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Sudan’s Bashir pledges no return to war with south

KHARTOUM: Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir vowed on Wednesday that there will be no return to civil war with the south as an independence vote for the region looms. Just a week after saying that the only outcome he would accept from the landmark referendum due in January was a vote for unity, Bashir insisted his …

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Ahly fury after Esperance ‘handed’ final place

JOHANNESBURG: Egyptian club Al-Ahly have complained to the African Football Confederation about an illegal goal that robbed them of a Champions League final place at the weekend. Esperance of Tunisia won the semi-final return match 1-0 in Rades on the outskirts of Tunis thanks to a second-minute goal scored by Nigerian Michael Eneramo using his …

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Egypt, S.African leaders meet to expand ties

CAIRO: Egyptian and South African leaders met in Cairo Tuesday for talks aimed at strengthening economic ties between the two African powerhouses and working towards a free trade deal for the continent. South African President Jacob Zuma arrived with a retinue of ministers and businessmen, who held discussions with their Egyptian counterparts throughout the day. …

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Hindemith’s ‘Cardillac’ rings in new era at Vienna State Opera

A quiet revolution is taking place in the Vienna State Opera, one of the world’s greatest opera houses, under its new chief, Frenchman Dominique Meyer. While Meyer, 55, officially took over the reins on the Ringstrasse on Sept. 1, his real trial by fire came on Sunday with the premiere of a new production of …

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Norway artist angry as works withdrawn from Syria show

Two paintings by Norway’s Haakon Gullvaag that show an Israeli flag have been withdrawn from an exhibition at the French Cultural Center in the Syrian capital, the artist said on Monday. His "Terra Sancta" exhibition contains works about the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009. Two of the works …

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Most Iraqi refugees regret return, says UNHCR

GENEVA": Most refugees who have returned to Iraq have since regretted their move after finding that they faced persistent threats to their security, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday. Citing findings of a survey on 2,353 Iraqis who went back to the Baghdad districts of Resafa and Karkh between 2007 and 2008, the UNHCR said …

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Pre-dawn bomb kills eight members of Iraqi officer’s family

TIKRIT: A huge bomb tore through the home of an Iraqi police officer in Tikrit before dawn Tuesday, killing eight members of his family as they slept, including a two-year-old girl, police said. The powerful blast was one of a spate of attacks across Iraq on Tuesday which also saw two policemen killed and 12 …

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Gunmen torch NATO trucks in Pakistan, say police

QUETTA: Gunmen in Pakistan on Tuesday torched vehicles carrying supplies for NATO troops fighting the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan, in the second such attack in 24 hours, police said. The two tankers were attacked in Baluchistan, the southwestern province that borders Iran and Afghanistan and is suffering a regional insurgency as well as violence by …

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Sudan accuses Clooney of stoking tension in Sudan

WASHINGTON: Sudan on Monday accused US actor George Clooney of encouraging "the drums of war" ahead of January referendums in southern Sudan and the oil-rich Abyei region that could split the country. The Sudanese embassy in Washington took exception to an article that Clooney and John Prendergast, the head of the anti-genocide Enough Project, published …

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Palestinian rivals postpone reconciliation talks

DAMASCUS: The Islamist Hamas movement which rules Gaza said on Tuesday that planned reconciliation talks with the Fatah faction of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas have been postponed at its rival’s request. "Fatah has asked to be excused from taking part in the meeting which had been due to take place in Damascus tomorrow (Wednesday)," said …

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Iran says consular access granted to detained Germans

TEHRAN: Iran said on Tuesday it has granted consular access to two Germans arrested in the Islamic republic while they were reportedly interviewing the son of a woman sentenced to death by stoning. "Following talks with German officials … consular access to these two people has been granted," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters …

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Iran doesn’t need nuclear weapons, says Pakistan

WASHINGTON: The foreign minister of Pakistan said Monday that Iran had no justification to pursue nuclear weapons and urged the neighboring country to embrace overtures from the United States. In some of Pakistan’s strongest statements on Iran’s controversial nuclear program, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he wanted to avoid "another major crisis in …

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Cairo airport nabs man smuggling gold in minced meat

CAIRO: Customs officers at Cairo airport detained an Egyptian on Monday after finding gold jewelry stashed inside a wad of minced meat packed in his luggage, an official said. The passenger was held on suspicion of smuggling the gold valued at about LE 250,000 ($43,700) after arriving in Cairo on a flight from Athens, the …

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Iraq’s Maliki visits Iran as premiership rival cries foul

TEHRAN: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki visited Tehran on Monday to garner support for his premiership bid, as his chief rival Iyad Allawi accused Iran of meddling in Baghdad’s political affairs. Maliki flew to Tehran from Amman and went straight into a meeting with Iran’s first vice president Mohammad Reza Rahimi, according to local media …

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Qaeda reaches out armed with English and Internet

DUBAI: Al-Qaeda has combined the global reach of both the English language and the Internet as cyber-terrorism tools to win over non-Arab sympathizers. Al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based wing released the first edition of an online English-language magazine, Inspire, four months ago that included an article on how to build a bomb. A second, 74-page edition made it …

