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Afghan slaughter ‘unforgivable’, says Hamid Karzai

AN American soldier was being interrogated today after opening fire on civilians in southern Afghanistan, killing at least 16, including children, in an attack described by Afghan president Hamid Karzai as "unforgivable." Nine children and three women were among the dead, Mr Karzai said. The shooter was an Army staff sergeant based out of the Fort Lewis-McChord joint base in ...

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Annan ends Syria visit with no clear progress

BEIRUT – UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has ended talks with President Bashar al-Assad and left Syria with little sign of progress on halting the country’s growing political bloodshed. “I am optimistic for several reasons,” Annan said in Damascus on Sunday. “The situation is so bad and so dangerous that all of us cannot afford to fail.” There was no ...

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Assessing Fukushima, one year later

Yogi Berra supposedly said, “It’s tough making predictions, especially about the future.” He was right. However, there is an out for forecasters trying to predict long-term medical consequences of the Fukushima nuclear facility accident: The final reckoning will take about 50 years; they are unlikely to be around to be judged wrong. With this reassurance in mind, we think the ...

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Japan remembers horrific quake, tsunami

RIKUZENTAKATA, JAPAN— People across Japan prayed and stood in silence Sunday to remember the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck the nation one year ago, killing 19,000 people and unleashing the world’s worst nuclear crisis in a quarter century. In the devastated northeastern coastal town of Rikuzentakata, a siren sounded at 2:46 p.m. – the exact time the magnitude-9.0 quake ...

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Afghan president moves closer to agreement on post-2014 US pact

Hamid Karzai says he will sign deal defining the country’s long-term relationship with America Afghan President Hamid Karzai addresses a gathering of women to mark International Women’s Day at Amani High School in Kabul. Photograph: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Sunday he would meet western demands to sign by May a much-delayed pact defining the country’s ...

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New Israeli strike kills Gaza boy

Gaza City: A fresh Israeli air raid on Gaza killed a Palestinian schoolboy yesterday and an elderly man, raising the death toll to 18 in less than 48 hours and clouding hopes of restoring a tacit truce. The spike in violence erupted on Friday afternoon when an Israeli strike killed the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), sparking a ...

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Nicolas Sarkozy courts rightwing voters with Schengen zone threat

French president who is trailing behind rival François Hollande makes hardline speech on immigration in mega-rally Nicolas Sarkozy steps up to the podium at a mega-rally in Villepinte. Photograph: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images Nicolas Sarkozy has stepped up his courtship of hard-right voters by threatening to pull France out of the EU’s borderless, passport-free Schengen zone unless Brussels clamps down on ...

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Kofi Annan fails to persuade Syria’s Al Assad

Dubai: Syrian President Bashar Al Assad told UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan on Saturday that no political solution was possible in Syria while "terrorist" groups were destabilising the country. "Syria is ready to make a success of any honest effort to find a solution for the events it is witnessing," state news agency Sana quoted Al Assad as telling his ...

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China records huge February trade deficit

China swung into a huge trade deficit of $31.48 billion in February as oil imports rocketed, according to the latest customs data. China is normally a net exporter of goods — it recorded a surplus of $27.28 billion in January — but total monthly imports rose 39.6 percent year-on-year to $145.96 billion, with exports only going…

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Israeli air strikes kill 12 in Gaza

AFP – Twelve Palestinians, most of them fighters, were killed and at least 20 wounded in a series of Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip, Palestinian medics said early Saturday. The Israeli raids came as Palestinians fired dozens of rockets and mortar rounds into southern Israel starting Friday morning, injuring four people, one seriously, Israeli military sources said. One ...

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