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Kevin Rudd says ‘things have to change’ as he mounts leadership challenge

Australia’s former foreign minister, Kevin Rudd announces he will contest a leadership vote against Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, bringing to a head the bitter rivalry engulfing the minority government. 560 315 TelegraphPlayer_9102769 8:20AM GMT 24 Feb 2012 Mr Rudd, who was ousted by Gillard in June 2010, said he was the best person to lead the governing Labor Party ...

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EU expects eurozone to suffer mild recession

* Signs point to a 0.3% slowdown, largely because of debt-related austerity measures. ASSOCIATED PRESS Olli Rehn, a top European Commission economic official, is predicting that the 17-nation eurozone will have a modest recession this year, despite recent signs of stabilization. While the contraction is expected to be relatively severe in Greece, the overall slowdown should be tempered by growth ...

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Higher gas prices cloud Obama’s re-election hopes

WASHINGTON – Soaring gasoline prices are threatening to undercut President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects and offering Republicans an easy target. With prices pushing $4 a gallon and threatening to go even higher, Obama sought Thursday to confront rising public anxiety and strike back at his GOP critics. “Only in politics do people root for bad news, do they greet bad ...

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Poll predicts Putin’s first-round election victory

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s leading independent polling company says Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected take victory in the presidential election in the first round. Levada Center’s chief Lev Gudkov said Friday that the latest poll data show that Putin may win up to 66 percent of ballots in the March 4 election. The data indicated that Putin has managed ...

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Chinese official warns Tibetans against separatism

BEIJING (AP) — A provincial Communist Party chief warned Tibetan monks and residents to oppose separatism and obey the law as he visited a monastery and restive communities that have been at the center of many recent self-immolation protests, a local newspaper said Friday. Earlier this week, Sichuan Communist Party chief Liu Qibao visited Aba and Ganzi prefectures, the Sichuan ...

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Pakistan: Militants attack police station, kill 4

RIAZ KHAN Associated Press= PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Suicide bombers armed with assault rifles and grenades attacked a large police station in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar early Friday, killing four officers in an assault authorities said was likely in revenge for offensives against nearby strongholds. The attack was the latest in a spasm of violence in or close to ...

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Security Council calls for large increase to African peace force in Somalia

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov addresses the Security Council on the situation in Somalia. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz22 February 2012 – The Security Council today called on the African Union (AU) to increase the strength of its peacekeeping force in Somalia (AMISOM) by almost 50 per cent of its current forces to address the growing threat from piracy and other criminal ...

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Afghans, US may defer issues in strategic deal

The U.S. and the Afghan governments are considering pushing through a long-delayed partnership agreement by moving the contentious issues of night raids and control over detainees to separate negotiations, officials from both countries said. The two governments have been working for about a year to nail down the terms of a strategic partnership document that would govern U.S. operations in ...

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Prosecutor tells Mubarak he faces death by hanging

Given a last opportunity to address the court in Cairo, where for much of the past six months he has lain on a hospital bed in a cage listening to the evidence against him, Mr Mubarak refused, telling the judge he had no comments to make. "What the lawyer said is enough," said the 83-year-old, whose reign began in a ...

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