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International News on February 16, 2012

Star formation in 'dark markings of the sky' captured
APEX (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) telescope in Chile has captured a sinuous filament of cosmic dust more than ten light-years long. ANI

Michele Bachmann turns down 'Dancing with the Stars' offer
New York, Feb 16 ): Former Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has denied rumours that she'll compete on the upcoming season of ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars.' ANI

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion named world's hottest pepper
Chilean experts have identified Trinidad Moruga Scorpion as the new hottest pepper on the planet. ANI

Michelle Obama steps out in $39.99 Jason Wu dress
Michelle Obama was spotted wearing a 39.99-dollar Jason Wu for Target dress while doing a press event in Florida. ANI

Afghanistan expects Pak to deliver on 'facilitating peace process' promise: Envoy
Afghanistan's Ambassador to Pakistan Mohammad Omar Daudzai has said his country expects Pakistan to deliver on its promise to facilitate Afghan reconciliation process. ANI

Gilani says stable Afghanistan is in Pak's interest
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that stable Afghanistan is in his country's interest. ANI

Abbottabad Commission report to be delayed further over struggle to fix blame for raid
The Abbottabad Commission report will be delayed as the body continues to struggle to determine how and with whose help al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden had been living in the town for years. ANI

Cindy Crawford halts 'too young' daughter's modeling career
Cindy Crawford has put her daughter's budding fashion career on hold despite the 10-year-old girl's recent success in modeling. ANI

Brit man who has every hit single since 1952 decides to auction them off
A man from UK, who has collected every number one single since charts started in 1952, is now putting them up for auction. ANI

Israel 'ramping up security at diplomatic missions in US'
Security has been ramped up at Israeli diplomatic missions in the US in the wake of recent attacks on Israeli officials in New Delhi and Georgia, a former senior counterterrorism official has said. ANI

UK police focusing on 'suspected criminality over sustained period' at Sun
The ongoing probe into payments made by British tabloid The Sun's journalists to police and other officials is now focused on 'suspected criminality over a sustained period of time' involving tens of thousands of pounds, it has been disclosed. ANI

One in three Libyans now prefer return to authoritarian rule than democracy: Study
Over a third of Libyan citizens now prefer a return to authoritarian rule than embracing democracy, a new study has found. ANI

Lankan Army agrees to probe 'civilian war causalities' allegation
The Sri Lankan Army has agreed to launch an investigation into claims that its troops may have caused civilian casualties in the final stages of their bloody civil war against Tamil rebels in 2009. ANI

Kate sent 'undies' to Prince William for Valentine's Day
London, Feb 16 ): The Duchess of Cambridge reportedly sent a pair of boxer shorts to her husband Prince William, who is in the Falkland Islands serving as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, as Valentine's Day gift. ANI

Brigadier facing court martial was brainwashing Pak army officers to mutiny: Report
A London-based news agency has claimed that a Pakistan army official, brigadier Ali Khan, who will face a court martial for his ties with a banned extremist group, was brainwashing his counterparts to incite mutiny. ANI

Shah to sue ex ISI chief Ziauddin Butt for 'providing bungalow to Bin Laden' claim
Former Pakistan's Intelligence Bureau chief Ijaz Shah has sued former Inter Services Intelligence chief Ziauddin Butt, who had alleged that the former had provided a bungalow to former Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. ANI

'Deep Throat' exposed Watergate due to anger over missing out top FBI job
"Deep Throat", the FBI source who exposed the Watergate scandal and was thought to be acting out of a concern for justice and the public good, was actually motivated by anger for missing out on a top job in the agency, a new book has claimed. ANI

Malaysia's top Islamic body bans forex trading for Muslims
Malaysia's top Islamic body, National Fatwa Council has banned foreign exchange trading (forex trading) for Muslims. ANI

