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14 Jun 11
Lebanese minister resigns from newly formed cabinet
Lebanon’s prime minister announced a new government Monday dominated by the militant Hezbollah and its allies, putting an Iranian proxy at the helm at a time when Washington’s influence in the Middle East is on the wane. Lebanon had been without a functioning government since January, when Hezbollah forced the collapse of the previous, Western-backed administration.
China rules out use of force in tense South China Sea, tells US to butt out
CHINA today told its worried neighbours it would not resort to the use of force in the tense South China Sea but flatly asserted its right to the whole disputed sea and its islands and told the US not to interfere. Beijing criticised Washington over a US senator's call for multilateral negotiations to resolve festering disputes in the South China Sea, saying only those countries with territorial claims in the vast resource-rich waters should get involved in such discussions.
Overseas bankers trying to overturn new US tax rule
Overseas banks have begun a big campaign against sweeping US tax law reforms. The reforms, that will force overseas institutions to report on the holdings of American clients, were passed by Congress last year. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act comes into force in 2013.
Gaddafi ready for talks with NATO, opposition - Ilyumzhinov
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has claimed in a conversation with president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov that he was ready to proceed in talks with NATO and rebels, but ruled out the possibility of his resignation.
Obama slammed for soft approach to Syria violence
US President Barack Obama has come under attack in recent days for failing to take a tough stance on the Syrian regime's violent crackdown on anti-government protesters, as he did in Libya. US senators, lead by Lindsey Graham, are urging the president to put military force on the table as Damascus launches an all-out assault on protesters.
Scientists race to avoid climate change harvest
Growing populations, changing diets and insatiable demand for grains, meat and vegetables is putting pressure on global food production and prices like never before. Soaring food prices, civil unrest and worries about weather have spurred a global race to create more productive crops that can thrive in a warmer -- and more prosperous -- world
China rebukes US over South China Sea disputes
China criticized the U.S. on Tuesday over a senator's call for multilateral negotiations to resolve festering territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said only those countries with territorial claims in the vast resource-rich waters should get involved in such discussions.
Venezuela orders energy saving after recent blackouts
Big electricity users in Venezuela have been told to cut consumption or face increased charges. Consumers who save energy will be in line for discounts, officials said. The move comes after a series of recent power failures, the most recent last Friday and Saturday when outages affected parts of western Venezuela.
More Israeli-Vatican Talks, Following Vatican Call for PA State
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon heads today (Monday) for the Vatican, leading an Israeli delegation taking part in a plenary session of the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between Israel and the Vatican
Series of earthquakes hit New Zealand city
A series of aftershocks rattled New Zealand's quake-devastated city of Christchurch again Monday, toppling one of the few buildings still standing downtown and sinking thousands of homes into darkness.
Eritrean volcanic ash cloud heading toward Israel
A volcanic ash cloud created after a volcano erupted in the northern African country of Eritrea is heading toward Israel, the Israel Meteorological Service confirmed on Tuesday. It is not yet certain whether the cloud will disrupt flights in the area.
'Iran reiterates its desire to be Lebanese partner'
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who on Monday announced a new cabinet dominated by Iranian-backed Hezbollah, has received warm support for his new government from Tehran. According to an AFP report, Iranian Vice President Mohammed Reza Rahimi phoned Mikati Monday to offer his congratulations. “The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates its desire to remain a partner to Lebanon," he reportedly said, "and is ready to implement the agreements signed between the two countries.”
FM Lieberman: EU peace efforts in Mideast are 'naive'
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman rejected on Tuesday the European Union's peace initiative. The plan, revealed in Haaretz on Tuesday, aims to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority by convening a Middle East peace conference in Paris.
N.Korea likely can miniaturize nuclear device: Seoul
North Korea has probably succeeded in miniaturizing a nuclear device, South Korea's defense minister said on Monday, an advance that would in theory allow the hermit state to place an atomic warhead on a rocket.
Hackers breach US Senate website
A shadowy group of hackers behind a string of recent cyberattacks claimed to have breached the US Senate website and taken internal data. The Senate Sergeant at Arms, which is responsible for congressional security, confirmed there had been an intrusion into the server hosting the public website, Senate.gov, but said no sensitive information was compromised.
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