• Frantic hunt as New Zealand earthquake leaves 400 dead, missing
    Murray and Kelly James look at their destroyed house in central Christchurch, New Zealand on Wednesday, February 23. (AP Photo) CHRISTCHURCH, February 23 (AFP): Hundreds of rescuers swarmed over twisted and smoking buildings Wednesday in a frantic search for survivors after New Zealand's catastrophic earthquake left nearly 400 dead or missing. Emergency services cordoned off central Christchurch, which was devastated by Tuesday's shallow, 6.3-magnitude tremor, to hunt for anyone s
  • Libyan diplomats turn against Gaddafi, seek foreign help
    A placard showing photos of some of those who have died is seen on top of a tank, in the early hours of Tuesday, February 22 in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo) UNITED NATIONS/KUALA LUMPUR, February 22 (Reuters): Libyan diplomats at the United Nations and several countries broke ranks with the country's leader Muammar Gaddafi, urging on Tuesday foreign nations to help stop what many called the slaughter of anti-government protesters.Gaddafi's forces have cracked down fiercely on demons
  • ASEAN to send monitors to Thai-Cambodia border
    In this February 8, 2011, photo, a Cambodian soldier, right, stands near Cambodia’s famed Preah Vihear temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodian. (AP Photo) JAKARTA, February 22 (AP): Military observers will be sent to the Thai-Cambodian border to enforce an unofficial cease-fire in place since deadly clashes erupted near a disputed 11th century temple, Southeast Asian foreign ministers sai
  • 36 killed in Mali stampede
    People look on as security guards clean up personal belongings and debris following a deadly stampede at Modibo Keita Stadium in Bamako, Mali on Monday, February 21. (AP Photo) BAMAKO, Mali, February 22 (AP): Anguished families wept at hospitals and morgues Tuesday after 36 people were crushed and at least 64 others were injured in a stampede as a crowd tried to leave a stadium following a religious ceremony. Tens of thousands had gathered to receive blessings from one of Mali's b
  • Married man ordained as Catholic priest
    BERLIN, February 22 (AP): In a rare move that needed the pope’s approval, a Lutheran convert was ordained Tuesday as a Catholic priest in Germany and is being allowed to remain married to his wife - who has already become a nun. Harm Klueting, 61, was ordained by Archbishop Joachim Cardinal Meisner in a private ceremony at the city’s seminary, the Cologne archdiocese said. Pope Benedict XVI gave Klueting a special permission to remain married to his wife Edeltraut Klu
  • Quake in New Zealand kills at least 65, traps more
    Rescue workers climb onto the collapsed Pyne Gould Guinness Building in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Tuesday, Feb. 22 2011. A powerful earthquake collapsed buildings at the height of a busy workday killing at least 65 people and trapping dozens in one of the country's worst natural disasters. (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Mark Mitchell) NEW ZEALAND OUT, AUSTRALIA OUT CHRISTCHURCH, February 22 (AP): A powerful earthquake struck one of New Zealand's biggest cities Tuesday at t
  • China’s state news agency launches search engine
    BEIJING, February 22 (AP): China's main government news agency launched an Internet search site Tuesday, giving its own sanitized view of the Web following Google's closure of its China-based search engine last year over censorship. The Xinhua News Agency is operating in partnership with state-owned China Mobile Ltd., the world's biggest phone carrier by subscribers. The venture gives the ruling Communist Party a new tool to try to control what China's public sees onli
  • Talks reach ‘decisive’, 12 Maoists gets bail
    Bhubaneswar, February 22 (PTI): 12 Maoists including hardcore rebel leader Sriramalu Srinivasalu were on Tuesday released on bail as talks for safe return of abducted Malkangiri district collector and an engineer appeared to reach a decisive stage after another top Naxal Ganti Prasadam joined the negotiation process.Srinivasalu got bail along with 11 others from a fast track court in Malkangiri. The Maoists had demanded release of Sriramlu, Ganti Prasadam, Padma and several others for
  • Mukesh Ambani’s RIL signs $9 b deal with BP
    London, February 21 (Agencies): Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has signed an agreement with oil major British Petroleum (BP) for 30 per cent stake in Reliance Industries’ 23 oil and gas blocks including the KG-D6 gas fields . The deal, valued at $9 billion, is one of the biggest foreign direct investments in the country.  According to the agreement, BP will get 30 per cent of RIL’s upstream assets in 23 oil and gas blocks (including the producing K
  • Bahrain protesters seek to overthrow royal family
    MANAMA, February 21 (AP): A group of protesters Monday called for the ouster of Bahrain's entire ruling monarchy as part of sweeping demands to call off a weeklong uprising in the tiny, but strategically important Gulf nation.Tensions are still high in Bahrain after seesaw battles that saw riot police open fire on protesters trying to reclaim landmark Pearl Square last week. At least eight people have been killed and hundreds injured in the clashes since the unrest spilling across the
  • Over 100 whales die in New Zealand
