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In Israel, Panetta Warns Iran on Nuclear Program

ASHKELON, Israel — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta took a tough tone against Iran on Wednesday as he implicitly threatened the possibility of an American military attack if Iran decides to develop a nuclear weapon. Standing next to Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister, in front of an Israeli antirocket missile battery about five miles from the Gaza border, Mr. ...

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NATO should finish job in Afghanistan, Putin says

ULYANOVSK, Russia (Reuters) – NATO forces should stay in Afghanistan until they have finished their job to ensure stability, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, criticizing the planned withdrawal of most combat troops by 2014. Putin reiterated Kremlin concerns that the pull-out of the U.S.-led alliance, due…

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FEATURE: ASEAN path to union muddied by South China Sea

Discord in Southeast Asia over how to deal with Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea comes as the region struggles to overcome competing national interests and form a EU-style economic community by 2015. Political leaders and officials say the row may not directly affect plans by ASEAN for the economic integration of countries ranging from wealthy Singapore to impoverished ...

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Seven Afghans executed, 4 NATO troops die: officials

AFP – Insurgents Wednesday executed seven Afghans near Kabul for working with Westerners, Afghan officials said, while four NATO troops and an interpreter were killed in bomb attacks. The deaths come after NATO reported an escalation in insurgent attacks in recent months, amid growing unrest in areas neighbouring the capital. The bodies of four men working for a Western security ...

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Panetta urges more time over Iran standoff

Occupied Jerusalem: Pentagon chief Leon Panetta on Tuesday reiterated US calls to “exhaust every effort” before considering military options for confronting Iran over its nuclear programme in top-level talks in Israel. Speaking alongside Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak on a visit to an Iron Dome missile defence battery in Ashkelon, Panetta suggested there was still room for diplomatic manoeuvre. “We ...

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Panetta asks Israel for patience on Iran

ROBERT BURNS AP National Security Writer= JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that U.S. statements of solidarity with Israel and its assurances that military strikes are still an option aren’t working to convince Iran that the West is “serious about stopping” the Islamic republic from developing nuclear weapons. Standing with the visiting U.S. defense secretary, Netanyahu dismissed ...

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India restores power after huge blackouts

NEW DELHI: India restored its power supplies on Wednesday after two days of massive outages that blacked out half the country, but fears remained that the grid could again collapse under the strain of over-demand. India’s electricity network was back at full capacity after three regional grids failed on Tuesday in the country’s worst power crisis that left more than ...

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Syrian rebels execute pro-Assad militiamen in Aleppo

The execution appeared to have been carried out in a schoolyard at an undisclosed location in Aleppo. It took place as Assad’s forces attacked residential neighborhoods with artillery and from the air to try to drive out the rebels. In the video, which could not be independently confirmed, the men were identified as members of the pro-Assad “shabbiha”…

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India’s blackouts: the real power failure

Even as India suffered a huge electricity blackout on Tuesday, with about 700 million people deprived of light, fans (in 30C heat) and trains, it was good to see that Indians had not lost their readiness to crack a joke. Here is one that has been doing the rounds this week: Q. What do you call a power failure in ...

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