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North Korea Deports Detained Australian Missionary

Pyongyang - North Korea has deported Australian missionary John Short, who was detained last month after it was reported that he distributed religious material. Mr Short, 75, who has arrived in Beijing from Pyongyang, was detained after apparently leaving Christian pamphlets at a tourist site. The North's state-run KCNA news agency said he had admitted breaking North Korean law and apologised. It said he wa ...

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NSC Orders Fresh Probe into Kunar Attack

KABUL - The National Security Council (NSC) has rejected the Ministry of Defence (MoD) findings regarding a Taliban attack that left 21 Afghan soldiers dead, calling for a fresh probe into the assault. Chaired by President Hamid Karzai, the high-level NSC meeting was presented the MoD report about the Ghaziabad attack by Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, the chief of army staff, a statement issued from the Preside ...

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Union Welcomes Ban on Import of Low Quality Fuel

KABUL - The National Union of Oil and Gas Companies in Afghanistan welcomed a new ban on the import of raw and low quality fuel on Sunday, but said that businessmen and government officials still import low quality fuel and profit from it. "We have noticed that the trade in low quality fuels makes millions for a number of individuals within government, who are importers of it," said Azrakhsh Hafizi, the uni ...

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Kandahar Prison Breakout

The officials say that 12 Taliban prisoners have escaped from Kandahar prison by using a letter with fake sign from Afghan National Directorate of Security. According to the officials, two of the prisoners are again arrested while others remain unaccounted. The prison breakout in Kandahar comes at a time when there are serious concerns about Afghan forces ability to take the lead role in the fight against t ...

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14 Killed as Car-Bomb Goes off Inside Logar House

PUL-I-ALAM - Fourteen people, including women and children, were killed on Sunday when a car packed with explosives blew up inside a house in the provincial capital of central Logar province, an official said.  The governor’s spokesman said militants had parked the car in a house in Pul-i-Alam and it apparently exploded prematurely at around 8:00am, leaving 14 people, including seven Pakistani militants and ...

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Thousands March in Hong Kong to Condemn Attack on Ex-Newspaper Editor

Hong Kong - Thousands of protesters rallied outside the Hong Kong's government headquarters on Sunday to condemn a knife attack on a former newspaper editor and to voice support for press freedom amid growing concern over Beijing's influence in the media. Kevin Lau Chun-to, who until recently had been chief editor of Ming Pao, a Chinese-language newspaper known for its investigative reports, was stabbed in ...

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IECC Starts Vetting 400 More Candidates’ Papers

KABUL - The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) on Sunday said it had started evaluating nomination papers of another 400 provincial council candidates. IECC spokesman Nadir Muhseni said the commission had decided to start vetting documents of 400 candidates, adding papers of 90 contenders had already been cleared without any complaints against them. The scrutiny of nomination papers of more ...

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Recreation of Ancient Trading Route to be Discussed Again

KABUL - The Afghan government is prioritizing the recreation of the ancient silk trading route, and the topic will be discussed in the upcoming Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday. Officials at the Foreign Ministry said that new projects will be proposed during RECCA this year. They added that implementation of a large electricity t ...

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Afghan Traders Ink $8 Million in Deals at Gulfood

KABUL - Afghan companies signed contracts worth more than $8 million for the country’s high-quality agricultural produce with international buyers during the five days of the Gulfood Exhibition held in Dubai. Gulfood was held from Feb. 23 to 27 at the Dubai World Trade Center, which is known as the world’s biggest annual food exhibition with 4,500 exhibitors and tens of thousands of buyers and visitors atte ...

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Karzai Greets Nation; 6 Hurt in Celebratory Fire

KABUL - President Hamid Karzai on Saturday congratulated the nation on Afghanistan’s historic victory over a test cricket playing nation Bangladesh in their Asia Cup match, as wild celebrations left six people injured. President Karzai, who watched the game, was happy to see dozens of Afghan spectators in Fatullah waving the national flags as their team won the historic match, a statement from the President ...

