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International News on March 2, 2011

Meet Maurice Tillet, the wrestler Shrek was fashioned after
Late French professional wrestler Maurice Tillet, known as The Angel, was used as the model for the cartoon character Shrek.illet, who was born in 1903, was actually a very intelligent person, a poet and writer who could speak 14 languages, reported. ANI

China holds 1.6 trillion dollars of US debt: Treasury Department
China, the largest creditor of the United States, holds 1.6 trillion dollars of US debt, according to Treasury Department data. ANI

Poll shows ex-Arkansas Governor Huckabee a hit with southern voters
A new poll shows former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee leading a field of prospective Republican candidates among southern voters. ANI

Saying Obama grew up in Kenya lands GOP leader Huckabee in a fix
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has landed in a fix by saying that President Barack Obama grew up in Kenya and not in Indonesia. ANI

US warship heads out to protect Europe from Iranian missiles
The US military has plans to send a warship to the Mediterranean as a first step in establishing a defence shield to protect Europe from a potential missile by from Iran. ANI

Robert F.Kennedy's assassin to say he doesn't remember 1968 shooting
A lawyer representing Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, has said that his client plans to present new evidence at a parole board hearing suggesting that he did not act alone, was potentially brain washed and cannot remember anything about the 43-year-old shooting. ANI

McDonald's angers health experts with burger, fries toy set
McDonald's has left health experts outraged after it launched a toy set for kids that had plastic patties, buns, cheese slices and pickles. ANI

Department of Homeland Security - efficient bureaucratic behemoth or costly edifice
A recent Gallup poll has found 56 percent of Americans opposing cuts to spending on homeland security programs with 42 percent in favor. By comparison, 61 percent oppose cuts to medicare. ANI

Qaeda Brit martyr's online video heightens fears of terror attack on UK
British Intelligence outfit MI5 is looking out for a British Muslim who has appeared in an online video released by al-Qaeda. ANI

Jaycee Dugard's kidnappers 'confess to 18 years of sex abuse'
Kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard's kidnappers have confessed to abducting her and imprisoning her for 18 years. ANI

Pak cracks down on illegal Afghan refugees
The Pakistan Government has launched a nationwide crackdown on Afghan refugees residing illegally in the country. A deadline was given to them to submit their data to the Office of Afghan refugees, which expired on February 28. ANI

Goalposts moved in Dr Death's manslaughter trial
Indian-origin doctor Jayant Patel's lawyers have told a court in Brisbane that "the goalposts were moved" during his manslaughter trial, causing the jury to wrongly pronounce him guilty on all counts, on the opening day of his appeal hearing. ANI

The more honest, humble you are, the better your job performance
A new study has revealed for the first time that the more honest and humble you are, the better is your job performance. ANI

Washington's Kennedy Center showcasing India's top talent for 3-weeks
Prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington DC is hosting three-week long "Maximum India" festival ending March 20, showcasing India focused events involving dance, music, theater, literature, film, exhibitions, and cuisine, and can cost up to $100 each for a single event. ANI

Russian flight controllers claim aliens spoke to them in 'cat-like language'
Air traffic controllers in Siberia claim to have been buzzed by a high-speed UFO with a female sounding alien speaking to them in an unintelligible cat-like language. ANI

Gingrich to launch 2012 Prez bid
Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich is to formally launch his bid for a Republican nomination to take on President Barack Obama next year. ANI

Pak Govt mulling presidential ordinance to impose new taxes
The Pakistan Government is considering imposing new taxes- 15 per cent flood income tax surcharge and 2.5 per cent special excise duty- through a presidential ordinance, as it expects stiff opposition from political parties in parliament in this regard. ANI

Gaddafi regime said to be in control of three towns near Tripoli
In the latest development, the Gadaffi regime has retaken at least two towns near Tripoli from rebels. ANI

Tucson park named after youngest shoot-out victim
A park here has been named in honor of Christina-Taylor Green, the youngest victim of the January 8 shootings. ANI

Somalian pirates threaten to kill captive Danish family
Somalian pirates have warned that they will kill a Danish couple and their three children if any attempt is made to rescue them. ANI

Rise in number of Aussies seeking treatment for sex addiction
Psychologists have reported that there is a rise in the number of patients referred to them who are seeking treatment for sex addiction. ANI

Libyan rebels stocking up on Soviet-era arms to deal with Gaddafi's militia
Rebel forces controlling eastern Libya are reportedly getting more organized and better armed with each passing day. ANI

Zardari, Gilani strongly condemn Shahbaz Bhatti's assassination
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani have strongly condemned the assassination of the Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti. ANI

