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Villepin Announces Run for French Presidency

Paris. Former French prime minister and conservative politician Dominique de Villepin announced Sunday he would take on his right-wing rival President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year’s presidential vote. “I have decided to be a candidate in the 2012 presidential election,” he told TF1 television. “I intend to defend a certain idea of France… I have a conviction: the 2012 meeting ...

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Imran Khan: Pakistan’s next leader?

For years his political ambitions have been overshadowed by his cricket career. Now, his popularity as a politician has suddenly increased massively and his message to get rid of corruption and to cut military links with the US is resonating with Pakistanis. Could Imran Khan become the next prime minister or even president of Pakistan? And how would he end ...

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Manuel Noriega bound for Panama prison after extradition from France

Manuel Noriega in an American mugshot from 1990. The one-time dictator of Panama has been extradited from France to face a 20-year sentence in his home country. Photograph: EPA/US district attorney’s office Manuel Noriega, Panama’s military dictator of the 1980s, is to be returned home on Sunday to a jungle prison and a 20-year term for the murders of opponents ...

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Medvedev orders Russia poll inquiry after protests

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Dmitry Medvedev ordered an investigation on Sunday into allegations of fraud in Russia’s parliamentary election, one day after tens of thousands of protesters demanded it be annulled and rerun. Nationalist activists shout slogans and wave banners during a demonstration in central Moscow December 11, 2011. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov Medvedev responded on his Facebook site to the protesters’ ...

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Arab uprisings reshape map of US influence

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — About 18 months before the Egyptian uprising that would doom Hosni Mubarak, a U.S. diplomatic cable was sent from Cairo. It described Mubarak as the likely president-for-life and said his regime’s ability to intimidate critics and rig elections was as solid as ever. Around the same time, another dispatch to the State Department came from ...

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Afghan withdrawal to step up pace in 2012

AAP The number of Australian troops in Afghanistan will be reduced by the end of 2012 as defence works out how to withdraw forces within two years. Fairfax Media reports the pace of withdrawal from Oruzgan…

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Afghan leader: Toll from attacks on Shiites now 80

KABUL, Afghanistan — The death toll from last week’s rare sectarian attacks on Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan has risen to at least 80, the country’s president said on Sunday. An Afghan man prays at a grave in a cemetery in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Dec. 9, 2011. The fallout from Tuesday’s deadly suicide bombing in Kabul has further splintered Afghanistan’s relations ...

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British lawmakers welcome Cameron after EU veto

British Prime Minister David Cameron received a hero’s welcome from his party’s lawmakers but faced searching questions Saturday over his veto of a new EU treaty to solve the eurozone crisis. Cameron hosted a dinner for a number of Conservative MPs on Friday night at his country residence after he returned from a summit in Brussels where he took the ...

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Entente Uncordiale: Sarkozy shrugs off Britain’s EU rift

Paris – Seen with French eyes, British Prime Minister David Cameron lost another ‘good opportunity to shut up’, as French President Nicolas Sarkozy once put it, when he went to Brussels this week demanding concessions in return for supporting a new EU treaty. After all, the summit was about saving the eurozone. Seen in that light, Cameron’s attempts to make ...

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