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Annan may urge powers to ‘twist arms’ on Syria

GENEVA (AP) — A spokesman for Kofi Annan says the U.N.’s envoy on Syria could be forced to ask governments with influence to “twist arms” to enforce the peace plan for the country. Ahmad Fawzi told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that escalating violence in Syria mirrors the spike in fighting that occurred shortly before a ceasefire plan was agreed ...

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Burma sectarian violence continues despite state of emergency

Gunshots rang out and residents fled burning homes on Tuesday as security forces in western Burma struggled to contain deadly ethnic and religious violence that has displaced thousands of people. Image 1 of 3 Burmese policemen patrol with rifles on the streets of Sittwe, capital of the western state of Rakhine Photo: AFP/Getty Images Image 1 of 3 A Rakhine ...

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EU welcomes "measured" Myanmar response to rioting

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union said on Monday it was satisfied with Myanmar’s “measured” handling of the Muslim-Buddhist violence that engulfed one of its biggest towns at the weekend. As rival mobs of Muslims and Buddhists torched houses in Sittwe, the biggest town in northwestern Myanmar, police fired into the air and Muslims fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. Rohingya living ...

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Local NGOs to send 15 representatives to Rio+20

Non-governmental organizations (NGO) yesterday said they would send a team of 15 representatives to attend the UN’s upcoming Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development — also known as Rio Earth Summit 2012 — in Brazil, to exchange knowledge on green economy and the institutional framework for sustainable development with the world. Although Taiwan is…

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If Europe is ‘a culture of peace’, why NATO?

It is undoubtedly true that the greatest unacknowledged achievement of the European Union is to establish “a culture of peace” within its regional enclosure for the 68 years since 1944. This has meant not only the absence of war in Europe, but also the absence of “war talk”, threats, crises, and sanctions – with the single important exception of the ...

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Spanish rescue plan splits Europe’s bailout club

ATHENS/DUBLIN (Reuters) – The friendly terms of an international rescue for Spain have encouraged Greek politicians to believe they can extract a better deal from creditors, but Ireland and Portugal, fellow members of the bailout club, appear more resigned to their fate. In Greece, which votes in a general election on Sunday, the radical, leftist SYRIZA party seized on the ...

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West Africa to seek U.N. mandate for action on Mali

PARIS (Reuters) – West African nations will seek a U.N. Security Council mandate for military intervention in Mali where rising Islamist militancy has made the country an international security threat, Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou said on Monday. “ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) has decided to refer to the Security Council with the objective of sending an armed force ...

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US exempts India, but not China, from Iran sanctions

AFP – The United States said it would exempt seven emerging economies including India from tough new sanctions after they cut back on oil from Iran, but the punishment still loomed for China. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton added India, Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan to the list of those exempt from the sanctions. In ...

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