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Iraq attacks kill 60, raise sectarian fears

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Simultaneous early morning attacks on mostly Shi’ite targets across Iraq killed at least 60 people and wounded dozens Thursday in the one of the bloodiest days of violence since U.S. troops pulled out in mid-December. Members of security forces stand guard at the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad ...

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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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Obama apologizes for Quran burning in Afghanistan

PATRICK QUINN Associated Press= KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — President Barack Obama apologized Thursday for the burning of copies of the Muslim holy book at a U.S. military base this week, as violent protests raging nationwide led a man dressed in an Afghan army uniform to kill two U.S. troops. The Afghans’ furious response to the Quran burning — three days ...

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Greece bailout: MPs approve debt swap deal

The Greek parliament has passed a law that allows a debt write-down with private creditors, which is a key plank of its EU/IMF bailout agreement. Banks and other private creditors will be asked to take a 53.5% loss on their bonds, wiping out 107bn euros (£90bn;$142bn) of Greek debt. Now that the debt swap has been approved, MPs will also ...

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The Koran and the N.Y.P.D.

When Afghan workers at the Bagram Air Base saw our troops put copies of the Koran and other Islamic religious works into a pile of burning trash in a dumpster, they didn’t hesitate. They yelled for them to stop. They ran and “reached into the fire,” according to a Times report, and pulled the burning books out. When General John ...

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Senegal’s Youssou Ndour injured during rally: spokesman

AFP – Senegalese music icon and opposition activist Youssou Ndour was injured in the leg after being hit by a projectile at the scene of a banned rally in Dakar, his entourage told AFP. “Youssou Ndour was injured in the left leg, he has been seen by a doctor, but he doesn’t want to make a big issue out of ...

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Adele Wins Big at Brit Music Awards

London. Soulful songstress Adele capped a momentous year of Grammy Awards triumph and medical woes with a double win at the U.K.’s Brit music awards Tuesday, taking prizes for album of the year and best British female solo artist before making an obscene gesture after the show’s host cut her acceptance speech short. Teen-friendly English troubadour Ed Sheeran won two ...

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