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China blocking Airbus orders over carbon tax: company

AFP – China has blocked purchases of Airbus planes by Chinese companies in reaction to a disputed European carbon tax, the head of the Airbus parent company EADS said on Thursday. “Airbus is subjected to retaliation measures,” EADS chief executive Louis Gallois told a press conference as he presented annual results, adding: “The Chinese government rejects (refuses) to approve airlines’ ...

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Sarkozy to quit politics if he loses re-election bid

REUTERS – French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday he would fight with everything he has to win a second term but will bow out of politics if he loses an April-May election. Sarkozy, who is badly lagging Socialist challenger Francois Hollande in opinion polls six weeks before the first round of voting, said Hollande’s lack of ministerial or international ...

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Leon Panetta pushes back on calls for military intervention in Syria

Defence secretary cautions call by Senator John McCain and others to launch airstrikes against Bashar al-Assad’s regime US secretary of defence Leon Panetta, left, and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E Dempsey testify at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Photograph: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images The US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, has pushed back against fresh demands ...

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Obama mortgage fee cuts offer relief to millions of homeowners

Washington: US President Barack Obama announced on Tuesday a cut in fees on many government-backed mortgages that he said could help millions of homeowners refinance, part of an election-year push to boost the shaky US housing market. Under the plan, a typical borrower with a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration could save $1,000 a year by refinancing into ...

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Pope’s Mexico visit puts spotlight on magical town

Photos GUANAJUATO, Mexico – (AP) — Walking uphill on cobblestone, I am struck by the altitude’s perfect mix of hot sun and crisp air. A street vendor’s cry echoes in a canyon of brightly colored stucco facades, and I can’t help think this mystical, medieval-looking city is my favorite on Earth. Though I hate to choose among Mexico’s colonial beauties, ...

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Investigation ordered into deaths of Mexico City women

Judge Jose Alvarado ruled a national, multi-government agency formed to fight violence against women should reconsider a request by activists to declare a state of alert for central Mexico State, women’s rights activist Maria de la Luz Estrada said. Human rights groups say hundreds of women have been killed or gone missing in recent years in that state, which lies ...

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UK nuclear sites at risk of flooding, report shows

Rising sea levels because of climate change put 12 of 19 sites are at risk, unpublished government analysis shows Sizewell nuclear power plant, seen from across the sea at Southwold, Suffolk. Unpublished government analysis shows sites are at risk from flooding due to climate change. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian…

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India’s ruling Congress party loses key state poll

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — India’s governing Congress party was badly beaten in a key state election Tuesday, a sharp rebuke that could cripple the already embattled national government over the final two years of its term. With early returns showing Congress coming in fourth place in the Uttar Pradesh polls, party icon Rahul Gandhi admitted defeat. Gandhi, seen as his ...

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McCain calls for US to lead on Syria airstrikes

LAURIE KELLMAN Associated Press= WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. John McCain on Monday became the first senator to call for airstrikes against Syria, saying President Barack Obama has taken too soft a stand against President Bashar Assad and his brutal crackdown on his own people. The Arizona Republican said the Syrian government’s slaughter of unarmed civilians has likely resulted in war ...

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