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Syria peace plan in disarray as Bashar al-Assad regime backs away from troop withdrawal

President Bashar al-Assad’s government backed away from a pledge to complete a troop withdrawal before Tuesday’s deadline as the opposition claimed more than 1,000 people had been killed since a UN-backed ceasefire deal was struck. Syrians chant slogans during a demonstation in North Syria Photo: AP By Adrian Blomfield, Middle East Correspondent 6:57PM BST 08 Apr 2012 Syria’s foreign ministry ...

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Euro falls most in 11 months against yen

New York: The euro fell by the most in 11 months against the yen as rising Spanish borrowing costs boosted concern the region’s sovereign-debt crisis in worsening. The dollar posted weekly gains against most of its major counterparts as demand for safety increased. Higher-yielding currencies, led by South Africa’s rand, fell as a report showed US employers added the fewest ...

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Polls show British PM Cameron losing support

” />” /> British voters are losing confidence in Prime Minister David Cameron to see them through the economic crisis, according to the latest opinion polls. The leader of the country’s coalition government has staked his political reputation on reducing the UK’s debt and reforming public finances. A series of blunders, however, has seen the government back-track on some of ...

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Al Shabab on backfoot

There was a time when Al Shabab, Somalia’s largest and most notorious Islamist militia, inspired fear and awe across that ravaged land. But the group’s latest terror attack, on the national theatre in Mogadishu, is a sign of weakness, not strength. Al Shabab is divided, under pressure and in retreat. The question now is whether its death throes may drag ...

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Pope Benedict warns mankind ‘in darkness’

Pope Benedict XVI is set to lead Easter Sunday Mass in Rome's St Peter's Square and deliver his traditional Easter message from the basilica's balcony. At a vigil mass on Saturday evening, he voiced fears that mankind is "groping in the darkness, unable to distinguish good…

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Russia Denounces U.S. Sentencing of Arms Dealer

MOSCOW — Russia lashed out on Friday over the sentencing of a convicted Russian arms trafficker to 25 years in prison, calling the decision by a New York court “baseless and biased” and warning that it could hamper relations between Moscow and Washington. Enlarge This Image Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters Albert Y. Dayan, lawyer for Viktor Bout, exited U.S. Federal Court after ...

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U.S. Added Only 120,000 Jobs in March, Report Shows

The United States economy added a relatively weak 120,000 jobs in March, compared with 240,000 in February, and the unemployment rate dipped to 8.2 percent from 8.3 percent, the Labor Department said on Friday. Jobs Private Rate Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Analysts had forecast a 205,000 gain in non-farm payrolls, according to a Bloomberg survey. The change in private-sector ...

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The Pentagon’s Weapon Programs: Delivering Less, Later, for More Money

The cost of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) major acquisition programs grew by $74.4 billion in the past year and now totals more than $1.58 trillion, according to a recent . And, this $74.4 billion is just a fraction of the overall cost growth in a DoD weapons acquisition portfolio that, on balance, is delivering fewer weapons for more money. ...

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Syria violence claims 24 dead in run-up to truce

BEIRUT (Reuters) – At least 24 Syrians were killed in violence on Friday and the military tried to halt a refugee exodus, opposition activists said, only four days before a troop pullback agreed by President Bashar al-Assad as part of a U.N.-backed peace plan. A boy sits on a man’s shoulders during a demonstration against Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad in ...

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Rhinos killed for Asian cure-all

Poaching on the rise as horns sell for more than cocaine in Vietnam. Nguyen Huong Giang loves to party but loathes hangovers, so she ends her whiskey benders by tossing back shots of rhino horn ground with water on a special ceramic plate. Her father gave her the 10cm brown horn as a gift, claiming it cures everything from headaches ...

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