abbott swept into office in a landslide election on Saturday as voters punished the outgoing Labor government for six years of turbulent rule and for failing to maximize the benefits of a now fading mining boom. Abbott, a former boxer, Rhodes scholar and trainee priest, promised to restore political stability, cut taxes and crack down on asylum seekers arriving ...

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Egypt’s Army Finds Explosives on Rail Line near Suez

Cairo - Egyptian soldiers discovered explosives planted on a railway line on Saturday, the state news agency reported, another sign of an insurgency after an assassination attempt against a minister and attacks on security forces and a ship. Mortars were among the munitions found on the line between the cities of Suez and Ismailia, MENA news agency said, adding that the explosives were defused by experts. T ...

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Obama Tells Nation That Syria is ‘Not another Iraq or Afghanistan’

Washington - President Barack Obama told his war-weary country on Saturday that America needs to use limited military force in Syria to deter future chemical weapons attacks, but said he did not want to enter into another costly and protracted war. "This would not be another Iraq or Afghanistan," Obama said in his weekly radio and internet address, previewing arguments he will make in a nationally televised ...

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Afghanistan, WB Sign $50m Agreement

  Kabul (BNA)-  Afghanistan has signed a grant costing 50 million US dollar with World Bank for strengthening of economy and financial stability. Afghanistan Ministry of Finance and World Bank on Wednesday signed a grant agreement costing 50 million US dollar for the purpose of Afghan efforts for economic improvement and financial stability. The grant has been provided through international development ...

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Second-Hand Imports Hurting Afghan Economy: ACCI

Kabul - The Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) criticized the Afghan government for not putting adequate checks on the importing of low-quality second-hand goods in Afghanistan. According to the ACCI, over two billion dollars worth of used goods and spare car parts are imported into Afghanistan every year, ultimately weakening the country's own manufacturing industry. For many years, Kabul mar ...

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Hundreds of Afghan Refugees Held in Karachi

KARACHI -Pakistani security forces have detained hundreds of Afghan refugees from various areas of Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh province, during a latest crack down on miscreants. The massive operation involving police and Rangers personnel that began on Wednesday came after security situation in the country’s financial hub was further deteriorated. On Thursday, three suspected militants were kill ...

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Casualties as Dozens Protest Against Iran’s Consulate

HERAT CITY -Police guards at the Iranian consulate on Saturday opened fire at protestors in western Herat province, killing one and injuring four others, an official said. The protest involving dozens of residents, mostly labourers, was staged in front of the Iranian consulate in Herat City, the provincial capital. They accused the consulate officials of corruption and not issuing them visas to return to th ...

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Lower House Resumes Work, Security Remains Top Priority

Kabul - When the Afghan Parliament resumed session on Saturday, Abdul Raouf Ibrahimi, the Speaker of the Lower House along with several MPs expressed serious concerns with the security situation in Afghanistan and resolved political and security officials do formulate a better strategy for mitigation ahead of the spring elections. After a 45-day summer recess, the Mr. Ibrahimi welcomed the MPs with a strong ...

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Polarization of Election Politics

Ostensibly, another electoral alliance is in the making in direct opposition to the grand “Afghanistan Electoral Alliance”. Former Interior Minister and a prominent political figure Ali Ahmad Jalali said on Tuesday that the new alliance would include Dr. Zalmai Khalilzad, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Ali Ahmad Jalali, former Afghan Interior Minister; Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, the head of t ...

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Militant Groups Should be Targeted at Their Roots: Rehman Malik

Islamabad - Former interior minister Rehman Malik said on Tuesday that militant groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi needed to be targeted at their “roots”. Addressing the media in Karachi, he said that if the federal government wants to make any efforts towards curbing terrorism, they should consider its basic parameters. “I invented the term ‘targeted’ operation,” said Malik, adding that an operation needs to be ...

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Why Iran’s Watchdogs Hold no Fear for Supreme Leader

Tehran - Iran's Assembly of Experts - ostensibly one of the most powerful institutions in the Islamic Republic - is holding its biannual session in Tehran. The body has the authority to appoint and remove the country's Supreme Leader - a prospect which would naturally lead one to expect to see the Supreme Leader defending his policies before assembly members as they assess his performance on every state-rel ...

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ANSF Casualty Rates Too High: Gen. Dunford

KABUL -Losing too many personnel in the battle against insurgents, Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) could need up to five more years of western support before they could fight on their own, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan says. In an interview with a British daily, published on Tuesday, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander said it was too early to say whether the Western ...

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Operations Leave 12 Insurgents Dead, 33 in Custody

Kabul - Ministry of Interior (MoI) officials said in a statement on Tuesday that 12 insurgents were killed, two injured and 33 others arrested in a series of coordinated operations launched by the Afghan security forces across the country on Monday. "In the past 24-hours, Afghan National Police (ANP) conducted several joint clearance operations with the cooperation of the Afghan National Army (ANA), Nationa ...

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Mandela’s Return Home from Hospital Indicates Progress: Zuma

Pretoria - Nelson Mandela's return home after nearly three months in hospital shows the fragile health of anti-apartheid hero has made some improvement, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday. Zuma also told a news conference that the 95-year-old former South African president remained in a critical but stable condition and was responding to treatment. Mandela returned to his Johannesburg home on Sunday after ...

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Germans Oppose More Bailouts, Want Smaller Euro Zone: Poll

Berlin - A majority of Germans say their next government after the September 22 election will have no mandate to provide more funds for the euro zone and that any further aid should be subject to a referendum, a poll showed on Tuesday. More than half of Germans also want their country to remain in the common currency but would prefer a slimmed down euro zone with membership "restricted to a select group of ...

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Rocket Attack Kills 15 Militants in Sinai: Egyptian State TV

Cairo - Fifteen militants were killed in the Sinai Peninsula by rocket fire, Egyptian state TV reported on Tuesday, after witnesses said army helicopters had attacked militant strongholds in the area. The state-run Nile TV gave no further details in a brief report. The army helicopters had targeted two villages south of Sheikh Zuweid, a town near the border with Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. An army ...

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Syrian Forces Capture Strategic Northern Town: Opposition

Beirut - Syrian forces seized the strategic northern town of Ariha on Tuesday, an opposition group said, in a move that would open the supply line between the coastal stronghold and pockets of army control in a region that is largely rebel controlled. Other activists, however, said the battle was not over and that rebels were still fighting the regime in Ariha, located near a major highway in the northern p ...

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U.S. Fuels Tension by Deploying Warships near Syria: Russia

Moscow - Russia criticized the United States on Tuesday for sending warships close to Syria, saying the deployments would exacerbate tension as Washington prepares for a possible military strike. "The pressure being applied by the United States causes particular concern," Russian Defense Ministry official Oleg Dogayev was quoted as saying by the state-run Itar-Tass news agency. He said "the dispatch of ship ...

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