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US, China to Hold Human Rights Talks
BEIJING – The United States said it will hold hold human rights talks with China in Beijing next week, amid a Chinese crackdown on government critics that has drawn US condemnation. The “discussions will focus on human rights developments, including the recent negative trend of forced disappearances, extralegal detentions, and arrests and convictions,” the State Department said in a statement on...
Russia, U.N. Reach Consensus on International Affairs
MOSCOW - Russia and the United Nations vowed Friday to continue efforts to ensure international security, after a meeting here between the Russian president and the U.N. chief.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said President Dmitry Medvedev and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had reached consensus on a wide range of international...
Ban Calls for Worldwide Review of Nuclear Safety Standards
KIEV - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called for a worldwide review of nuclear safety standards during a trip to the Chernobyl exclusion zone. "The standards of nuclear safety should be fully reviewed. The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) must work carefully in this...
Russia Must Be Strong to Resist Threats: Putin
MOSCOW – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin insisted Wednesday that Russia must be strong to fend off foreign threats and lauded a long list of his own achievements, a show of muscle seen as a signal that the powerful leader intends to reclaim the country's presidency next ...
Japan Mulls A Stricter Evacuation Zone Near Plant
TOKYO – Japanese authorities may for the first time strictly enforce their evacuation zone around a crippled nuclear plant, citing concerns Wednesday over radiation risks for residents returning to check on their homes.
About 70,000-80,000 people were living in the 10 towns and villages within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami wrecked its power and cooling systems, setting...
Turkey-EU Negotiations at Bottleneck: Turkish FM
ANKARA - There are serious problems between the general positions of Turkey and the European Union, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his visiting Romanian counterpart Teodor Baconschi in the Turkish capital of Ankara, Davutoglu said the problems were discussed transparently in Tuesday's EU-Turkey Association ...
Urgent UN Rights Meeting on M.E Unrest Planned
GENEVA – Several members of the U.N.'s top human rights body are pressing for an emergency meeting to examine the government crackdowns against popular protests that have swept the Middle East and North Africa, Western diplomats said Wednesday. The countries, from Latin America, Europe, North America and Asia, are trying to collect 16 signatures necessary to force a special session of the U.N. Human Right...
Ban Urges “Global Re-Think” on Nuclear Safety
KIEV – The nuclear disasters at Chernobyl and Japan's Fukushima have shown the need for a "global re-think" on nuclear energy, U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday.
Ban said the 1986 disaster in Ukraine and the threat to the Fukushima nuclear plant following an earthquake and tsunami this year demonstrated...
Syria Lifts Emergency Laws But Warns Protesters
BEIRUT – Syria's government approved lifting the country's nearly 50-year-old state of emergency Tuesday to meet a key demand of anti-government protesters, but opposition leaders dismissed it as an attempt by President Bashar Assad to claim reforms but maintain his hard-line rule.
The blunt response suggested the month-old uprising could be entering
At Least 846 Killed in Protests: Egypt
CAIRO – At least 846 Egyptians died in the nearly three-week-long popular uprising that toppled long-serving President Hosni Mubarak, electrifying the region, a government fact-finding mission announced Tuesday. In their report, the panel of judges described police forces shooting protesters in the head and chest with live ammunition and presented a death toll more than twice that of previous
Japan Nuke Plant Starts Pumping Radioactive Water
TOKYO – The operator of Japan's crippled nuclear plant began pumping highly radioactive water from the basement of one of its buildings to a makeshift storage area Tuesday in a crucial step toward easing the nuclear crisis. Removing the 25,000 metric tons (about 6.6 million gallons) of contaminated water...
Russia, NATO to Approve Blueprint on AMD Cooperation
MOSCOW - Russia and NATO may approve a document for bilateral cooperation on anti-missile defense (AMD) system in June, a senior official said Monday. In a video press conference, Russia's envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said the next defense ministers' meeting of the Russia-NATO Council was slated for June 9, when the political principles of the cooperation would be discussed.
Gulf Troops to Stay as Counter to Iran: Bahrain
pen the way for greater influence by Shiite powerhouse Iran.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Gulf troops will stay indefinitely in Bahrain as a counter to perceived threats from Iran, which the island kingdom has used as a reason for their harsh crackdown on the country's Shiite opposition. Bahrain's king ...
Iran Calls for Regional Unity, Hits out at Saudi Arabia
TEHRAN – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for unity in the Middle East on Monday, a conciliatory message that contrasted starkly with another senior figure who accused Saudi Arabia of "heresy and deception."
Relations between the two major Gulf powers have been strained by anti-government demonstrations in...
Russia Makes Little Progress against Drugs: Medvedev
IRKUTSK, Russia – Russia has failed to make progress in fighting a growing drug epidemic that cuts economic growth by up to three percent every year, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday.
Russia has the world's third-largest heroin abuse rate and accounts for a third of all heroin deaths worldwide, feeding into a demographic disaster that experts...
Putin Warns of Election ‘Fuss’
MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he did not rule out running for president in 2012 polls, a day after President Dmitry Medvedev said he would soon announce if he will stand. "Neither myself nor Dmitry Anatoliyevich (Medvedev) exclude that each of us could stand for election," Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies. "We will take
France Violate Religious Freedom: Turkish PM
STRASBOURG – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused France of violating the freedom of religion on Wednesday after Paris began enforcing a law barring Muslim women from wearing full face veils in public. Erdogan told the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that Turkey was
Japan Nuclear Plant Evacuees Demand Compensation
TOKYO – Small business owners and laborers forced to leave their homes and jobs because of radiation leaking from Japan's tsunami-flooded nuclear plant rode a bus all the way to Tokyo on Wednesday to demand compensation from the plant's operator. People are increasingly growing frustrated with Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s handling of the nuclear crisis,
Gaddafi Must Go: Western, Arab Nations
DOHA/TRIPOLI – International powers meeting on Libya's future called for the first time on Wednesday for Muammar Gaddafi to step aside, but NATO countries squabbled publicly over stepping up air strikes to help topple him.
In a victory for Britain and France, which are leading the air campaign and pushed for an unequivocal call for regime change, the "contact group" of some 16