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Russia to Guard Destruction of Chemical Arms

Russia offered on Thursday to provide troops to guard facilities where Syria’s chemical weapons would be destroyed, as UN inspectors prepared to continue their probe on the use of such agents in the country’s civil war. Also on Thursday, a mortar shell slammed into the Iraqi consulate building in central Damascus, killing one person and wounding three, Syrian state media reported. In Moscow, Deputy Foreign ... Read More »

Egypt Court Bans Muslim Brotherhood ‘Activities’

A court in Egypt has banned “all activities” by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters said the ruling applied to the Islamist movement, its non-governmental organisation and any affiliated groups. It also ordered the interim government to seize the Brotherhood’s funds and form a panel to administer its frozen assets until any appeal had been heard. The military authorities have launched a ... Read More »

Obama Calls Kenya Attack ‘Terrible Outrage,’ U.S. Cooperating

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday called the attack in a Nairobi mall a “terrible outrage” and said the United States was providing all the cooperation it could to Kenya. “We stand with them against this terrible outrage that occurred,” Obama said during a meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in New York. Both men, who are in town for the United Nations General Assembly, ... Read More »

Pakistan Church Blast Kills Dozens

A bomb blast outside a church in the Pakistani city of Peshawar has killed at least 60 people and injured more than 100 others, officials say. They say two suicide bombers blew themselves up as people were coming out after Sunday Mass. The victims were said to include women and children. Islamist militants have been blamed for previous attacks on Pakistan’s Christians, who make up ... Read More »

Three Britons Among Kenya Shopping Mall Attack Dead

Three British nationals were killed in Saturday’s attack on a shopping centre in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, David Cameron has revealed. At least 59 people were killed and more than 100 injured in the attack, the Kenyan interior minister has said. Between 10 and 15 attackers and an unknown number of civilians are still in the building. The next of kin of the dead British ... Read More »

Syria Details Part Of Chemical Arsenal

Syria gave details of some of its chemical weapons to the OPCW arms watchdog at The Hague on Friday but needs to fill in gaps by next week to launch a rapid disarmament operation that may avert US air strikes. At the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the UN-backed agency which is to oversee the removal of President Bashar al-Assad’s arsenal, a spokeswoman ... Read More »

Pope Signals Change Of Tone On Gays, Abortion

A landmark interview by Pope Francis will force conservative members of the Catholic Church to re-calibrate how they deal with gays, abortion and contraception but is not expected to be the precursor to seismic changes in doctrine, papal experts say. Pope Francis sent a clear message to officials from the highest reaches of the hierarchy down to the most remote parish that they should not ... Read More »

Afghan Politician Defects To Taliban

A former Afghan senator and district governor has defected to the Taliban in the northern province of Sar-e-Pol, officials have told the BBC. Qazi Abdul Hai served as a senator between 2004 and 2008 and was later made a district governor in Sar-e-Pol. Correspondents say he is thought to be the highest-ranking civilian official to have joined the Taliban. The move comes as foreign combat ... Read More »

General Killed As Egyptian Forces Raid Pro-Morsi Town

An Egyptian police general has been killed during a raid by security forces on the Muslim Brotherhood stronghold of Kerdasa, near the capital Cairo. Security forces fought gun battles in the town as they searched for the killers of 11 police officers in the town last month. At least 55 suspected militants were arrested, police say. Kerdasa is the second big raid on a militant ... Read More »

Syria Crisis: Putin ‘Confident’ On Chemical Weapons Plan

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says he is “confident” Syria’s chemical weapons can be destroyed under a US-Russian plan, but not “100% sure”. Speaking to reporters he reiterated Moscow’s view that the opposition may have carried out last month’s deadly attack in the Damascus suburbs. President Bashar al-Assad has warned it could take about a year to destroy Syria’s chemical stockpiles. The disarmament plan was unveiled ... Read More »

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