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Karzai to Announce Next Phase of Afghan Security Transition

Posted November 15th, 2011 at 2:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Afghan President Hamid Karzai is set to outline Wednesday the second phase of transferring security control from foreign to Afghan forces. President Karzai issued a statement Tuesday saying he will make the announcement at this week’s loya jirga in Kabul. The meeting of more than 2,000 Afghan politicians, tribal elders and community leaders begins Wednesday. […]

Tags: , Posted in South Asia

Syrian Activists: 83 People Killed in Anti-Government Uprising

Posted November 15th, 2011 at 2:20 pm (UTC-5)
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A Syrian rights group says government security forces in Syria have killed more than 80 people in the last 24 hours, making it one of the deadliest spans of an eight-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told VOA Tuesday it documented the killings of 38 civilians and 18 […]

Tags: , , Posted in Middle East

Chinese Academics Award Alternative Peace Prize to Russia’s Putin

Posted November 15th, 2011 at 1:20 pm (UTC-5)
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A group of Chinese academics has awarded an alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Organizers of the Confucius Peace Prize said Tuesday that Mr. Putin beat out German Chancellor Angela Merkel and South African President Jacob Zuma for the award. In comments to the French News Agency, one of […]

Tags: , , Posted in East Asia Pacific

Rights Groups Challenge Burmese Claim on Political Prisoners

Posted November 15th, 2011 at 1:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Human rights groups are expressing skepticism over claims by Burma’s new human rights commission that as few as 300 of the nation’s suspected 2,000 political prisoners are still incarcerated. A Thailand-based rights group told VOA’s Burmese service it is aware of more than 1,600 political prisoners still in jail in Burma. Amnesty International researcher Benjamin […]

Russia Begins Deporting Tajik Migrants

Posted November 15th, 2011 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Russia has started deporting Tajik migrants in what appears to be retaliation for prison terms handed down to a Russian pilot and his Estonian colleague after they landed their aircraft in the Central Asian nation. Russian immigration officials announced the deportation plan, one week after Tajik authorities sentenced the two pilots to eight-and-a-half years in […]

Tags: , Posted in Europe

Somali Pirates Capturing Fewer Ships

Posted November 15th, 2011 at 12:50 pm (UTC-5)
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International piracy monitors say Somali pirates have seized fewer ships this year, despite a record number of attempted hijackings. The European Union’s anti-piracy force said Tuesday that pirate attacks are up about 15 percent this year, but the number of ships actually seized is down by half. The International Maritime Bureau, which tracks pirate attacks, […]

Tags: , Posted in Africa

US Retail Sales Rise

Posted November 15th, 2011 at 12:30 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. retail sales grew more slowly in October, giving a moderate boost to the consumer spending that drives most U.S. economic activity. Tuesday’s report from the Commerce Department says the gain was half a percent in October, which is less than the previous month. Consumers have been spending more on electronics, appliances, hardware, and building […]

Tags: , Posted in Economy

India, Pakistan Move to Fully Normalize Trade Ties

Posted November 15th, 2011 at 12:15 pm (UTC-5)
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India and Pakistan have agreed to fully normalize trade, signifying a thaw in relations between the two nuclear-armed rivals. Indian Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar and his Pakistani counterpart Zafar Mahmood called for the creation of a timeline to lift longstanding tariffs and other trade barriers. The two officials concluded two days of talks in New […]

Tags: , , Posted in South Asia

IMF Approves New Credit Program for Afghanistan

Posted November 15th, 2011 at 11:55 am (UTC-5)
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The International Monetary Fund has approved a nearly $134 million loan for Afghanistan, more than a year after the Kabul Bank crisis prompted the group to suspend its credit program for the country. The IMF announced the three-year loan arrangement Tuesday, saying it will support Afghanistan’s economic reforms. The U.N. agency says the program will […]

Tags: , , , Posted in South Asia

Eurozone Economy Barely Advances in Third Quarter

Posted November 15th, 2011 at 11:50 am (UTC-5)
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The eurozone economy barely advanced in the July-to-September period, weighted down by the financial woes in debt-ridden Greece and Italy. The European Union said Tuesday that the economy in the 17-nation bloc that uses the euro currency expanded just two-tenths of one percent in the third quarter, largely supported by bigger growth in the continent’s […]

Tags: , , , Posted in Economy