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International News on May 5, 2012

9/11 'mastermind' to mount defence against charges
Terror suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has boasted of masterminding the 9/11 attacks, may try to defend himself against charges that he orchestrated the worst terror attack in US history. ANI

Secret 'backroom talks' fails to break Pak-U.S. impasse on NATO routes, drone strikes
In a bid to break the lingering impasse on the resumption of vital land supply routes for NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan as well as drone strikes inside the tribal belt, Pakistan and the U.S. are working overtime, away from the media glare, sources said. ANI

Ex-UK commander denounces Taliban poetry book as 'enemy propaganda'
A former commander of British forces in Afghanistan has denounced the UK publication of a collection of translated poems by members of the Afghan Taliban as 'enemy propaganda'. ANI

Saudi King calls for reopening of embassy in Egypt following tense standoff
The King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, has ordered the reopening of the country's embassy at Cairo. ANI

Naked body scanners set for installation at UK airports following green signal from EU
'Naked' body scanners could soon be installed at UK airports after the European Commission (EU) declared them safe. ANI

Now, accused in Pak Minorities minister Bhatti's murder case freed for lack of evidence
As in most cases bordering to the sensitive issue of blasphemy in Pakistan, an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi has released an accused in the high profile Shahbaz Bhatti blasphemy murder case, due to lack of evidence. ANI

Syria foils infiltration attempt from Turkey
Syrian border guards blocked an infiltration attempt by "terrorists" who tried to sneak into the country from Turkey on Saturday, killing and injuring unspecified number of them, state-run SANA news agency reported. ANI

Republicans have higher levels of well-being than Democrats, finds poll
Republicans in the U.S. have higher levels of well-being than Democrats, according to a latest poll. ANI

University of Western Australia rocked by sex assault claims
One of Australia's top universities has been embroiled in a scandal - involving claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour, alcohol abuse and bullying - at an orientation camp run by a student association. ANI

Eight mountain climbers confirmed dead in bad weather in central Japan
Stormy weather has led to the deaths of eight mountaineers belonging to different groups in the Northern Alps in central Japan, local media reported Saturday. ANI

Israel's responses to on-strike prisoners vague: Palestinian minister
Israel's responses to the demands of the Palestinian hunger strikers were vague and likely to be rejected, Palestinian minister of prisoners' affairs Eassa Qaraqea said Saturday. ANI

Nepal holds water festival for sustainable use of water
A three- day Water Festival is under way in Nepali capital Kathmandu from Friday with the objective of spreading knowledge and awareness among the public for sustainable use of water. ANI

Iran to build 220-km natural gas pipeline to Iraq
Director of Iran Gas Engineering and Development Company said that Iranian local contractors will build a 220-km natural gas pipeline to Iraq, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported Saturday. ANI

Brazil sees record high tourist arrivals in 2011
Brazil received more than 5.4 million international visitors in 2011, up 5.3 percent from 2010, the Tourism Ministry announced Friday. ANI

Hunger, poverty remain to be great challenge in Asia- Pacific for years
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) predicted at its 45th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors that the problems of hunger and poverty would intensify in the Asia and Pacific region in years up to 2050. ANI

Duchess of York on trial for filming orphanages in Turkey
The Duchess of York is being tried in Turkey for allegedly taking part in the secret filming of orphanages in the country. ANI

Indonesia challenges U.S. palm-oil policy
Indonesia has formally challenged the recent greenhouse gas analysis of palm oil issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saying that palm oil-based biofuel is qualified to join the renewable fuel program in the world's energy market, local media reported on Saturday. ANI

Bangladesh looks to resolve pending issues with "close friend" India
Bangladesh has expressed happiness over the recent "extraordinary close friendship" with India and raised hopes that long-standing contentious issues between the two neighbours would be resolved soon. ANI

20 arrested for making gutter oil widely sold in China
A 20-member criminal gang that turned a profit by manufacturing and selling "gutter oil" has been busted in east China's Zhejiang province, a local procuratorate said. ANI

