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Berlusconi and Italy’s left head strike electoral reform deal

ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi has returned to the political scene after a tax fraud conviction, striking a deal with the leader of the largest center-left party on electoral reform that could give Italy badly needed stability. But the Saturday night agreement between 77-year-old Berlusconi, still head of the center-right Forza Italia party he founded, and Democratic Party (PD) leader ...

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Bomb kills 20 troops in NW Pakistan

BANNU, Pakistan (AP) — A bomb planted by the Taliban ripped through a vehicle carrying security forces inside a Pakistani army compound in the country’s volatile northwestern region Sunday, killing 20 troops, officials and the militants said. The blast was a heavy blow for the Pakistani military which has been fighting a stubborn insurgency in the country’s northwest. Bombs and ...

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Divided Syria opposition debates joining peace talks

ISTANBUL : Syria’s exiled opposition began debating Saturday whether to join international peace talks next week after Damascus offered concessions including a ceasefire plan for the battered city of Aleppo. But the National Coalition remains riven by internal divisions, making its attendance at the key talks in Switzerland far from certain despite intense pressure from the West and Arab states. ...

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Officials: Iranian diplomat killed in Yemen

SANAA, Yemen — Officials in Yemen say an Iranian diplomat has been killed in a drive-by shooting in the capital, Sanaa. Three security officials said the diplomat was leaving the Iranian ambassador’s house in the city’s southern Hadda neighborhood when assailants opened fire on his…

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APNewsBreak: Pope defrocked 400 priests in 2 years

In his last two years as pope, Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests for raping and molesting children, more than twice as many as the two years that preceded a 2010 explosion of sex abuse cases in Europe and beyond, according to a document obtained Friday by The Associated Press and an analysis of Vatican statistics. The data — 260 ...

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Ukraine Leader Signs Controversial Anti-Protest Law

By Agence France-Presse on 2:25 pm January 18, 2014. Category International, World Tags: ukraine unrest A pro-European activist wearing the Ukrainian flag as a cape raises his symbolically-handcuffed hands during an opposition rally outside the president’s office in Kiev, on Jan. 17, 2014. (AFP Photo/Sergei Supinsky) Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Friday signed into law strict curbs on protests condemned ...

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Venezuela reaffirms economic reform measures

CARACAS, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) — Venezuelan Vice President Jorge Arreaza on Thursday reaffirmed the economic reform measures outlined by President Nicolas Maduro, saying the decision was aimed at promoting economic stability. The president’s economic reforms measures…

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Kadyrov: Rebel leader who threatened Sochi is dead

MOSCOW (AP) — A Chechen rebel warlord who has threatened to attack the Sochi Olympics is dead, Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed strongman said Thursday, but he offered no proof and his claim couldn’t be verified. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said on his Instagram that Doku Umarov, who urged his fighters to strike the Games, has died — a claim he has made ...

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Ugandan president slams gays while refusing to sign anti-gay bill

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni refused to sign into law a tough anti-homosexual bill passed by parliament last month. But the tone of his remarks offered little cheer for the country’s beleaguered gay rights groups. In a letter accompanying his decision, Museveni described gays and lesbians as abnormal, mercenary and a product of “random breeding” in the ...

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French president visits hospitalized first lady

PARIS – President Francois Hollande has visited France’s first lady for the first time since she was hospitalized for rest following a gossip magazine’s report that he was having an affair with an actress. An official at the presidential palace said Friday that Hollande visited Valerie Trierweiler the previous evening. The 48-year-old journalist was admitted a week ago to an ...

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