Pak newspaper claims hundreds of pro-India, pro-Israel CIA agents operating in country
Hundreds of especially-trained CIA contractors who worked closely with the Indian external intelligence agency RAW and Israel's Mossad in the Middle East, Asia and Africa over the last two decades, are covertly operating across Pakistan these days, a Pakistani newspaper has claimed. ANI

Thai Airways accused of discrimination over new weight, shape standards
Thai Airways has been accused of discrimination by flight attendants who failed to meet its new weight standards after they were given six months to shape up. ANI

Increasing illiteracy in China becomes world's concern
Illiteracy and education inequality in China has become a subject of concern throughout the world, a UNESCO official has claimed. ANI

US, S.Korea plan to discuss N.Korea's nuke programme
US and South Korean officials will discuss North Korea's recently disclosed uranium enrichment programme. ANI

Pak minister's assassins leave Taliban-linked leaflets at murder spot
The unidentified gunmen who assassinated Pakistan's Federal Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, in Islamabad on Wednesday, have left behind Taliban-linked leaflets. ANI

Libya heading into civil war
Libya appears to be heading into a civil war with armed anti-government rebels and forces loyal to regime leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi battling viciously and violently for control of towns near national capital Tripoli on the 16th day of fighting. ANI

85-yr-old letter reveals the man who cured King George's stammer
A letter, almost 85 years old, has revealed how King George VI came to meet the man who cured his stammer. ANI

Bristol Palin's memoir to hit stands this summer
Bristol Palin is following in her mother former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's footsteps and is set to come up with her memoir that will hit the stands this summer. ANI

Tata Motors to build 2,000 Land Rovers a year in Pune plant
Jaguar Land Rover, a British automotive business owned by Tata Motors, is to start building 2,000 vehicles a year at its factory in Pune. ANI

Lahore HC admits petition to make media reports part of Davis immunity case
The Lahore High Court (LHC) has admitted for formal hearing a petition to make media reports regarding double murder-accused CIA contractor Raymond Davis part of the case record. ANI

Gaddafi's son denies regime using military against Libyans
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son, Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, has denied reports that his father's regime is bombing areas in Tripoli or using the military against its own people. He demanded Western powers and journalists to give evidence to prove their claims. ANI

Rescuers pray for prosperity of Christchurch earthquake site
Construction and rescue workers at the Christchurch earthquake site gathered to pray for the prosperity of the land, which suffered massive destruction after being hit by a 6.3 magnitude quake last month. ANI

Comparing Gillard to Gaddafi 'colourful': Opposition leade
likening Prime Minister Julia Gillard to Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is 'colourful', said opposition leader Tony Abbott. ANI

Pak Minorities Minister assassinated by unidentified assailants
Pakistan's Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated by unidentified gunmen in Islamabad on Wednesday. ANI

Chinese Police impose new media restrictions to prevent Mid-East type unrest
Chinese Police have moved to prevent reporters and photographers from covering any potential public protests by establishing "no reporting" zones in Shanghai and Beijing. ANI

Lesbian army captain in Afghanistan sent home after objection over sexuality
A lesbian army captain was disciplined and sent home early from Afghanistan because her commanding officer objected to her homosexuality. ANI

'Buddhas of Bamiyan' may be restored
Scientists have said that it may be possible to reconstruct the smaller of two giant 1,500-year-old 'Buddhas of Bamiyan' statues blown up by the Taliban in Afghanistan 10 years ago. ANI

New Delhi's CNG drive worsened some vehicles' climate impacts: Study
A new University of British Columbia study has found that a pioneering program by New Delhi to switch its vehicle fleet to clean fuel has not significantly improved harmful vehicle emissions in more than 5,000 vehicles - and worsened some vehicles' climate impacts. ANI

Osama Bin Laden ringer-video attracting thousands of online hits
A video said to show a tiny terrorist, who barely comes up to his mates' waists, is attracting thousands of online hits on YouTube and other websites. ANI

Russia's foreign minister cautions world leaders on military action against Gaddafi
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called on world powers to focus on using UN Security Council sanctions to end the impasse in Libya, rather than launching air strikes. ANI

US lobbyists for Middle East faced with Catch-22 scenario-to pitch or not to pitch
With the situation in the Arab region continuing to unfold, an elite band of former members of Congress, former diplomats and power brokers who have helped these Middle Eastern nations navigate diplomatic waters in Washington on delicate issues such as arms deals, terrorism, oil and trade restrictions, is placed in Catch-22 scenario. ANI

