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Analysis: High Costs Keep Japan Focus on Nuclear

Tokyo - Japan will once again be without atomic energy as its only operating nuclear reactor goes offline Sunday for refueling and maintenance, and other plants remain closed for intensified safety checks following the 2011 meltdowns at the tsunami-stricken plant in Fukushima. But despite signs that the Fukushima crisis is worsening, Japan's commitment to restarting many of its 50 idled reactors appears str ...

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Obama Says Deal on Chemical Weapons a Plus for All

Washington - President Barack Obama says an agreement between the U.S. and Russia offers a chance to destroy Syria's huge stockpile of chemical weapons and promises to end the threat the weapons pose to the region and the world as well as the Syrian people. Obama says the international community expects Syria to live up to its public commitments to hand over its chemical weapons stockpile. Warning that the ...

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IAGs Disrupting IEC Election Prep

Kabul - Noor Mohammad Noor, the spokesman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), on Sunday said that Illegal Armed Groups (IAGs), especially in remote areas, are causing trouble for preparations ahead of the spring elections. IAGs have seen a growing share of the spotlight in recent months as residents from areas around the country have lobbed complaints and accusations against them for everything fr ...

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Senior Police Woman Gunned Down in Afghanistan

Kabul - A senior female police officer in Afghanistan was shot in an assassination attempt on Sunday, two months after her female predecessor was killed, underscoring worries about both security and the role of women as foreign troops prepare to leave. Lieutenant Negara, who like many Afghans only uses one name, was shot as she was being driven to work on a motorbike by a male relative in Lashkar Gah, capit ...

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Thirty Get Info Kits for Presidential Runners

KABUL: Thirty likely presidential candidates, including important political figures, were issued with information kits on next year’s polls, an Independent Election Commission (IEC) official said on Sunday. The recipients of information kits included National Coalition of Afghanistan leaders Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Ahmad Zia Massoud, an IEC source confided to Pajhwok Afghan News. Security Transition Commi ...

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Afghanistan-Iran Relations

Afghan and Iranian presidents Hamid Karzai and Hassan Rouhani discussed bilateral relations between the two countries in a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. According to the reports, both Afghan and Iranian presidents discussed Afghanistan’s peace process, Bilateral Security Agreement with the US and status and conditions of the Afghan mig ...

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Ishratul Ebad Resigned From Sindh Governor Post

Karachi - Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, a member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), resigned from his post, Express News reported Saturday. He has faxed his resignation to the Presidency and Governor House. He abruptly departed for Dubai on late Friday night and intends to stay there for the next few days after which he will travel to London. According to sources, Dr Ebad felt that he was not fu ...

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Iran Army Will Counter Any Threat

Tehran - A senior Iranian commander says the Islamic Republic of Iran is keeping a watchful eye on all potential threats against the country. According to Press TV, commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan on Saturday said “The Army is monitoring all threats and is capable of countering any threats in the air and on land and in difficult conditions.” The Iranian ...

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NATO Failed to Banish Terror from Region: Karzai

KABUL -President Hamid Karzai said on Friday the US and NATO could not rescue the region from the reign and threat of terrorism that continued to haunt his nation. In his address to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)’s meeting in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Karzai said the spread of terrorism and extremism would not only threaten Afghanistan and Pakistan’s stability, but the entire region. A statem ...

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Regional Players Anxious On Afghan Transition

WASHINGTON - A top American diplomat, who has been nominated by President Obama as his point person for South and Central Asia, has said “there is a lot of anxiety among regional players about post-2104 Afghanistan." “At the same time there is a near unanimity among these countries a stable and secure Afghanistan is in the interest of the entire region,” Nisha Desai Biswal told members of Senate Foreign Rel ...

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Catholic Priest Targeted in Acid Attack in Zanzibar

Zanzibar City - A Roman Catholic priest in Zanzibar has received treatment in hospital after attackers threw acid at him on a street in the island's capital, police say. Elderly priest Joseph Anselmo Mwagambwa was attacked as he was leaving an internet cafe in the island's old town. It follows a similar attack on two young British women there last month. Tensions between the majority Muslim population and C ...

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United Airlines to Honour Tickets Issued for $0 In Glitch

Washington - United Airlines has pledged to honour airline tickets sold for as little as $0 because of a computer error. The airline, one of the largest in the US, said it was unsure how many steeply discounted tickets it had issued. It temporarily shut down its website and ceased taking telephone orders after discovering the error. The tickets were sold on Thursday through its online booking system. Passen ...

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Syrian Warplanes Strike Damascus: Residents

Beirut - Syrian warplanes struck rebel-held suburbs of the capital on Saturday and government forces clashed with insurgents on the frontlines, residents and opposition activists said. "The warplanes are very busy this morning," said a journalist working in central Damascus who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons. Activists said the strikes were focused on Berze, a northeastern part of central Da ...

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Egypt Hit by Pro and Anti-Mohammed Morsi Protests

Cairo - Supporters and opponents of Egypt's ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi have clashed during protests a day after a state of emergency was extended by two months. The pro-Morsi demonstrations called by the Muslim Brotherhood appeared to be bigger than in recent weeks. One person was killed and at least four injured in clashes after Friday prayers in the coastal city of Alexandria. In Sinai, the ...

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Police Clash with Protestors in Mexico City, 31 People Arrested

Mexico o City - Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators in the main square of Mexico City on Friday, arresting 31 people, as the government took control of the historic center after weeks of protests by teachers. Federal police clashed with some protestors as they cleared the massive square, or Zocalo, for celebrations on Sunday, when President Enrique Pena Nieto is due to lead his f ...

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Malaysian PM Najib Entrenches Race-Based Policies

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak announced steps on Saturday to further boost the economic participation of the ethnic Malay majority, entrenching race-based policies seen as shoring up Malay support ahead of a key ruling party meeting. The measures include privatizing some government services and granting more government-related contracts to firms owned by ethnic Malays, known as Bumipu ...

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U.S. Says Hopes China, Japan Push Diplomacy on Isles Spat

Beijing - The United States hopes that tentative diplomatic engagement between China and Japan amid their dispute over a group of islands in the East China Sea is successful as escalation is in nobody's interest, a senior U.S. diplomat said on Saturday. Ties between the world's second- and third-biggest economies have been strained over the uninhabited islets, controlled by Japan but claimed by both countri ...

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U.S., Russia Agree to Deal on Syria Chemical Weapons

Geneva - The United States and Russia have agreed on a proposal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday after nearly three days of talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Kerry said that, under the pact, Syria must submit a "comprehensive listing" of its chemical weapons stockpiles within one week. Kerry, at a press conference with Lavrov, sai ...

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Afghanistan Jumps Seven Places in FIFA Rankings

Kabul - Afghanistan has jumped seven places in the international football federation's (FIFA) world rankings – the biggest mover in the latest edition of the rankings – boosted by its success in the 2013 South Asia Football Federation (SAFF) Cup. The Afghan football team rose to the132nd spot worldwide, after defeating India 2-0 on Wednesday. Afghanistan also rose two places in the Asian rankings to settle ...

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US Asks Taliban to Enter Talks with Karzai Govt

WASHINGTON -The United States on Friday praised efforts of the Herat governor and Afghan security forces to secure the American consulate in the western province after a car-bomb attack on its compound. Amidst heightened security, the consulate was closed and its officials were temporarily relocated to Kabul, the State Department Deputy Spokesperson, Marie Harf, told a news conference. Secretary of State Jo ...

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