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International News on December 15, 2010

Ex-Guantanamo inmate says Assange will never receive a fair trial in US
Former Guantanamo Bay inmate, David Hicks, has come out in support of Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange, saying that he feared for Assange's safety should he end up in American hands. ANI

Close encounter for landing passenger jets at San Francisco airport
Two passenger jets approaching the dual runways of San Francisco International Airport for parallel landings looked like they were about to collide with one another. ANI

Life-size cutouts of hot Czech female cops double the amount of accidents
A scheme by the Czech interior ministry to make road junctions in Prague safer by pitching cardboard cutouts of female traffic police has failed. ANI

Stockholm suicide bomber was 'minutes away from something catastrophic'
The Stockholm suicide bombings suspect, Taimour al-Abdaly, missed causing a massive catastrophe by a matter of minutes, Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has said. ANI

New visa regulations could force at least 20,000 Chinese students out of UK
As many as 20,000 Chinese students could reportedly be forced to leave Britain if the new visa policies are implemented next year. ANI

Hindus laud Sugar Hill in Georgia for extending Shiv Mandir's permit
Hindus have applauded the City Council of Sugar Hill (Georgia, USA) for reportedly extending the proposed Shiv Mandir's permit for two years. ANI

Bhagavad-Gita among the readings at prestigious Ursinus College of USA
Ancient Hindu scripture Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord) was one of the Fall 2010 readings at prestigious Ursinus College in Pennsylvania Well known Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, described this action of Ursinus as "a step in the right direction" as students should have knowledge of the entire society to become full participants in the society. ANI

Study says post 9/11 'security zones' in major cities blight landscape
10 years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the creation of 'security zones' in American's most popular and prominent downtown areas has led to blighted landscapes, limited public access and a need for a new approach to urban planning. ANI

Al-Qaeda a 'failure' in Indonesia, claims secret Oz intelligence assessment
A secret Australian intelligence assessment has said that the al-Qaeda militant organisation is 'a failure' and its regional offshoot, Jemaah Islamiah, has been broken in Indonesia. ANI

Americans find 'whatever' most annoying term for 2nd year in a row
Americans have ranked "whatever" as the most annoying word or phrase used in conversation for the second year in a row. ANI

World's worst nuclear accident site to become tourism hotspot
Chernobyl, an abandoned city in northern Ukraine where the world's worst nuclear accident happened, could now become a tourism hotspot. ANI

Brit grad lands dream job by setting up own website to advertise talents
A graduate in Britain has landed his dream job after he set up his own website to advertise his talents. ANI

North Korea ready for six-party talks: China
China has claimed gaining North Korea's support for easing regional tensions and attending emergency six-party talks on Korean Peninsula's nuclear program. ANI

US Air Force blocks media sites posting leaked 'Wikileaks' documents
The United States' Air Force has reportedly blocked access on its network to over 25 media websites, which have posted secret U.S. diplomatic cables obtained and released by the whistleblower website 'WikiLeaks'. ANI

US wants Pak action against Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in North Waziristan
US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen, has urged Pakistan to launch an operation to crack down on Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in North Waziristan. ANI

UK intelligence helped foil NY subway plot five days before due date
British intelligence helped foil an al-Qaeda plot to blow up the New York subway just five days before it was due to be carried out. ANI

Bilawal pledges to return to Pakistan to lead PPP
Pakistan People's Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has pledged to return to Pakistan and lead the party. ANI

Pak rejects biased policies harmful to its national security
Pakistan's National Command Authority (NCA) has said that the country will not be a party to any approach that is prejudicial to legitimate national security interests. ANI

Kiwi man and his American wife win 'world's best couple' title
A New Zealand man and his American wife has won the title of the "world's best couple". ANI

TTP planning terror attacks on Muharram processions through IEDs
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is reportedly planning to launch terrorist attacks by changing motorcycles into improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on Muharram-related processions and Majalis, especially in Lahore. ANI

Kosovo PM likened to "mafia-like" Albanian group responsible for kidney racket
A Council of Europe inquiry report on organised crime has revealed that Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is the head of a "mafia-like" Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe. ANI

US appoints Frank Ruggiero as new Af-Pak special envoy
Deputy U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Frank Ruggiero, has been appointed as the acting US Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan following the death of Richard Holbrooke. ANI

Bare-chested Assange named Rockstar of the Year by Italy's Rolling Stone
London, Dec 15 (AN): WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange has added another feather to his cap - the mastermind has been dubbed Rockstar of the Year by Italy's Rolling Stone magazine for his rock and roll lifestyle. ANI

