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Russia holds snap military drills in Caspian Sea - report

Yahoo - DRC - 23 April, 2014 - 00:37
Russia's navy launched snap military exercises involving its fleet in the Caspian Sea, Interfax reported the Defence Ministry as saying on Wednesday. The Caspian Sea is bordered by Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, and the region is crisscrossed by oil and natural gas pipelines. Russia has boosted the number of snap military drills since tensions have risen with neighbour Ukraine. NATO has said Russia's military exercises in its western military district have boosted its troop presence to around 40,000 near the border with Ukraine, where Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovich fled from power in February.
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China factory activity shrinks for fourth month, but pace of decline slows

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 23:41

By Kevin Yao BEIJING (Reuters) - China's factory activity shrank for the fourth straight month in April, signalling economic weakness into the second quarter, a preliminary survey showed on Wednesday, although the pace of decline eased helped by policy steps to arrest the slowdown. "It's generally in line (with expectations), reflecting that growth momentum is stabilising," said Zhou Hao, China economist at ANZ in Shanghai. Hao expected economic growth to pick up slightly to 7.5 percent in the second quarter. MODEST STIMULUS MEASURES China's central bank will cut the amount of deposits rural banks must hold as reserves by between 0.5 and 2 percentage points, it said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of measures to help combat the slowing economy.


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Rwanda in Talks With DRC Over New Visa Fees

All Africa - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 23:11
[New Times]The Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration is engaged in talks with Democratic Republic of Congo migration officials on the possibility of reverting a new directive requiring Rwandans travelling to Congo through Bukavu border point to pay visa fees.
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Iran asks U.N. to act on U.S. ban on new ambassador

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 22:58
By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iran asked the United Nations on Tuesday to demand that the United States grant a visa to Tehran's proposed new U.N. envoy, while Washington stood firm on its decision to deny entry to Hamid Abutalebi over his suspected links to hostage-takers. The United States has said it would not grant a visa to Abutalebi because of his connection to the 1979-1981 Tehran hostage crisis when Iranian students seized the U.S. Embassy and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. Abutalebi has said he acted only as a translator. The U.N. Committee on Relations with the Host Country, which deals with the issues of states operating in the United States such as immigration, security, banking and parking violations, met on Tuesday at Iran's request to discuss the matter.
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Vietnam sentences American to death over heroin - newspapers

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 22:54
An American man of Vietnamese origin was found guilty and sentenced to death for an attempt to smuggle more than 1 kg (2.2 lb) of heroin from Vietnam to Australia, state-run newspapers reported on Wednesday. Dinh Jason, born in 1973, was detained before boarding a flight to Australia at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport on June 12, 2013, with the drugs found hidden in his underwear, the Hanoi police-run Capital Security newspaper said. He was convicted and sentenced at a one-day hearing on Tuesday by the People's Court in Ho Chi Minh City. Trafficking as much as 100 grams of heroin can be punished by life in prison or death in Vietnam.
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Japan inflation may have beat BOJ forecast - Kuroda

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 22:20

By Leika Kihara TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said consumer inflation may exceed the central bank's projection in the fiscal year that ended in March, voicing confidence the world's third-largest economy continues to make headway in meeting its price target. Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso added to the optimism, stressing that Japan can withstand the pain from a sales tax hike that kicked off this month as companies are increasing hiring and wages due to brighter prospects for the economy. "I think consumer inflation was actually slightly higher in fiscal 2013 than our current projection of 0.7 percent," Kuroda told a parliamentary session on Wednesday. "For now, we can say Japan is making steady progress toward achieving 2 percent inflation." His remarks suggest the BOJ will revise up the previous fiscal year's price forecast and maintain its bullish projections for subsequent years in its twice-yearly outlook report due out next week.


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Republicans in NC's Senate race trade few hits

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 21:54

DAVIDSON, N.C. (AP) — The candidate in North Carolina's Republican Senate primary with backing from the party's Washington establishment came under little direct criticism Tuesday night as his top rivals had their first real chance to challenge him face to face.


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Satellites show North Korea nuclear test unlikely - think tank

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 21:48

North Korea is unlikely to be ready to stage a nuclear test timed to coincide with U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Asia, a respected think tank said on Wednesday based on its assessment of satellite imagery. Comments by South Korea's foreign ministry that the North could be moving towards what would be its fourth nuclear test prompted the U.S. State Department to urge Pyongyang to "refrain from actions that threaten regional peace". North Korea continually works on improving testing at its Punggye-ri site. Satellite imagery analysed by 38North, which is part of Johns Hopkins University, said that while there had been a pickup in activity, there were few signs of an imminent test.


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State Dept. says Egypt cleared for US military aid

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 21:44
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration said Tuesday it has certified that Egypt is upholding its 35-year-old peace treaty with Israel and therefore qualifies for some military and counterterrorism assistance.
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GM seeks U.S. court protection against ignition lawsuits

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 21:42

Plaintiffs suing the company also filed a proposed class action lawsuit in Manhattan bankruptcy court on Monday, seeking an order declaring that GM cannot use the bankruptcy protection to absolve itself from liabilities. The faulty ignition switch has been linked to at least 13 deaths and the recall of 2.6 million GM vehicles. GM emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2009 as a different legal entity from the so-called old GM. Under those terms, the "new GM" shed liability for incidents predating its exit from bankruptcy, and any lawsuit involving pre-bankruptcy issues must be brought against what remains of old GM.


