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Conservatives face losing power in Croatian vote

ZAGREB, Croatia — Croatia’s ruling conservatives, who have brought the country to the threshold of the European Union but are enmeshed in corruption scandals, are on course to lose power in Sunday’s election. The parliamentary vote will pit the governing Croatian Democratic Union, or HDZ, against a coalition of center-left parties who have convincingly led in all…

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Corruption Perception Index 2011 Ranks 183 Countries

What is the most corrupt country in the world? In an attempt to answer that question, Transparency International, a Germany-based NGO that monitors corruption, has published an index ranking 183 countries according to how corrupt their public service is perceived to be. With protests surging around the world and demonstrators demanding greater accountability of their governments and leaders, the corruption ...

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To Confront Syrian Barbarism, Decry Russian, Chinese Indifference

Following the release of a U.N. report accusing the Syrian government of crimes against humanity — a report that stirred the Arab League to announce new economic sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation — the government organized another spontaneous demonstration of loyalty to the loathsome regime of Bashar Assad. The throng of professed pro-regime Syrians that filled a Damascus square ...

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A democratic Burma?

Historic transformations often happen when least expected. Mikhail Gorbachev’s liberalising policies of glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union emerged at one of the Cold War’s darkest hours, with US President Ronald Reagan pushing for strategic missile defence and the two sides fighting proxy wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Deng Xiaoping’s economic opening followed China’s bloody – and failed – ...

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A world of geeks

Jimmy Wales does not stand out in a crowd. For a man who has created one of the websites that has most influenced our experience of the internet, he is remarkably anonymous. So much so, in fact, that when he forgot to fill in his occupation on his landing card when arriving in Britain earlier this summer and explained to ...

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Can Obama Go Back to Political Base(ics)?

President Obama made a smart move this month by putting the Keystone XL pipeline project into the deep freeze. It had been poor politics for him — and it would have been even worse policy for the country, especially when you consider the aggressive retooling of our world energy sources demanded by the International Energy Agency findings in its latest ...

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Asian markets up on central banks’ move to help lending

Asian stocks have gained after a group of the world’s biggest central banks unveiled plans to support the global financial system. The US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and the central banks of the UK, Canada, Japan and Switzerland are trying to improve lending. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 2.4%, South Korea’s Kospi gained 3.7% and Australia’s ASX 200 added ...

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Jackson doctor given four years

Conrad Murray, the US doctor convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of pop superstar Michael Jackson, has been sentenced to four years in county jail. Murray was found guilty earlier this month after a six-week trial. Judge Michael Pastor told the court that while Murray was legally eligible for probation, he did not think his actions showed he was suitable. He ...

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Plane believed carrying Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo lands

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A plane believed to be carrying former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo landed early Wednesday in the Netherlands ahead of his transfer to the International Criminal Court. The Ivorian plane arrived at Rotterdam The Hague Airport shortly before 4 a.m. (0300 GMT) and taxied to a hangar where it was met by a convoy of black ...

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