Pranab accepts S and P downgrade, cites coalition politics for policy paralysis
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday acknowledged the downgrading of country's outlook from stable to negative by international rating agency, Standard and Poor (S and P) and blamed the concerns of the coalition politics for delay in the implementation of policy measures. ANI

Marine authority issues red tide alert for north China seas
A red tide measuring 780 square km in size has been detected in waters near east China's city of Rizhao, according to a notice issued Saturday by the State Oceanic Administration (SOA). ANI

17 Taliban commanders killed in Afghan southern province
Security forces have killed 17 Taliban commanders in Helmand province 555 km south of capital Kabul over the past two days, officials said Saturday. ANI

Booby-trapped military vehicle goes off in Syria's capital, no casualties
Two explosive devices planted under a military pickup truck went off in swift succession in the heart of Syria's capital of Damascus Saturday, leaving property damage but no casualties, reports and witnesses said. ANI

China to train 8,000 diabetes doctors in rural areas
China will train 8,000 doctors in rural areas to prevent and treat diabetes, covering 279 counties in nine provinces, the Chinese Diabetes Society (CDS) under the Chinese Medical Association said Friday. ANI

4 policemen injured in home-made bomb blast in Bahrain
At least four policemen were injured on Saturday in a bomb attack in a Bahraini Shiite neighborhood, the country's Interior Ministry said. ANI

Blast in Syria' Aleppo kills 5 people
A pro-government news website said that an explosion occurred in Syria's northern Aleppo province on Saturday, leaving five people killed. ANI

Eight killed in avalanche triggered flood in Nepal
As many as 8 bodies have been recovered so far as a major avalanche in Annapurna range triggered a massive flood in Seti River in Kaski district of western Nepal Saturday. ANI

Local elections rout adds pressure on British PM Cameron's coalition
British Prime Minister David Cameron has come under pressure following his party's heavy defeat in the UK Local Elections 2012. ANI

Pak Parliament passes landmark bill making Army, ISI answerable for HR abuses
The National Assembly in Pakistan has passed a landmark bill for the formation of a National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), empowered to investigate cases of human rights infringement, create awareness, and make agencies and the army answerable to the body in the context of alleged human rights violations. ANI

Pak Human Rights Commission concerned over 'torture of political activists'
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed concern over reports of alleged torture of at least five political activists in Gilgit Jail, saying the reports were exceedingly worrying and that those accused of torturing them must be suspended. ANI

Saudi Arabian girls' school defies religious ban on female sports with basketball hoops
A girls' school in Saudi Arabia has set up basketball hoops and let girls play during break time, an act in defiance of a religious ban that forbids females from playing sports. ANI

FBI asks Internet companies help its proposed wiretapping of social networking sites
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has asked Internet companies, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, to not oppose its proposal requiring them to build backdoors for government surveillance. ANI

Syrian forces 'executing, burning' opposition sympathizers in Idlib city: Amnesty
Syrian forces are executing scores of suspected opposition sympathizers, often burning their bodies in piles or torching them in their homes in the northern city of Idlib, a report by a human rights organisation has claimed. ANI

De Niro thinks Obama has done a 'good job', slams recent 'shenanigans for their silliness'
Hollywood actor Robert De Niro believes that Barack Obama has done a good job as a president of United States, but he slammed the "shenanigans", "divisiveness" and "silliness" that have surrounded politics in America recently. ANI

Dalai Lama leads tribute to 'Beastie Boys' rapper Adam Yauch
Dalai Lama, along with several members of the entertainment industry reacted with sadness and came forward to express their condolences following the death of 'Beastie Boys' rapper Adam Yauch on Friday. He was 47. ANI

Global Heritage Fund lists Gandharan city of Taxila in Pak as endangered historical site
The historic archeological site of Taxila in Pakistan has been declared as one of the most endangered ones in Asia by the Global Heritage Fund, which promotes the preservation of historic architectural sites around the world. ANI

AP apologises for firing reporter who announced end of WW II
The reported who had been sacked for defying the censors to break news of German World War II surrender has finally received an apology from the Associated Press. ANI

