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Germany's von Weizsaecker, president at unification, dies at 94

Yahoo - DRC - 1 hour 55 min ago

By Sabine Siebold BERLIN (Reuters) - Former president Richard von Weizsaecker, who challenged German attitudes about the Holocaust by arguing that the country had been liberated by the Nazi defeat in 1945, died on Saturday at the age of 94, the current president's office said. A member of one of Germany's most distinguished aristocratic families, von Weizsaecker also presided over the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990, 11 months after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He stirred some controversy at home by saying Germany had been liberated by the Third Reich's downfall. It freed us all from the system of National Socialist tyranny." Von Weizsaecker, a conservative Christian Democrat (CDU) who had served as a Wehrmacht officer during World War Two, became West Germany's president in 1984 and left office a decade later.

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Sturridge scores on comeback as Liverpool beat West Ham

Yahoo - DRC - 1 hour 58 min ago

By Mike Collett LONDON (Reuters) - England striker Daniel Sturridge celebrated his return after a five-month injury layoff when he came off the bench to score as Liverpool beat West Ham United 2-0 in the Premier League on Saturday. Sturridge, who last played on Aug.31, came on in the 68th minute and found the net 12 minutes later to seal the points for Liverpool who climbed above West Ham into seventh spot in the table. Raheem Sterling had given them the lead six minutes into the second half at Anfield. Manchester United avenged their shock 5-3 defeat at Leicester City in September when they crushed Nigel Pearson's bottom-of-the-table side 3-1 at Old Trafford to maintain their challenge for a top-four finish.

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Kremlin says Putin, Merkel, Hollande discussed Ukraine by phone

Yahoo - DRC - 2 hours 13 min ago
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande discussed increased violence in southeastern Ukraine in a phone call on Saturday, the Kremlin said in a statement. During the conversation a hope was expressed that the ceasefire would be the central issue in ongoing peace talks in Minsk, the Kremlin said. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Maria Kiselyova)
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Sisi says Egypt faces long, tough battle against militants

Yahoo - DRC - 2 hours 26 min ago
By Michael Georgy CAIRO (Reuters) - President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Saturday that Egypt faces a long, hard battle against militancy, days after one of the bloodiest attacks on security forces in years. "This battle will be difficult, strong, evil and will take a long time," he said in comments broadcast on state television after meeting Egypt's top military officers. On Thursday night, four separate attacks on security forces in North Sinai were among the worst in the country in years. Islamic State's Egyptian wing, Sinai Province, claimed the killing of at least 30 soldiers and police officers.
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JPMorgan to pay $99.5 million to resolve currency rigging lawsuit

Yahoo - DRC - 2 hours 29 min ago

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co , the largest U.S. bank, agreed to pay $99.5 million (66 million pounds) to settle its portion of an antitrust lawsuit in which investors accuse 12 major banks of rigging prices in the $5.3 trillion (4 trillion pounds)-a-day foreign exchange market. Made public on Friday night, the settlement is the first in the nationwide litigation and resolved claims over JPMorgan's role in alleged collusion among banks since January 2003 to manipulate the WM/Reuters Closing Spot Rates, known as the Fix. ...

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Egyptian court bans Hamas' armed wing, lists as terrorist organisation

Yahoo - DRC - 2 hours 32 min ago

By Michael Georgy CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court on Saturday banned the armed wing of Palestinian group Hamas and listed it as a terrorist organisation, a ruling in keeping with a systematic crackdown on Islamists by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Sisi said on Saturday Egypt faces a tough, prolonged campaign against militancy. Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which the authorities have also declared a terrorist group and repressed thoroughly since the army ousted one of its leaders, Mohamed Mursi, from the presidency in 2013. "We reject the Egyptian court's decision against Qassam Brigades.