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UN yet to decide on Sudan reinforcements

KHARTOUM: The UN has not yet decided whether to send more troops to the tense border between north and south Sudan ahead of a southern independence vote in January but has concentrated its peacekeepers in sensitive areas, a UN official said on Monday. "While the Security Council and the secretary general have expressed their readiness …

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UK director Mike Leigh cancels Israel trip over loyalty oath

JERUSALEM: Veteran British film director Mike Leigh has cancelled a working visit to Jerusalem over plans to compel all non-Jewish new citizens to swear a controversial loyalty oath to Israel as a Jewish state. The 67-year-old director, whose films include "Secrets and Lies" and "Naked", had been due to spend a week at the Sam …

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Bin Laden living comfortably in Pakistan, says CNN

KABUL: Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden is living comfortably in a house in northwest Pakistan close to his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri, CNN on Monday quoted a NATO official as saying. The Saudi-born militant wanted for the September 11 attacks on the United States nine years ago was being protected by local people and "some members …

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Abbas warns against rise in extremism if peace talks fail

JERUSALEM: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas warned against a rise in extremism if the ongoing peace process failed, in an interview to Israeli public television. "Desperation will feed extremism," Abbas said in the exclusive interview aired Sunday, adding that he hoped that US efforts to end a deadlock in peace talks would succeed. Israel and the …

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Jolie to get back license to film in Bosnia: local producer

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie is expected to get a new license to film in Bosnia after the authorities revoked the initial one over concerns about the script, a local producer said Saturday. "I was promised by the Ministry of Culture that the license will be issued on Monday," Edin Sarkic told AFP, adding that he …

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Hobbit row ‘threatens’ N. Zealand film industry

It was the backdrop for fictional battles between orcs and elves in "The Lord of the Rings" movies, but now New Zealand echoes to the war cries of very real foes — film producers and actors’ unions. What began as a local skirmish over performers’ conditions on the set of Peter Jackson’s latest film "The …

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Arab League urges boycott of OECD tourism forum on Jerusalem

CAIRO: The Arab League on Sunday urged countries to boycott an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development tourism conference to be hosted by Israel in the disputed city of Jerusalem this week. "The Arab League views with extreme concern the holding of the OECD tourism conference in Jerusalem," a senior official of the Cairo-based League, …

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IMF sets central bank meeting in Shanghai Monday

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund on Friday said it will hold a high-level conference of central bank governors in Shanghai next week to discuss ways to address the global financial crisis. The IMF said the conference, scheduled for Monday, would include central bank chiefs and other officials from Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and South …

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Elders brand Gaza restrictions an obstacle to peace

GAZA CITY: A delegation of the Elders group of retired world figures on Saturday visited the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and called Israeli restrictions on the Palestinian enclave both illegal and an obstacle to peace. "Mary Robinson, Ela Bhatt and Lakhdar Brahimi say the isolation of Gaza is not only illegal collective punishment, but also an …

AFP

Italian animated film wins Anim’est award in Bucharest

Italian short film "Big Bang Big Boom" directed by Blu was awarded late Saturday the top prize at international animation festival Anim’est in Bucharest. The jury praised the creation for its "inventive and monumental execution". Produced in 2010, "Big Bang Big Boom" evokes evolution and its possible consequences in a non-scientific manner. French-Italian co-production "Eleanor’s …

AFP

Alicia Keys gives birth to baby boy Egypt

US singer Alicia Keys, who was recently married to music producer and rapper Swizz "Kaseem Dean" Beatz, has given birth to a baby boy, People magazine reported Saturday. The boy, who was named Egypt Daoud Dean, was born in New York on Thursday, said the magazine, which cites a statement by the couple’s representatives. This …

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World powers have no option but talk with Iran, says Ahmadinejad

TEHRAN: World powers have no option but to talk with Iran over its nuclear program, hardline Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday in defiant comments ahead of next month’s negotiations. "We said from the start that the best way is to talk to Iran. You don’t have any other option. All other ways are blocked," …

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Israeli police detain Palestinian boy hit by settler car

JERUSALEM: Israeli police have detained a stone-throwing boy who was struck by a car driven by a settler in a flashpoint east Jerusalem neighborhood earlier this month, police said Sunday. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Imran Mansur, 12, had been brought in on Saturday for questioning about the stone-throwing, adding that he was accompanied …

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Sudan official criticizes Obama warning of bloodshed

DOHA: An adviser to Sudan’s president Saturday criticized US President Barack Obama for warning of possible bloodshed if a referendum on independence for south Sudan does not take place as planned in January. "Obama receives reports from entities who do not know what is happening in Sudan," Mustapha Osman Ismail, adviser to President Omar al-Bashir, …

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Nasrallah deceived Iran leader with gun gift, claims Israeli newspaper

JERUSALEM: Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah deceived Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by giving him a gun he claimed was taken from an Israeli soldier in the 2006 war, an Israeli newspaper said Sunday. The mass-selling Yediot Aharonot said the gun, which Nasrallah presented to Ahmadinejad in person on his controversial two-day visit to Lebanon, was a …

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