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Witnesses Recall Fear, Chaos after China Train Station Attack

Beijing - Witnesses to chilling violence at a Chinese train station placed under heavy security on Sunday recalled moments of fear and chaos after at least 29 people were killed in what authorities called a terrorist attack by Xinjiang militants. Officials said a group of knife-wielding "terrorists" from the restive Xinjiang region launched a premeditated attack at the Kunming Railway Station in China's sou ...

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Thai Vote Goes Smoothly as Protesters Regroup near Bangkok Lakes

Bangkok - Thailand held re-run elections in five provinces where voting was disrupted in last month's poll by anti-government protesters who decamped from a main Bangkok intersection on Sunday and moved inside a central park. There were no reports of violence at Sunday's vote, although gunfire and at least two explosions had raised tension in Bangkok before the original February 2 general election. Whatever ...

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China Calls for Dialogue to Resolve Ukraine Crisis

Beijing - China's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it was extremely concerned by events in Ukraine, and called for talks to find a political solution to the crisis. Ukraine mobilized on Sunday for war and called up its reserves, after Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to invade in the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the Cold War. China's Foreign Ministry said it was "de ...

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Gunmen Kill French Citizen in Libya’s Benghazi

Tripoli - Gunmen killed a French citizen in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi on Sunday, a security official said, the latest slaying of a foreigner in the restive area. The man worked for a company upgrading a large hospital in Benghazi, which has been rocked by car bombs and assassinations amid Islamist militant activity, the official said. "He was killed with three shots," the official said. The killing c ...

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Spanish Journalist Kidnapped in Syria Released

Madrid – A Spanish journalist kidnapped by al-Qaida-linked militants in Syria crossed the border into Turkey on Sunday, his newspaper reported, as activists said government airstrikes killed at least 13 people in a northwestern border town. Veteran war correspondent Marc Marginedas was abducted on Sept. 4 near Hama by jihadists belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a breakaway al-Qaida grou ...

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Urkraine Mobilizes for War, Calls up Reserves

Kiev - Ukraine mobilized on Sunday for war and called up its reserves, after Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to invade in the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the Cold War. Ukraine's security council ordered the general staff to immediately put all armed forces on highest alert, the council's secretary Andriy Parubiy announced. The Defense Ministry was ordered to conduct t ...

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How Real Is the Zero-option?

The White House has directed the Pentagon to have adequate plans in place to enable the US completely withdraw forces from Afghanistan if Kabul and Washington fail to sign the bilateral security agreement. Echoing the move by Washington, NATO member countries also agreed to start considering a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan by end of this year. However, NATO officials have also said that they prefer t ...

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South Korea Warns Japan over Comfort Women Review

Seoul - South Korean President Park Geun-hye has warned Japan it will only bring isolation on itself if it reviews a statement acknowledging its wartime use of sex slaves. She called on Japan to embrace "truth and reconciliation". Japan apologised in 1993 to survivors of the many thousands of women who were forced into army brothels. On Friday Tokyo said it would set up a panel to review the evidence on whi ...

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Seoul Proposes Regular Family Reunions with North

Seoul - South Korea's president on Saturday proposed the rival Koreas hold reunions of Korean War-divided families on a regular basis, saying time was running out for the elderly separated by hostilities and politics. South Korea has made similar proposals in the past, but President Park Geun-hye's latest overture came after the two Koreas last month held their first reunions of families separated by the 19 ...

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Turkish Parliament Delivers Blow to Schools Run by Erdogan Rival

Ankara - Turkey's parliament passed legislation to shut down private preparatory schools many of which are an important source of income and influence for an Islamic cleric Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accuses of running a covert campaign to topple him. Lawmakers late on Friday set a deadline of September 1, 2015, to close the schools, news channels reported, which millions of students attend to prepare fo ...

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