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Saudia appoints Prince Muqrin as deputy Prime Minister

RIYADH: Former chief of Saudi intelligence, Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz al Saud, has been appointed as country’s deputy prime minister, SAMAA reported. The appointment makes 70-something Abdullah third most powerful figure of the Saudi Arabia after Shah Abdullah and crown prince Salman. Muqrin, who is youngest son of the kingdom’s founder Abdulaziz ibn Saud, was retired as Saudi intelligence head in July …

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Turkish police arrest 11 over US woman murder

ISTANBUL: Turkish police have arrested 11 people over the murder of an American woman who disappeared while visiting Istanbul last month, police and the local media reported Sunday.   The body of 33-year-old Sarai Sierra, a mother of two, was found on Saturday near Istanbul s ancient city walls with fatal head wounds, the Radikal daily reported.   “We have confirmed …

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IHK: All-girl music band breaks up after threats on social media

SRINAGAR: The first all-girl rock band in Indian-controlled Kashmir has decided to disband after only one concert because of threats its teenage members received on social media and a demand from a top Muslim cleric that they stop performing. The fate of Pragaash, which means “First Light” in Kashmiri, highlights the simmering tension between modernity and tradition in Muslim-majority Kashmir, …

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Vonn hospitalized after crash

AUSTRIA: Vonn, a four-time overall World Cup champion, lost balance on her right leg while landing after a jump. Her ski came off immediately, and Vonn slid off course and hit a gate before coming to a halt. The American received medical treatment on the slope for 12 minutes before being taken to the hospital. The U.S. ski team said …

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Oil falls to near $96 after weeks of strong gains

Oil prices fell to nearly $96 a barrel Monday on signs that the U.S. and Iran may restart talks about Iran s nuclear program.   In New York benchmark oil for March delivery dropped by $1.60 to finish at $96.17 a barrel. Oil prices had risen steadily since they traded near $86 a barrel in mid-December on hopes for an improving …

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Troops enter Kidal in northern Mali

TIMBUKTU: Troops from France and Chad moved into Kidal in an effort to secure the strategic north Malian city, a French official said Tuesday, as the international force put further pressure on the Islamic extremists to push them out of their last major bastion of control in the north. Some 1,800 Chadian troops are holding Kidal city and an unspecified …

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Ahmadinejad arrived in Cairo, 1st visit by Iran leader since 1979

CAIRO: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Cairo on Tuesday, marking the first visit to Egypt by an Iranian president since Iran s 1979 Islamic revolution, Egyptian television footage showed.   Egypt s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi welcomed Ahmadinejad at Cairo airport as he disembarked from the plane, the footage showed.   Ahmadinejad, who is on a three-day visit, will attend an Organisation of …

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Iran threat growing: Israel

JERUSALEM: Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Tuesday that the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran was growing under the “terrifying dictatorship” ruling the Islamic republic. “The Iranian danger has grown,” Peres said at the opening of the newly-elected Israeli parliament. “It threatens our existence, the independence of the Arab states, the peace of the whole world.” “At its head stands …

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France detains 4 over extremist links

PARIS: The raid in the Paris region comes amid fears that European extremists who once joined jihadi groups in Afghanistan or Iraq are now joining radical fighters in the civil war in Syria and the conflict in Mali. The Paris prosecutor s office said the four people were detained in Tuesday s operation as part of an investigation into a French-Malian man arrested around …

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Karzai confirms he will step down in 2014

OSLO: Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai confirmed Tuesday in Oslo that he plans to step down next year when his mandate expires. “The question of me staying as the president beyond 2014 is out of the question,” Karzai said when reporters asked about recent speculation that he was keen to stay on. “Neither am I seeking a third term, nor does …

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