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US clears Egypt for some military assistance

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 21:33
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration said Tuesday it has certified that Egypt is upholding its 35-year-old peace treaty with Israel and therefore qualifies for some military and counterterrorism assistance.
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Pirates raid Japanese oil tanker off Malaysia, kidnap 3 crew

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 21:32
Armed pirates raided a Japanese oil tanker off the coast of Malaysia and abducted three crew members, Malaysian maritime police said on Wednesday, underscoring increasing threats to shipping in one of the world's busiest waterways. The incident in the Malacca Strait, a route for about a quarter of the world's seaborne oil trade, has fuelled fears piracy could be on the rise in the area and drive up ship insurance premiums. Six pirates in a speedboat boarded the Naninwa Maru 1 at 1.00 a.m. local time on Wednesday off the coast of west Malaysia, Maritime Police Commander Abdul Aziz Yusof told Reuters. The Japanese tanker, headed for Myanmar from Singapore, had Indonesian, Thai, Myanmar and Indian crew members.
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The Chelsea Clinton Birthers

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 20:45

She’s not really pregnant. No, she’s having a baby but only to help her mother win the White House in 2016! For crackpots, the Clinton baby news is just the latest Clinton conspiracy.


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Deutsche Bank to cut Latin America equities headcount - Bloomberg

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 20:08

(Reuters) - Germany's largest lender Deutsche Bank is trimming its equities team in Latin America and is considering shutting its equities business in Chile, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday citing two people familiar with the matter. The bank is trimming headcount in locations that serve Latin America such as Sao Paulo and Santiago as well as New York, Bloomberg reported citing sources. However the bank does not plan to cut jobs in Mexico, a location it considers a priority along with Brazil, Bloomberg said citing one of the sources. The company will continue to invest in more profitable businesses in Latin America, Bloomberg said.


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Brazilian Congress passes Internet bill of rights

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 19:50

By Anthony Boadle BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's Senate unanimously approved groundbreaking legislation on Tuesday that guarantees equal access to the Internet and protects the privacy of Brazilian users in the wake of U.S. spying revelations. President Dilma Rousseff, who was the target of U.S. espionage according to documents leaked by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden, plans to sign the bill into law. The legislation, dubbed Brazil's "Internet Constitution," has been hailed by experts, such as the British physicist and World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, for balancing the rights and duties of users, governments and corporations while ensuring the Internet continues to be an open and decentralized network. To guarantee passage of the bill, Rousseff´s government had to drop a contentious provision that would have forced global Internet companies to store data on their Brazilian users on data centre servers inside the country.


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U.S. vows more sanctions on Russia unless tensions ease in Ukraine

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 19:11
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a telephone call on Tuesday that Washington would impose more sanctions on Russia if tensions did not de-escalate in eastern Ukraine, a senior U.S. official said. The official said Kerry talked to both Lavrov and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk. "With Foreign Minister Lavrov, the secretary expressed deep concern over the lack of positive Russian steps to de-escalate, cited mounting evidence that separatists continue to increase the number of buildings under occupation and take journalists and other civilians captive," he said. "He urged Russia to tone down escalatory rhetoric, engage diplomatically in the east with the OSCE and Ukrainian government, and issue public statements calling for those occupying buildings to disarm and stand down in exchange for amnesty," he added.
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State Department clears Egypt for US military aid

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 19:04
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration said Tuesday it has certified that Egypt is upholding its 35-year-old peace treaty with Israel and therefore qualifies for some military and counterterrorism assistance.
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At mudslide scene, Obama mourns with survivors

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 19:02

OSO, Wash. (AP) — Swooping over a landscape of unspeakable sadness and death, President Barack Obama took an aerial tour Tuesday of the place where more than three dozen people perished in a mudslide last month. He pledged a nation's solidarity with those who are enduring "unimaginable pain and difficulty" in the aftermath of the destruction.


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Rwandan president says he is not ready to rule out third term

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 18:54

By Richard Valdmanis BOSTON (Reuters) - Rwandan President Paul Kagame said on Tuesday it was too early to say whether he will seek a third term as head of the east African state, adding "whatever will happen, we'll have an explanation." Articles in pro-government newspapers in recent years have raised the prospect of him staying on after his mandate expires in 2017, a move that would anger his critics and require a change to the constitution. Whatever will happen, we'll have an explanation." He was responding to a student's question about how he imagined his political role in Rwanda after his term ends. He accused the "international community" of destabilizing neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo by allowing people who committed the Rwandan genocide to later escape into Congo's eastern hills and giving them guns. Millions have died in eastern Congo, home to myriad rebel groups, since the end of Rwanda's genocide.


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NC House speaker tested in first Senate debate

Yahoo - DRC - 22 April, 2014 - 18:53

DAVIDSON, N.C. (AP) — A rival to North Carolina's Republican Senate primary front runner is picking at Thom Tillis' legislative record in the primary's first head-to-head encounter on live TV.


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