    Wellington, February 21 (AFP): More than 100 pilot whales died in a mass stranding at a remote New Zealand beach, conservation officials said today. Hikers yesterday reported finding 107 whales beached on Stewart Island, off the South Island’s southwest coast, a Department of Conservation (DoC) spokesman said.He said some of the whales were already dead and DOC rangers had to euthanise the 48 remaining survivors as there was no prospect of refloating them. “We were quickly
  • Mukesh Ambani’s SEZ project scrapped
    MUMBAI, February 20 (Agencies): Maharashtra government has ordered that no more land would be acquired for the proposed  Mukesh Ambani-promoted MahaMumbai Special Economic Zone (SEZ), virtually hammering the last nail in the coffin of one of the country’s biggest SEZ plans. The SEZ was planned across 10,000 hectares and land in 83 villages of the Pen, Panvel and Uran talukas in Raigad district were to be acquired. On hearing news of the government’s Friday resolution,
  • Libya forces shoot dead dozens, talks begin in Bahrain
    TRIPOLI/MANAMA, February 20 (Reuters): Libyan security forces shot dead dozens of protesters to try to crush a revolt in the second city Benghazi, and the wave of unrest sweeping the Middle East also pushed Bahrain's rulers into talks with the opposition.Anti-government demonstrators in Bahrain camped out overnight in Pearl Square in Manama after putting riot police to flight in a striking victory, confidently setting up camp for a protracted stay. In Libya's eastern city of Benghazi,
  • Death toll in Afghan bank raid rises
    KABUL, February 20 (AP): A brazen attack in which five suicide bombers dressed in security force uniforms stormed a bank in the eastern Afghanistan and killed 38 people is a sign that insurgents are increasingly going after "soft targets," the government said Sunday. Saturday's bombing - just as many members of the Afghan security forces were collecting their pay - was evidence that militants are seeking to attack places that are not heavily barricaded and fortified governmen
  • Japan to dig site linked to WWII human experiments
    TOKYO, February 20 (AP): Japan is starting to excavate the site of a former medical school that may reveal grisly secrets from World War II. Digging begins Monday at the former school linked to Unit 731, a germ and biological warfare outfit during the war. Shadowy experiments conducted by the unit have never been officially acknowledged by the government but have been documented by historians and participants. It is the first government probe of the Tokyo site, following a former nurse
  • China tries to stamp out ‘Jasmine Revolution’
    BEIJING, February 20 (AP): Jittery Chinese authorities wary of any domestic dissent staged a concerted show of force Sunday to squelch a mysterious online call for a "Jasmine Revolution" apparently modeled after pro-democracy demonstrations sweeping the Middle East. Authorities detained activists, increased the number of police on the streets, disconnected some mobile phone text messaging services and censored Internet postings about the call to stage protests at 2 p.m. in Be
  • Libya’s Gaddafi faces fight of life, Bahrain offer snubbed
    MANAMA, February 19 (Reuters): Two of the Middle East's most entrenched rulers were battling to stay in power on Saturday amid reports of dozens of protesters killed in Libya and an offer of talks by Bahrain's king being rebuffed. Unrest has spread from Tunisia and Egypt to Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Djibouti, presenting the United States with the dilemma of maintaining stability in the oil-rich region while upholding the right to demonstrate for democratic change.Libyan security forces
  • Pirates grab four sailors
    MOGADISHU, February 19 (Reuters): A yacht with four Americans on board is believed to have been hijacked in the Arabian Sea, the U.S. embassy in Nairobi said on Saturday. Pirate gangs plaguing the shipping lanes through the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean typically target large merchant ships, with oil tankers the prize catch, but the snatching of foreigners can also yield high ransoms."Preliminary reports indicate that a U.S.-flagged vessel tentatively named as the Quest has been h
  • US opens direct secret talks with Taliban: Report
    New York, February 19 (PTI): US has opened direct secret talks with senior Taliban leaders, a media report said here, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that only a political solution could end the crisis in Afghanistan. "The administration of President Barack Obama has entered into direct secret talks with Taliban officials," New Yorker magazine reported.In a column, Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Steve Coll said the talks were an attempt by the Obama adminis
  • China resisting G20 countries’ deal on indicators
    PARIS, February 19 (Reuters): China was holding out on Saturday against an agreement among the world's major economies on ways to measure and correct global economic imbalances, refusing to have its massive currency reserves used as an indicator. Finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of 20 countries were struggling to agree on a set of yardsticks to identify problems that could cause another global financial crisis after senior officials failed to achieve a breakthrough in