Pak links up with China's Kashgar ahead of Premier Jiabao's visit
Pakistan and China have inaugurated the first air cargo service linking Islamabad with Kashgar in China's northwest Xinjiang province, just three days before the visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to the Pakistan capital. ANI

Islamabad Police files case against alleged CIA official
Islamabad Police have filed a case against US citizen Jonathan Banks, for allegedly being the CIA chief in Pakistan and controlling the drone attacks. ANI

Holbrooke's last words were about stopping the Afghan war
US President Barack Obama's former Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard C. Holbrooke's final thoughts were apparently about the war in Afghanistan and a desire to stop it, his family, close friends and colleagues have revealed. ANI

Vladimir Putin's 'mistress' is Russian Vogue's debut cover girl
Vogue's new editor-in-chief, Viktoria Davydova, has courted controversy by putting Vladimir Putin's alleged mistress on her first front cover. ANI

'Afghan war being hampered due to Pak's unwillingness to hit terror havens on border'
Two classified US intelligence reports have said that the American strategy in Afghanistan has a limited chance of success, unless Pakistan hunts down insurgents operating from havens on its Afghan border. ANI

Asylum seekers boat crashes off Christmas Island, 30 feared dead
As many as 30 asylum seekers are feared dead after a boat carrying about 70 people smashed into the sea off Christmas Island. ANI

Indian-origin man wins $100K for being the 'Biggest Loser'
An Indian-origin man in Singapore has won 100,000 US dollars after he was crowed as the winner of 'The Biggest Loser Asia 2', a popular weight-loss reality TV series. ANI

Escort claims Shrien Dewani paid him for kinky s*x sessions
An escort has come forward to tell cops that British care home tycoon Shrien Dewani, who is suspected of having his wife murdered while honeymooning in South Africa, had paid him for kinky s*x. ANI

Volleyball Club World Championships Kick off in Doha
The Volleyball Club World Championships (FIVB) – DOHA 2010 are set to take center stage in the Qatari capital of Doha on Wednesday, 15 December 2010. Eight male teams and six female teams will be competing for the titles at Al Gharafa Sports Club stadium until 21 December. Business Wire India

Alcon and Novartis Agree to Merger Terms
Alcon, Inc. (NYSE: ACL) announced today that its board of directors approved a merger agreement with Novartis AG, whereby Novartis will pay a total merger consideration valued at $168 per share for the Alcon shares it does not currently own Business Wire India

Power Integrations Introduces Reference Design for 5 W LED Lamps with PFC and Flicker-Free TRIAC Dimming
Power Integrations (Nasdaq: POWI), the leader in high-voltage integrated circuits for energy-efficient solid-state lighting, has announced a new reference design (RDK-251) for a 5-watt offline LED driver that includes flicker-free TRIAC dimming and single-stage power factor correction (PFC) Business Wire India

Harvard Business Review Analytics Services Releases Study on the Impact of Social Media
While a growing number of companies are experimenting with social media as a way to have a new conversation with customers – few feel they have the metrics and tools in place to judge the impact of their efforts. Business Wire India

GSA Expands Collaborative Platform to Japan
The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), the voice of the global semiconductor industry, has announced, the organization is expanding its collaborative platform to Japan. The decision to expand was based on the importance of Japan in the global semiconductor ecosystem Business Wire India

DSI® Names Matthew J. McGraw to Serve as CEO and President
Data Systems International® (DSI®) has announced that its board of directors has named Matthew J. McGraw to serve as the company’s chief executive officer and president. Business Wire India

Salt Lake City Selects Bentley's WaterGEMS and HAMMER Software to Integrate Water Model and GIS
Business Wire India

Hilton Worldwide and Accenture Announce Multi-Year Technology Services Agreement
Accenture (NYSE:ACN) and Hilton Worldwide has announced a multi-year agreement to provide the global hospitality company with application development and support services for its property management systems and multi-brand, transactional websites covering more than 3,600 hotels worldwide Business Wire India

GCT Semiconductor Now Shipping FDD LTE Single-Chip to Tier One Handset Maker Supplying LTE Data Cards to Major US Operators
GCT® Semiconductor, a leading supplier of 4G solutions to the global market, have announced the commercialization of GDM7240, a highly integrated monolithic LTE single-chip, supporting all FDD bands Business Wire India

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