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Arab uprisings reshape map of US influence

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — About 18 months before the Egyptian uprising that would doom Hosni Mubarak, a U.S. diplomatic cable was sent from Cairo. It described Mubarak as the likely president-for-life and said his regime’s ability to intimidate critics and rig elections was as solid as ever. Around the same time, another dispatch to the State Department came from ...

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Afghan leader: Toll from attacks on Shiites now 80

KABUL, Afghanistan — The death toll from last week’s rare sectarian attacks on Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan has risen to at least 80, the country’s president said on Sunday. An Afghan man prays at a grave in a cemetery in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Dec. 9, 2011. The fallout from Tuesday’s deadly suicide bombing in Kabul has further splintered Afghanistan’s relations ...

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Big Moscow protest rally against vote fraud begins

MOSCOW — Tens of thousands of Muscovites thronged to a square across the river from the Kremlin on Saturday to protest alleged electoral fraud and urge an end to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s rule, demands repeated at other rallies across this vast country in the largest public show of discontent in post-Soviet Russia. The demonstrations come three months before Putin, ...

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Ban: Assad responsible for Syria deaths

UN Secretary General holds the Syrian president responsible for the events unfolding in his country over the last eight months. Ban Ki-moon, in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, said, “As a leader of Syria [Bashar al-Assad] is responsible for all that has happened.” “He is the leader, and has a very important responsibility to protect the lives of his ...

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West warns Syria against storming rebel city

BEIRUT (Reuters) – France called on world powers to “save the Syrian people” on Saturday as it joined the United States and Britain in raising an alarm that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces may be about to storm the rebel stronghold of Homs. In Damascus, the government denied any crackdown, while accusing its opponents of taking up arms and warning the ...

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British lawmakers welcome Cameron after EU veto

British Prime Minister David Cameron received a hero’s welcome from his party’s lawmakers but faced searching questions Saturday over his veto of a new EU treaty to solve the eurozone crisis. Cameron hosted a dinner for a number of Conservative MPs on Friday night at his country residence after he returned from a summit in Brussels where he took the ...

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Entente Uncordiale: Sarkozy shrugs off Britain’s EU rift

Paris – Seen with French eyes, British Prime Minister David Cameron lost another ‘good opportunity to shut up’, as French President Nicolas Sarkozy once put it, when he went to Brussels this week demanding concessions in return for supporting a new EU treaty. After all, the summit was about saving the eurozone. Seen in that light, Cameron’s attempts to make ...

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Apocalypse Not: Death of the euro need not be the disaster that doomsayers are predicting 

A few weeks from now, it will be 40 years since Edward Heath signed the Treaty of Accession that sealed Britain’s membership of the European Community, the ancestor of today’s European Union. When Sailor Ted was scrawling his signature that day in January 1972, Europe seemed the future. It represented international brotherhood, peaceful idealism and the triumph of the free ...

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Year’s last total lunar eclipse charms enthusiasts

New Delhi: The moon’s bright white glow turned into coppery, luminescent orange as the lunar surface was completely covered by the earth’s shadow during the last total lunar eclipse of this year. The 51 minute-long spectacle of the moon being eclipsed and then turning cerise was visible all over the country, including the national capital. The earth passed between the ...

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