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Romania parliamentary elections due to begin

Voting is due to get under way in parliamentary elections in Romania. Opinion polls suggest a win for the governing centre-left coalition led by Prime Minister Victor Ponta. But the result could trigger renewed political instability as Romania negotiates a vital loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Mr Ponta and centre-right President Traian…

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Morsi backs down in Egypt

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has backed down in a dire political crisis marked by weeks of street protests, after the powerful army gave an ultimatum to him and the opposition to sit down for talks. But it was not immediately clear whether his concession would satisfy an increasingly fierce opposition. The Islamist leader on Saturday annulled a controversial decree issued ...

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U.S.-Russia ties once again strained

MOSCOW — U.S.-Russia ties have again plunged into acrimony amid disputes ranging from disagreement on to Russian President ‘s clampdown on dissent. A U.S. bill intended to lift Cold War-era trade restrictions but also containing sanctions against Russian officials accused of rights abuses has become the latest flash point, with Moscow venting its outrage and threatening a quid pro quo. ...

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Syria Rebels Tied to Al Qaeda Play Key Role in War

BAGHDAD — The lone Syrian rebel group with an explicit stamp of approval from Al Qaeda has become one of the uprising’s most effective fighting forces, posing a stark challenge to the United States and other countries that want to support the rebels but not Islamic extremists. Multimedia Video Feature Aleppo Attack Kills 16 at Start of Internet Blackout Related ...

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Italy’s Prime Minister to Quit After Losing Party Support

ROME — Prime Minister Mario Monti said he intended to resign after losing the backing of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s party, according to a statement issued late Saturday by the president’s office. Connect With Us on Twitter Follow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines. Twitter List: Reporters and Editors Mr. Monti said that he would first try to ...

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Mandela admitted to hospital for tests

JOHANNESBURG: Nelson Mandela was admitted to a hospital in Pretoria Saturday to undergo tests and was said to be doing well, the South Africa government said. The 94-year-old former president and anti-apartheid icon was admitted for tests “consistent with his age”, the office of President Jacob Zuma said. The government insisted there was “no cause for alarm”. Zuma spokesman Mac ...

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Belfast Flag Violence: Rioting In City Centre

Belfast has been hit by another night of rioting as hundreds of loyalists took to the streets to protest over flags. Eight police officers were injured, with two needing hospital treatment, and five people were arrested following clashes across the city. Trouble flared at Shaftesbury Square – a popular party spot near Queen's University – after a man tried to ...

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Budget reaction: ‘I feel like a feudal peasant. I can take no more’

THE READERS: What you said on irishtimes.com this week Citizens feel disenfranchised, powerless and ignored,  but history shows there is a breaking point Wednesday was Budget day, when the Government announced a range of measures that will affect almost every adult in the State. They included a property tax, reduced child benefit, extended PRSI and cuts in entitlements for elderly people.There ...

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A careful Christmas or one last blowout?

12 CONOR POPE, Consumer Affairs Correspondent A tough December Budget can dampen pre-Christmas spending. But will it make people stay within their means this year?   After months of speculation, kite-flying and sometimes terrifying leaks about the “most savage budget in the history of the State” we now know exactly what €3.5 billion of cuts and tax rises looks like. It ...

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