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Ethiopia’s government said that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is ill after he failed to attend an African Union summit, and an opposition group reported he may have died in a European hospital. “There is no serious illness at all. It’s minor only,” Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said today in an interview in Addis Ababa, the capital. “As any human being,...

Tests performed by a laboratory in Switzerland found significant traces of Polonium-210 on the late Palestinian leader’s clothes, adding a new twist to a case that has obsessed the Arab world for years. Polonium-210 is the same substance used to poison the Russian dissident Alexader Litvinenko in London. The claims are likely to renew long-held Palestinian suspicions...

China will launch three taikonauts, including the nation’s first woman in space, to live and work on a space station for about a week, a major step in its goal of becoming only the third nation with a permanent base orbiting Earth. Liu Yang, a 34-year-old air force pilot, and two male colleagues will be launched on Saturday in the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft that will...

The two sons of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s ousted president, will face charges of stock market manipulation, the country’s public prosecutor has said, three days before a court was due to issue a verdict in a separate trial for their role in alleged corruption. Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, both in their 40s, are already standing trial with their father in a case in...

CAIRO (AP) — The candidate of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood won a spot in a runoff election, likely against a veteran of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak’s regime in what would be a deeply divisive battle to become the new president of Egypt, according to partial results Friday from the first round of voting. The race for the second spot in the runoff was startlingly tight....

A top member of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) and former Taliban-era official has been shot dead in the capital, according to local authorities. Arsala Rahmani was killed in western Kabul on Sunday when an unknown attacker in a vehicle shot the former Taliban deputy education minister while on his way to work, said Mohammad Zahir, head of the Kabul police...

Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as Russia’s president at a glittering ceremony, hours after clashes between police and protesters laid bare the deep divisions over his return to the Kremlin for six more years. The former KGB spy took his oath on Monday before nearly 2,000 guests in the Kremlin’s St Andrew Hall, the former throne room with sparkling chandeliers,...

A final day of campaigning in France’s elections is taking place as incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande, his Socialist challenger, look for votes in Sunday’s run-off. Recent opinion polls suggest Sarkozy has cut Hollande’s lead slightly to six per cent but is still trailing Hollande. Analysts say he needs a major reversal in...

The Pakistani military says that it has extended the range of the missile from previous versions Pakistan has successfully conducted a test of an intermediate range ballistic missile, the country’s military has said. The Hatf-IV Shaheen-1A missile is capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads, a statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR)...

Abdul Sallam Zaeef, a former Taliban leader considered an important interlocutor in negotiations to bring the armed group to the discussion table, has fled the country for safety reasons. A source close to Zaeef told Al Jazeera that American forces had tried to search his Kabul home twice over allegations of involvement in an international terror plot, but his government-provided...

An oil pipeline has been attacked, apparently by Sudanese fighter jets, in the latest outbreak of violence on the volatile border between Sudan and South Sudan. Al Jazeera’s Nazanine Moshiri witnessed Wednesday’s air raids that took place near the town of Heglig, in a contested oil-rich area that saw heavy fighting during the Sudanese civil war. “We...

A US official has named the soldier who is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in Kandahar province earlier this week as Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. Officials had previously said the suspect was a 38-year-old staff sergeant and that he had spent 11 years in the army. But they had refused to release his name, saying it was military policy to publicly name a suspect...

All over America, there are millions of Americans that are quietly preparing for doomsday.  They are turning spare rooms into long-term food storage pantries, they are planting survival gardens, they are converting their homes over to alternative sources of energy, they are taking self-defense courses and they are stocking up on just about anything you can imagine. ...

US is preparing to “commit guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns” to topple Assad A shocking email leaked as part of the Wikileaks Stratfor data dump reveals that the Pentagon is planning to direct terror attacks and assassinations inside Syria in a bid to topple President President Bashar al-Assad. The email, written by Reva Bhalla, Stratfor’s Director of...

Israel will need to use at least 100 planes and fly more than 1,000 miles above unfriendly airspace should it decide to attack Iran, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing the assessment of U.S. defense officials close to the Pentagon. According to the report, American military analysts and defense officials believe that an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear...

A year after the first demonstrations against Col Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year dictatorship, thousands of Libyans continue to suffer from the threat of violence and misrule, with militias perpetrating widespread human rights abuses. According to Amnesty, at least 12 people have been tortured to death in rebel prisons since September. Despite the overthrow of the...

Iran has made advances in its nuclear programme, building new uranium enrichment centrifuges and producing its own nuclear reactor fuel plates, state television says. The claimed breakthrough, which was confirmed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, on Wednesday, is likely to further unsettle the US and allies who believe Iran is attempting to acquire nuclear...

Loyalists of Libya’s ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi have seized control of the town of Bani Walid, raising the former government’s green flag, an official and a commander have said. The retaking of the town, 150km southeast of Tripoli, the capital, comes as Libya’s new leaders have struggled to unify the oil-rich North African nation three months after...

Pakistan’s army chiefs issued a public denunciation of Yousuf Raza Gilani, the prime minister, and the government dismissed the country’s most senior defence official for exacerbating tensions between the civilian and military leadership. The generals issued an extraordinary public dressing down of Yousuf Raza Gilani, the prime minister, after he accused two...

More than a dozen Muslim community leaders, protesting reported police surveillance of Muslim areas since the September 11, 2001 attacks, have boycotted an interfaith breakfast organised by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In an open letter to Bloomberg, the leaders accused the mayor of ignoring concerns that the New York Police Department (NYPD) had been using racial...

Vice-president threatens to cut off shipments at Strait of Hormuz if West sanctions Iran’s vital oil exports. No oil will be allowed to pass through the Strait of Hormuz if the West applies sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi has warned. The threat was reported on Tuesday by the state news agency IRNA as Iran conducted...

CBS News predicts Israel will attack Iran this year and the U.S. will participate. National Security Correspondent David Martin: “If Iran doesn’t blink Israel will strike… Go after its nuclear facilities, if Iran doesn’t blink… [The U.S. will] have no choice but to support Israel. And depending on what the evidence is at that time they might even want to take...

Iran began 10 days of naval exercises in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, raising concern about a possible closure of the world’s most strategic oil transit channel in the event of any outbreak of military conflict between Tehran and the West. The military drill, dubbed “Velayat-e 90″ comes as the tension between the West and Iran is escalating over...

Turkish PM says France massacred 15 per cent of Algerian population in 1945 as tensions rise between the two countries. Turkey has responded to French genocide allegations with a charge of its own, accusing France of committing genocide during its colonial occupation of Algeria. Turkey’s accusation on Friday, comes a day after French legislators voted to outlaw denial...

The Iraqi vice-president has called an arrest warrant issued against him a “political attack”, categorically denying allegations that he was plotting against other politicians. Tareq al-Hashimi made the comments in the city of Salah al-Din on Tuesday, after holding talks with the president of the semi-autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan.  “I know the...

LONDON: Computer hackers have now hacked and published personal details of former British prime minister Tony Blair online. They published a document containing his national insurance number. The file, which also included the names, addresses and phone numbers of Blair’s contacts, was being tweeted by Twitter users, The Telegraph reports. The link first appeared on pastebin.com,...

By Scott Wilson and Karen DeYoung, Published: October 21 President Obama will withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of the year, ending a long war that deeply divided the country over its origins and the American lives it consumed. In a Friday morning video conference, Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki agreed to a complete U.S. military departure...