Music conductor Zubin Mehta honored with star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
Internationally acclaimed Indian origin music conductor Zubin Mehta has been honored with a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his musical career. ANI

US-Pak relationship crisis won't end following Davis' release: Kugelman
It would be a mistake to assume that the US-Pakistan relationship would plunge into crisis only after the Raymond Davis episode, and that it will remain so only until the double murder-accused's release, South Asian affairs analyst Michael Kugelman has said. ANI

Iran ready to talk with P5+1: Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman
Ramin Mehmanparast the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, has said Tehran is ready to talk with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (P5+1) namely the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France, plus Germany on common issues. ANI

World's most expensive football cup ticket goes on sale for 15,000 pounds
The most expensive season ticket in British football will go on sale for 15,000 pounds. ANI

Prominent Yemen cleric calls for president's ouster, formation of Islamic state
A prominent radical cleric has demanded the ouster of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and called for the creation of an Islamic state. ANI

Pak Foreign Office taking undue credit for expatriates' evacuation from Libya
Pakistan's Foreign Office has taken undue credit for facilitating the evacuation of 354 Pakistani expatriates from strife-torn Libya, who arrived in Lahore from Istanbul on Tuesday onboard two chartered Turkish Airlines flights. ANI

Libyan rebels ready to approach UN for Western air strikes
Libyan rebels headquartered in eastern Benghazi are reportedly considering an approach to the United Nations to sanction air strikes by Western powers to get a stubborn Muammar Gaddafi regime to quit. ANI

US envoy to UN warns of 'humanitarian crisis' in Libya
United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has warned of a possible humanitarian crisis in Libya in the wake of refugees beginning to flee to neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt. ANI

Gordon Brown 'blocked knighthood' for Apple founder Steve Jobs
Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown apparently blocked an honorary knighthood for Apple founder Steve Jobs. ANI

Clinton urges US Congress not to cut 'important' Pakistan aid
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged Congress not to cut American aid to Pakistan even as lawmakers raised concerns about the continued incarceration of double murder-accused CIA contractor Raymond Davis in Lahore. ANI

Indo-Pak composite dialogue to resume from March 21 in New Delhi
Pakistan and India will resume the composite dialogue process from March 21 in New Delhi to normalise their bilateral relations. ANI

Gaddafi could use biological, chemical weapons on his own people: Western experts
A growing number of Western military and intelligence experts fear that Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi could use biological and chemical weapons on his own people to end the protests against his government. ANI

Cameron proposal to arm Libyan rebels shot down, UK armed forces in downsizing mode
British Prime Minister David Cameron's proposal to arm Libyan rebels has been shot down, even as his government has announced the biggest cull of armed forces in a generation. It has revealed plans to axe two Royal Air Force Tornado squadrons and fire 170 trainee fighter pilots. ANI

10,000 British troops in Afghanistan told they face the sack
Almost the entire contingent of Britain's 10,000 troops in Afghanistan has been told they could be sacked within months. ANI

UN suspends Libya from its Human Rights Council
The United Nations has suspended Libya from its Human Rights Council in the wake of the international community condemning the Muammar Gaddafi regime for its "gross and systematic violations" of the rights of its people. ANI

New "Harbor Shield" technology being developed to protect US ports from terror attacks
The United States is reportedly developing a new technology to safeguard its ports from being attacked by terrorists and smugglers. ANI

UNHRC poised to adopt report praising Libya's Human Rights records
Amid unrest in Libya, where on one side the United Nations has condemned the Muammar al-Qaddafi regime for its crackdown on pro-democracy protestors, the organisation's Human Rights Council is poised adopt a report praising the oil rich country for its human rights records. ANI

MQM calls on Pak Army to save country from clutches of 'feudal lords'
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder-leader Altaf Hussain has called upon the Pakistan Army to save the beleaguered country. ANI

IMF to start critical review of Pakistan economy to decide further action
Pakistan's financial managers and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission are set to start the much-awaited fifth review of the economy on Tuesday (today), upon whose successful completion Pakistan would receive 3.6 billion dollars- the remaining portion of the 11.3-billion-dollar Stand-By-Arrangement (SBA). ANI

Pak media accused of "churning out anti-American conspiracy theories"
Most participants of the US-Pakistan Leaders Forum, which was convened by the US-Muslim Engagement Initiative- a non-governmental, non-partisan collaboration of four US-based organizations, agreed that the Pakistani media was "guilty of churning out a steady diet of anti-American conspiracy theories and rhetoric," noted South Asian affairs analyst Lisa Curtis has said. ANI

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