Vladimir Putin's trial 'spoof video' goes viral on internet
London, Feb 16 ): A spoof video that appears to show Vladimir Putin going on trial on charges of theft and terrorism became an internet hit in Russia on Wednesday, with two million views ahead of presidential polls. ANI

Obama stays at same hotel where Whitney Houston died
President Obama spent Wednesday night at the same hotel where singer Whitney Houston died over the weekend. ANI

Envoy says 'democratic' Pak cannot take strategic decisions through one phone call
Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman has said Pakistan was functioning as a democracy and could no longer make strategic decisions based on one phone call. ANI

Now, 'coward' Costa Concordia captain's uniform on sale in Italy
The uniform of the shamed captain of luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, which ran aground off the island of Giglio last month, is now on sale in Italy. ANI

Musharraf 'knew Bin Laden was living in Abbottabad', claims ex- ISI chief
Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf was aware of former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad, which was built by Pakistani intelligence agencies, a former Inter-Services Intelligence chief has claimed. ANI

China appoints career law official to head Tibetan area
China has appointed a career legal official to run the ethnically Tibetan area in the country's southwest region, where many monks and nuns have set themselves on fire recently in protest against Beijing's rule. ANI

Obama leading in America's swing states
U.S. President Barack Obama leads each Republican contender in the swing states. ANI

Homeland Security monitoring potential Iran threat to US
United States, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has told a House panel that her department is monitoring with concern the potential threats to the U.S. from Iran or its surrogates. ANI

World crime chiefs meet in Bangkok, agree to get tough on illegal tiger trade
Crime chiefs from countries that have wild tigers have agreed to work together to combat the illegal trade in the big cats. ANI

Syria hastens referendum on establishing multi-party system of governance
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has decided to hasten the holding of a referendum on a new constitution that seeks to establish a multi-party system. ANI

NATO resumes transfer of Taliban detainees to Afghan govt.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has resumed handing over Taliban detainees to the Afghanistan's government, after a gap of nearly four months. ANI

Karzai to approach Pak for peace outreach in Taliban talks
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that he will seek Islamabad's help in the Taliban-related peace outreach at a summit in Qatar on Thursday. ANI

Islamist presidential hopeful wants to end U.S. aid to Egypt
Ultra-conservative Islamist presidential candidate Hazem Salah abu Ismail has called on Egyptians to raise money on their own so their country will not be dependent on the 1.3 billion dollars in annual U.S. military aid. ANI

Iran may help Al Qaeda plot spectacular attack on West
There are growing fears that the core leadership in Iran and in the terror network al Qaeda is planning a spectacular attack against the West. ANI

Amnesty report says Libyan militias are out of control
A new Amnesty International report reveals that hundreds of Libyan militias have run out of control and are extorting money and killing their enemies in a rampant manner. ANI

Five killed, 7 injured in U.S. drone strike in Pak's North Waziristan province
At least five people were reportedly killed and seven others injured today in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan's North Waziristan province. ANI

Green spaces cuts stress levels in unemployed people
Stress levels of jobless people are related more to their surroundings than their age, gender, disposable income, and degree of deprivation, a new study has revealed. ANI

Pak Govt mulling over next ISI chief as Pasha's tenure ends on March 18
The Pakistan government is mulling over the appointment of new Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, as its current Director General Lieutenant General Shuja Pasha's tenure ends on March 18. ANI

US rules out 'divorce' option in troubled marriage with Pak
The United States has said that it shares common strategic interests with Pakistan and ruled out the option of a 'divorce' in their troubled marriage. ANI

Gilani claims Pakistan People's Party stopping him from stepping down
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) is stopping him from stepping down as premier. ANI

Musharraf terms next polls in Pak as 'mother of all elections'
Former Pakistan president General (r) Pervez Musharraf has said the next polls in Pakistan will be the "mother of all elections". ANI

Pak senate committee wants fetters on ISI to curb gross HR violations in Balochistan
Pakistan's Senate committee on Human Rights has conveyed its serious concerns over violation of human rights in Balochistan and suggested laws to curb powers of intelligence agencies. ANI

