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UN peacekeeper due in Damascus for ceasefire talks

Beirut: A senior Norwegian UN peacekeeper flies into Damascus on Thursday to try to broker an agreement that will allow observers to be deployed across Syria to monitor a ceasefire demanded by an international peace plan. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accepted the plan, which calls for him to withdraw heavy weapons from cities, and his ally Russia…

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World food inflation seen back on the table as prices rise

MILAN – World food prices are likely to rise for a third successive month in March, and could gain further beyond that, with expensive oil and chronically low stocks of some key grains putting food inflation firmly back on the economic agenda. Food prices grabbed world policy makers’ attention after hitting record highs in February 2011 and stoking protests connected ...

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China’s premier Wen Jiabao calls for breaking bank monopolies

Tweet Premier Wen Jiabao, China’s top economic official, says its state-owned banks are monopolies that must be broken up, acknowledging mounting economic and political pressure to reform an industry whose vast profits are fueling public anger. Wen’s comments Tuesday suggest Beijing sees a growing political danger from its failure to carry out long-promised reforms of state banks, which pay minimal ...

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Syria forces assault rebellious towns before truce

BEN HUBBARD Associated Press= BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian artillery pounded the rebellious city of Homs and tanks and troops stormed towns in the north and south on Wednesday, deepening doubts that President Bashar Assad will follow through on his commitment to a truce starting next week. Anti-regime activists cited the new assaults as evidence Assad is trying to crush those ...

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The United States as #2

Politicians in the United States must ritualistically assert that the US is and always will be the world’s leading economic, military and political power. This chant may help win elections in a country where respectable people deny global warming and evolution, but it has nothing to do with the real world. Those familiar with the data know that China is ...

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Skype hires 400 staff but Yahoo may be set to axe 2,000

Skype has announced plans to create about 400 new jobs across five cities. The internet video-calling business – which is owned by Microsoft – said it is initially looking to take on staff in London and Stockholm. Other posts will later be created in Tallinn, Estonia; Prague, Czech Republic and Palo Alto in California, USA. The news coincides with an ...

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Tycoon Xu Ming held in China scandal

A BILLIONAIRE tycoon closely entwined with Bo Xilai, the deposed Communist Party boss of the city of Chongqing, is understood to have been arrested for economic crimes amid China’s worst political crisis for 20 years. Word of the arrest confirms a tightening of the net around Mr Bo and comes as the British government is demanding a fuller investigation into ...

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India inducts Russian made nuclear submarine into Navy

SHARE AND DISCUSSTweetNuke powered submarine to join Indian Navy VISHAKHAPATNAM: After a gap of two decades, India has joined the elite club of nations having nuclear-powered submarines with the induction of the Russian-origin ‘Nerpa’ into the Navy on Wednesday. Defence minister A K Antony commissioned the Akula II class Nerpa rechristened INS Chakra into the Navy. India had earlier leased ...

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Ex-Turkish president to go on trial

General Kenan Evren, who went on to serve as Turkey’s president, is set to go on trial for his role in leading a 1980 coup that shaped the country until reforms cut back the power of the generals. An Ankara court will begin hearing the case on Wednesday against 94-year-old Evren as well as the other surviving architect of that ...

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