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Chicago mayor wages lively campaign with no big challengers

Yahoo - DRC - 2 hours 39 min ago
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel doesn't face any big-name challengers in his push for a second term, but the former White House chief of staff isn't taking any chances.
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Panama kicks out ex-Colombian spy chief to face charges at home

Yahoo - DRC - 2 hours 44 min ago

Panama on Saturday expelled a former Colombian intelligence chief, Maria del Pilar Hurtado, to face charges at home of illegally intercepting phone calls from opposition Colombian lawmakers. The Ministry of Public Security said in a statement that Hurtado had been handed over to Colombian authorities at Panama City airport and flown to Colombia in custody. Hurtado is accused of illegal violation of communications and abuse of public function between 2007 and 2009 while she was the head of the now-extinct Department of Administration and Security (DAS). She had received political asylum in Panama in 2010, but the Panamanian government revoked it last year, although she was not immediately detained.

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Rouhani accuses Iranian hardliners of 'cheering on' other side in atom talks

Yahoo - DRC - 2 hours 55 min ago

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, growing frustrated with hardline resistance to a nuclear deal with the West, accused opponents on Saturday of effectively "cheering on" the other side in Tehran's gruelling negotiations with world powers. Soon after his 2013 election victory over conservative hardliners, the pragmatist Rouhani set out to end a 12-year nuclear stand-off with the West and thereby secure the lifting of tough sanctions that have crippled Iran's oil-based economy. Iran's ongoing talks with the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain have gone on for about 14 months and missed a self-imposed November 2014 deadline for a final comprehensive agreement that would limit Iran's nuclear energy capacity in exchange for a phased lifting of sanctions. Western powers suspect Iran is enriching uranium to develop a nuclear weapons capability and want strict curbs and intrusive U.N. inspections to prevent any such outcome.

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Source close to Hamas says no longer accepts Egypt as Israel mediator

Yahoo - DRC - 3 hours 22 min ago
A source close to Hamas' armed wing signalled on Saturday the group would no longer accept Cairo as a broker between it and Israel, after an Egyptian court banned the Islamist group's armed wing and listed it as a terrorist organisation. "After the court's decision Egypt is no longer a mediator in Palestinian-Israeli matters," the source told Reuters. Cairo has played a key role in brokering ceasefires between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip numerous times.
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Anti-euro German AfD party aims to end leadership dispute

Yahoo - DRC - 3 hours 28 min ago

By Erik Kirschbaum and Michelle Martin BREMEN, Germany (Reuters) - The founder of the eurosceptic Alternative for Germany party that has been siphoning votes from Angela Merkel's conservatives urged an AfD congress on Saturday to stop making itself look foolish and choose a single leader. Bernd Lucke told 1,700 delegates in the northern port city of Bremen that the two-year-old AfD, Germany's fastest growing party that has soared to 7 percent in national polls, needs to dispense with its tripartite leadership in order to succeed. We can't continue like this." The other two leaders, Frauke Petry and Konrad Adam, voiced reservations about what they saw as Lucke's grab for control after the AfD scored stunning wins with an anti-foreigner tack in three east German regional elections in late 2014. Scores of AfD supporters confronted protesters by singing the German national anthem from a balcony but a proposal for all to go out and sing the anthem, or Deutschlandlied, was not approved.

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Australia state election bodes ill for Abbott government

Yahoo - DRC - 3 hours 31 min ago

By Morag MacKinnon PERTH (Reuters) - Australia’s opposition Labor party pulled off a huge electoral turnaround in a key state on Saturday, positioning it to oust the ruling Liberal-National party in a voter backlash that threatens the future of Prime Minister Tony Abbott. With 70 percent of the vote in, the conservative government that has ruled Queensland state with a massive majority was one seat away from losing office after one term. The voters' swing towards Labor was credited to the unpopularity of the ruling party's plan to sell off public assets and cut government services, as well as the rising unpopularity of Abbott, the national conservative leader. The Liberal-National party (LNP) looked set to hold on to 33 seats, with three seats won by minor and independent parties and nine still undetermined.