China calls for 'deeper strategic trust' with US
China's Vice-President Xi Jinping has called for deeper 'strategic trust' in its relationship with the United States, adding that both countries should act to 'reduce misunderstandings and suspicions' though closer communication. ANI

World Bank President Robert Zoellick to step down on June 30
Robert Zoellick will step down as President of the World Bank when his five-year term expires on June 30 this year. ANI

Sarkozy launches re-election bid promising to be like 'captain at heart of storm' to keep France 'strong'
Nicolas Sarkozy has formally launched his battle for re-election, promising to be like a "captain at the heart of a storm" to keep France "strong" if he gets re-elected as President. ANI

WNS Launches Xponential ─ The ERP-Card SolutionTM
WNS (Holdings) Limited (WNS) (NYSE: WNS), a leading provider of global Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services, launched ‘Xponential ─ The ERP-Card SolutionTM‘, as part of its BizAps Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Solutions brand umbrella. Xponential is a fully-integrated SAP Purchasing Card (P-Card) program management solution Business Wire India

Regus Signs up Millionth Customer
Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces, announced that it has signed-up its one millionth customer. This significant industry milestone highlights how flexible work is fast becoming the norm as more and more companies look to it to meet their business needs. Business Wire India

World Smart Energy Week 2012Just Two Weeks to Go...
In just under 2 weeks, Reed Exhibitions Japan will be opening 'World Smart Energy Week 2012', one of the largest renewable energy event in the world with 1,950* exhibitors (2011: 1,562 exhibitors) and 120,000* visitors Business Wire India

NDS Surgical Imaging Appoints New Chief Technology Officer, and Announces New VP & GM, Radiology Business Unit
With the retirement of NDS Surgical Imaging’s veteran CTO, Ron Hansen, the Company has appointed Dr. Peter M. Steven to the role of Chief Technology Officer. Dr. Steven was instrumental in the design and development of the first diagnostic LCD displays for radiology Business Wire India

St. Jude Medical Initiates a Study to Evaluate the Economic Impact of FFR in Asia and Australia
St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ), a global medical device company, announced today it will evaluate the incremental cost-effectiveness of Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR)-guided treatment for patients with multivessel coronary artery disease in Japan, China, India, Korea, and Australia Business Wire India

Businesses Look to Digital River for Self-Managed Enterprise Commerce Solution
Digital River, Inc. (NASDAQ: DRIV), the revenue growth experts in global cloud commerce, announced it has signed agreements with four companies to power their global online stores through its Digital River® Commerce Express™ solution Business Wire India

Coca-Cola Launches Global Ads for London 2012 Olympic Games Starring Mark Ronson
In the summer of 2011, Coca-Cola lifted the lid on the creative process for the first time ever, inviting teens to attend a free festival-style gig featuring GRAMMY award-winning producer Mark Ronson and Mercury Music Prize Nominee Katy B Business Wire India

CareZone Provides a Safe Place for Families to Care for Children, Parents, and Loved Ones
CareZone ( debuted today to simplify the lives of those caring for children, partners and aging parents. CareZone offers a private environment, free from advertising and privacy threats, featuring a series of productivity tools to help those charged with caring for family or loved ones Business Wire India

Ooyala Video Index Highlights Strong Growth Trends in Smartphone, Tablet and Smart TV Viewing
Ooyala, a leading provider of digital video technology, analytics and services today published its Q4 2011 Video Index report revealing insights into video viewing behavior and engagement across the web, smartphones, tablets, social networks and connected TVs Business Wire India

Merck Establishes Joint Venture with Supera Farma to Commercialize Innovative Pharmaceutical Products and Branded Generics in Brazil
Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced the formation of a new joint venture (JV) with Supera Farma Laboratorios S.A., a Brazilian pharmaceutical company co-owned by Cristália and Eurofarma Business Wire India

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