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U.S., Russia push for rapid talks to end Syria carnage

MOSCOW/BEIRUT – Russia and the United States have agreed to bury their differences over Syria and hold urgent international talks to find a settlement that can end the carnage of a civil war that is inflaming the entire Middle East. Visiting Moscow after Israel bombed targets near Damascus and as President Barack Obama faces new calls to arm the rebels, ... Read More »

Syria threatens to hit back after deadly Israel raids

    DAMASCUS: UN human rights investigator Carla del Ponte, meanwhile, said that rebels had used the deadly nerve agent sarin in their fight to oust Syria’s regime, although a commission of inquiry later said there was no conclusive proof and the United States said it was “highly sceptical”. “At least 42 soldiers were killed in the strikes, and another 100 ... Read More »

Ethnic clashes kill dozens in central Nigeria

Clashes between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups have taken dozens of lives in Central Nigeria. The violence allegedly began when a Christian funeral procession marched through a Muslim neighborhood chanting slogans. Local authorities confirmed on Saturday that at least 24 people had been killed in clashes between Christian and Muslim mobs in Nigeria’s Taraba state, precipitating a round-the-clock curfew in ... Read More »

The ‘green economy’ as an engine for growth

The EU has some 19 million unemployed and the trend is pointing upwards. But, new jobs will only come once the economy picks up. Could a new ‘green economy’ help create those jobs and halt Europe’s decline? The political demands are clear: More renewable energies, more energy efficiency, lower CO² emissions and more environmentally friendly technologies. For years, European governments ... Read More »

Tensions rise between Iraq’s Sunnis and Shias

Some international observers are growing concerned about renewed civil war between Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiites. The city of Fallujah represents a hotbed of Sunni protest against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite. One can’t overlook the protest camp when entering Fallujah from the main road connecting the city with Baghdad. A smattering of tents, a stage showing photos of dead ... Read More »

Japanese leader shows signs of his old self

Before Shinzo Abe was re-elected prime minister, there were rumblings of discontent among Japan’s neighbors over his nationalistic attitude and conservative track record. Recent events have rekindled the fears. On Sunday, Yomomi Inada became the fourth member of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet to pay his respects at Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, triggering an angry response from South Korea’s leader and ... Read More »

Obama’s Middle East push must break the mold

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been decoded. Both sides and the US know exactly what it takes to solve it. Now it is time for Barack Obama to show that he is not just going through the motions again. Every effort to advance Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations can expect to face four separate but related crises: confidence-destroying activities on the ground; political ... Read More »

Netanyahu says Iran yet to cross nuclear ‘red line’

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday that Tehran’s nuclear programme was getting closer to crossing a crucial “red line” but had yet to reach it. “It has not yet crossed the red line which I laid out in the United Nations but it is systematically approaching it and we cannot let it cross,” he told senior members of ... Read More »

Obama vows new bid to close Gitmo ‘no man’s land’

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama said Tuesday the military jail at Guantanamo Bay is damaging US interests and vowed a renewed push to close it, as around 100 prisoners take part in a hunger strike there. Condemning the prison as a legal “no man’s land,” Obama told a White House news conference that it was time Congress agreed to shut the jail ... Read More »

US report warns of crisis for Pakistan minorities

WASHINGTON: A US government-appointed panel urged Washington Tuesday to step up pressure on Pakistan over religious freedom, warning that risks to its minorities have reached a crisis level. In an annual report, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom also raised concerns about what it called a worsening situation in China, as well as problems in Egypt, Iran, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia ... Read More »

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