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Greek finance minister seeks support as EU tensions rise

Yahoo - DRC - 3 hours 32 min ago
By James Mackenzie and Renee Maltezou ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis brought forward a planned meeting with his French counterpart to Sunday, amid signs of widening differences between the new leftwing government in Athens and its international creditors. A week after Alexis Tsipras swept into office as Greece's youngest prime minister, his government faces growing resistance to its demands to renegotiate bailout arrangements with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
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A Possible Treatment for Peanut Allergies

Yahoo - DRC - 3 hours 38 min ago

More than 15 million people in the United States live with food allergies that impact every meal they eat. Every three minutes someone is rushed to the emergency room due to a food allergy reaction, and among children, peanut intolerance is the leading cause of throat-swelling, life-threatening anaphylaxis. Using a mix of peanut protein and bacteria found in yogurt, pediatric immunologists from Murdoch Childrens Research Institute temporarily treated 80 percent of their allergy-stricken patients, they reported this month in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. “These findings provide the first vital step towards developing a cure for peanut allergy and possibly other food allergies,” lead author Mimi Tang said to The Guardian.

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Germany, ECB play hard ball with Greece

Yahoo - DRC - 4 hours 4 min ago

By Paul Carrel and Jussi Rosendahl BERLIN/HELSINKI (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out a debt writedown for Greece on Saturday, and a European Central Bank policymaker threatened to cut off funding to Greek banks if Athens does not agree to renew its bailout package. The euro zone's paymaster and the ECB are both taking a tough line with Greece's new leftist government, whose leader swept to victory last Sunday promising that five years of austerity, "humiliation and suffering" were over. Alexis Tsipras has also promised to renegotiate agreements with the European Commission, ECB and International Monetary Fund "troika" and write off much of Greece's 320 billion euro (239 billion pounds) debt, which at more than 175 percent of gross domestic product is the world's second-highest after Japan.

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McIlroy in a class of his own in the desert

Yahoo - DRC - 4 hours 31 min ago

By Bernie McGuire DUBAI (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy was in a class of his own on Saturday, seizing a four-shot lead with a six-under-par 66 after the third round of the Dubai Desert Classic. Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen (66), chasing his second European Tour win, was in second place on 200, two ahead of Britain's Lee Westwood (69). "I felt like today, for the first time this week, I struggled a little bit but felt like I kept it together nicely and didn't drop any shots on the way in," said the 2009 Dubai Desert Classic winner.

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Returning Clarke denies Australia rifts

Yahoo - DRC - 4 hours 35 min ago

Australia captain Michael Clarke shrugged off speculation of rifts with Cricket Australia and his international team mates after making a successful comeback from injury in a club game on Saturday. The 33-year-old batsman, who underwent surgery on a troublesome hamstring in December, made 51 on his return for side Western Suburbs against Gordon. Reports in the Sydney Morning Herald said Clarke had clashed with his country's selectors over the deadline they had given him to prove his fitness for the World Cup, which Australia are co-hosting with New Zealand from Feb. 14.

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Macedonian opposition leader charged with plot to seize power

Yahoo - DRC - 4 hours 39 min ago
By Kole Casule SKOPJE (Reuters) - Macedonia's chief opposition leader was charged by police on Saturday with conspiring with a foreign intelligence service to topple the government. Zoran Zaev, leader of the Social Democrats, denied the charges, saying authorities were trying in vain to prevent the publication of what he says is incendiary evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the conservative government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. Gruevski, in power since mid-2006, accused Zaev of trying to blackmail him to call a snap election during face-to-face talks in September and November, saying Zaev claimed he had gathered intelligence against the government with the help of a foreign spy service. "I watched and listened to the head of the opposition ... informing me that he is collaborating with a foreign intelligence service," Gruevski said.
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Bahrain revokes nationality of 72 on security grounds

Yahoo - DRC - 4 hours 53 min ago
The Bahraini government has revoked the nationality of 72 citizens for damaging national security, the state news agency BNA reported on Saturday. A list published on the agency's website included names of well-known Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim families, suggesting the move did not focus solely on the protracted unrest by Bahrain's Shi'ite Muslim majority. Bahrain's Sunni monarchy has repeatedly revoked the nationality of citizens deemed a security threat -- a policy condemned by rights groups -- but the decision announced on Saturday was the largest of its kind. A few dozen citizenship revocations in recent years have targeted both activists abroad and in Bahrain, who were subsequently permitted to leave.
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Just whose Internet is it? New federal rules may answer that

Yahoo - DRC - 4 hours 57 min ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Whose Internet is it anyway?

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by Dr. Radut