UK Muslim woman facing jail over thrashing 10-yr-old girl for 'not reading enough Quran'
A Muslim woman in London is facing jail on charges of beating a 10-yr-old girl because she did not read enough verses of the Quran. ANI

Last survivor of The Great Escape concentration camp dies at 92
A man believed to be the last survivor of The Great Escape concentration camp has died after suffering a massive heart attack in the UK. He was 92. ANI

Blind dissident Chen tells Chinese authorities about abuses under house arrest
Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has given an account about abuses he had faced during house arrest to Chinese authorities, a US official has said. ANI

Sri Lankan opposition politician raises fears over safety of Tamil detainees
A key Tamil opposition politician in Sri Lanka has said he fears for the safety of dozens of people detained by the government because of their past links to the Tamil Tigers. ANI

Neil Armstrong's 1967 Chevrolet Corvette up for grabs
A 1967 Chevrolet Corvette, which was once owned by legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong, has been up for auction on eBay with the bidding already topping 250,000 dollars. ANI

Lenin could have been poisoned by Stalin, new theory claims
Popular theory maintains that Vladamir Lenin, the founder of Russian communism, died from the sexually-transmitted disease syphilis. ANI

Ex-Indian-origin Rutgers student seeks probation over prison in webcam spying case
Friends of Dharun Ravi, the former Indian-origin Rutgers University student accused of bullying his gay roommate into a suicidal bridge jump, have requested a judge to sentence him to probation rather than prison. ANI

Pak opposition leader vows not to allow Gilani to remain PM
Pakistan opposition leader in the National Assembly (NA) Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has reiterated that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani would not be allowed to remain in office any more. ANI

Hitler farted everywhere, used cocaine and had bull semen injections
Adolf Hitler's medical records have disclosed that he farted uncontrollably, used cocaine to clear his sinuses, ingested some 28 drugs at a time, and received injections of bull testicle extracts to bolster his libido. ANI

Alleged prostitute involved in Colombian scandal calls US Secret Service Agents 'fools'
A woman claiming to be the prostitute who triggered the Colombian sex scandal has called the US Secret Service agents involved 'fools,' adding that she could have easily obtained sensitive information if she was a spy. ANI

Blind activist Chen set to go to America following deal between US, China
Following a deal between China and America, blind dissident Chen Guangcheng will be allowed to leave the country with his family to study at a US university.hen Guangcheng had recently taken refuge in the US Embassy in Beijing after his escape from house arrest, The Telegraph reports. ANI

Panetta warns US troops in Afghanistan to 'watch behaviour' to ward off scandals
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned American soldiers to watch their behaviour following the spate of high-profile episodes of misconduct by some troops in Afghanistan which have discredited the entire armed forces. ANI

Strauss-Kahn dismisses prostitute's gang rape claims as 'public lynching campaign'.
Shamed former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has denied a prostitute's allegations that he along with three other men held her down and forced her to have sex. ANI

Women more jealous of attractive work rivals who work well with men
Women in the workplace are plagued by jealousy and envy when it comes to their more attractive colleagues, while men remain unfazed by such same-sex rivalry, a new study has revealed. ANI

Nepal Govt. working on unity government in efforts to frame new constitution
Nepal's Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai is working to form a unity government in attempts to agree to a new constitution by the end of May. ANI

U.S. to continue drone strikes in Pakistan, says Panetta
U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said the U.S. will continue to launch drone strikes against militant sanctuaries in Pakistan even if the country's government keeps opposing them. ANI

10 suspected militants killed in fresh U.S. drone strike in N Waziristan
A fresh drone attack on a house in Darr-e-Nishtar, North Waziristan, on Saturday morning has reportedly killed at least 10 suspected militants and injured one, according to reports. ANI

France jails CERN nuke scientist for role in Al-Qaeda terrorist plot
A French court has sentenced an Algerian-born nuclear scientist to five years in jail for plotting terrorist attacks with Al-Qaeda's north African affiliate. ANI

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