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Assessing Assad

The assessments of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad following his interview with Barbara Walters in early December all strike a common theme. A U.S. State Department spokesman, for instance, declared that Assad appears to be "utterly disconnected with the reality that’s going on in his country." One analyst opined, "It’s now clear that Assad meets his own definition of crazy." What ...

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Iraq issues arrest warrant for Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi on accusations of running a hit squad 

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s Shiite-led government issued an arrest warrant Monday for the Sunni vice president, accusing him of running a hit squad that assassinated government and security officials — extraordinary charges a day after the last U.S. troops left the country. The vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi, left Baghdad on Sunday for the semiautonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan, presumably hoping that ...

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Uncle Jang, the real power behind Kim the younger

He has been described by some analysts as the power behind the throne in North Korea following the death of the “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il. But who is Jang Song-taek? And why does he appear to wield more influence in the Hermit Kingdom than Kim Jong-un, the 27-year-old son of Kim Jong-il and his anointed successor? Advertisement: Story continues below ...

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Dalai Lama Sends Heartfelt Condolences to Family of Former Czech President

Article by Yeshe Choesang, WN Correspondent Dharamshala, India. Dharamshala, India: – The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on Monday, expressed his sadness over the demise of the former President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, and has conveyed his deep and heartfelt condolences to the late leader’s family. Former President Havel, one of the leading anti-Communist ...

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Philippine floods: Benigno Aquino visits disaster zone

Philippines President Benigno Aquino is visiting parts of the country which have been devastated by deadly storms. More than 1,000 people are dead or missing after Typhoon Washi hit southern Mindanao island and surrounding areas at the weekend. Mr Aquino has declared a national calamity and said the…

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Analysis: Russia’s wealth gap wounds Putin

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Konstantin owns apartments in Moscow and London, drives a $150,000 Mercedes-Benz car and buys his groceries at the expensive Azbuka Vkusa store. At the age of 44 he is part of Russia’s new generation of rich bankers, but is too cautious to let his full name be published in a country where the wealth gap generates anger ...

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Zardari returns to Pakistan to face accusations of treason

The embattled Mr Zardari suddenly left Dubai where he been recovering from a mild stroke to arrive in Karachi in the middle of the night, just hours before the Supreme Court held its latest hearings into the affair. It is investigating whether Mr Zardari or his aides sought US military help to rein in his own country’s generals. "The President ...

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Egypt’s Generals Under Fire as Tahrir Toll Reaches 14

CAIRO—Egypt’s ruling generals are coming under mounting criticism at home and abroad for the military’s use of excessive force against unarmed protesters, including women, as they try to crush the pro-democracy movement calling for their ouster. At least 14 people have been killed in five days of clashes as troops used guns, tear gas and batons to try to break ...

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