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China Says Man Died of Bird Flu

Posted December 31st, 2011 at 6:10 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese health officials say a man who tested positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus died Saturday in the southern city of Shenzhen. City officials said the 39-year-old bus driver, surnamed Chen, was hospitalized with a fever on December 21 and tested positive for the virus. The southern city borders Hong Kong, where thousands […]

Tags: , , , , Posted in East Asia Pacific

Violence Continues in Syria Despite Monitors’ Presence

Posted December 31st, 2011 at 5:45 am (UTC-5)
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Violence has continued in Syria, despite the presence of Arab League observers who are monitoring whether the government follows through on its promise to stop the crackdown on dissent. Activists say Syrian forces killed at least 32 people on Friday. The opposition Local Coordination Committee of Syria says most of the deaths occurred after forces […]

Tags: Posted in Middle East

China Hints at Loosening Currency Exchange Rate

Posted December 31st, 2011 at 5:20 am (UTC-5)
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China’s central bank governor hinted Saturday that the exchange rate for country’s currency — the yuan — could be loosened in the near future. In an interview with the weekly magazine Caixin, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, said the bank was close to reaching its goal of allowing the yuan to […]

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Bomb Blast Kills 2 Pakistani Soldiers

Posted December 31st, 2011 at 5:10 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistan security officials say a bomb blast has killed two Pakistani soldiers in the country’s northwest near the Afghan border. The remote-controlled bomb ripped through a vehicle in a military convoy Saturday on the outskirts of Miran Shah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but […]

Tags: , Posted in South Asia

Italian Police Confiscate Illegal Fireworks Before New Year’s Eve

Posted December 31st, 2011 at 4:55 am (UTC-5)
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Italian police say they have seized large quantities of illegal fireworks in a nationwide crackdown ahead of Saturday’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Police say hundreds of thousands of illegal fireworks have been confiscated during the month of December. They say fireworks have been seized in Rome, Turin, and Bari, but the bigger stashes are expected […]

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Gunmen Kill 5 Iraqi Sunni Militia Members

Posted December 31st, 2011 at 4:15 am (UTC-5)
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Security officials say gunmen have opened fire on a checkpoint in central Iraq, killing five anti-Qaida militiamen. Authorities say the attackers struck the Sahwa checkpoint early Saturday in Khan Bani Saad, about 35 kilometers north of Baghdad in Diyala province. Members of the Sahwa are Sunni tribesman who have taken up arms against al-Qaida, helping […]

Tags: , Posted in Middle East

US to Sell Missile Defense System to United Arab Emirates

Posted December 31st, 2011 at 3:15 am (UTC-5)
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The United States and the United Arab Emirates have signed a deal for a missile defense system in the Persian Gulf nation. The Pentagon said in a statement Friday that U.S.-based defense contractor Lockheed Martin has been awarded a nearly two billion dollar contract to supply the UAE with equipment and support services. The deal […]

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North Korea Officially Names Kim Jong Un Supreme Commander

Posted December 31st, 2011 at 2:55 am (UTC-5)
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North Korea has officially named Kim Jong Un as supreme commander of the country’s military forces, affirming his authority after his father’s death. The state-run Korean Central News Agency made the announcement Saturday. It said Kim Jong Il’s son and successor was given the title at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central […]

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China Says Land Protesters Had Valid Complaints

Posted December 31st, 2011 at 2:50 am (UTC-5)
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China’s official news service is reporting that residents of a southern village, who protested for weeks about land grabs, had valid complaints. Tensions first flared in Guangdong province’s Wukan village in September, when residents began protesting what they viewed as illegal land grabs and local government corruption. The official Xinhua news agency on Saturday quoted […]

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33 Killed in Indian Cyclone

Posted December 31st, 2011 at 1:35 am (UTC-5)
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Indian authorities say a devastating cyclone has hit the country’s southeastern coast, killing at least 33 people. Cyclone Thane lashed the coast between Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu state and the territory of Pondicherry on Friday with winds up to 135 kilometers per hour, before gradually decreasing. Officials say at least 20 of the deaths were […]

Tags: , Posted in South Asia