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International

Bush: US does not want to build new military bases in Africa

By SPA

Accra : U.S. President George W. Bush said Wednesday that the United States is not contemplating building new military bases in Africa, Ap reported Several African countries, including Libya, Nigeria and South Africa, have expressed deep reservations about the U.S.'s new Africa Command, claiming it could signal an unwanted expansion of American military influence or turn Africa into another battleground in the global war on terror groups. Bush called the rumors baloney.

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Ukraine PM Tymoshenko to meet Putin in Moscow

By SPA

Kiev : Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko heads for talks in Moscow on Wednesday, including a meeting with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin, Reuters quoted her office as saying, a week after
Ukraine clinched a deal to avoid a cut in Russian gas supplies.

Gas rows between Ukraine and Russia, which supplies a quarter of Europe's gas needs, have been a big issue since a dispute between the two states disrupted export in January 2006.

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N. Korea reassures U.S. of halt in uranium enrichment program

By RIA Novosti

Moscow : North Korea has reassured the U.S. that it will not develop its uranium enrichment program or cooperate with other countries in the nuclear sector, a high-ranking U.S. official said on Wednesday.

North Korea also assured the United States that it has no intentions of engaging in nuclear cooperation with other countries in the future, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said quoting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill

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Sarkisyan wins Armenian presidential polls

By RIA Novosti

Yerevan : Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisyan has won February 19 presidential elections, the country's central election commission announced on Wednesday.

With 100% of the vote counted, Sarkisyan was declared the winner with 52.86% (863,000 votes). His nearest rivals, Armenia's first president Levon-Ter-Petrosyan and ex-parliamentary speaker Artur Bagdasaryan received 21.5% (351,300 votes) and 11.6% (272,300 votes), respectively.

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Russia says its proposals on Kosovo status valid

By RIA Novosti

Moscow : Russian proposals on Kosovo's status, earlier submitted to the UN Security Council, remain in force, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

"Our initiative on the joint development of a 'road map', which would take into account the interests of both sides and priorities of key international mediators in the settlement of the Kosovo issue...remains in force," Mikhail Kamynin said in a statement posted on the ministry's website.

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Former Polish Communist head critically ill in hospital

By RIA Novosti

Warsaw : Former Polish leader, Wojciech Jaruzelski, has been admitted to a military hospital in a serious condition, his wife said on Wednesday.

Jaruzelski's health deteriorated after he was again accused by Polish historians of committing crimes against the Polish people.

"It seems to me that he is unwilling to live any longer," Barabara Jaruzelska said, adding that her 84-year-old husband has pneumonia and cardiac problems.

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Car crashes into pool in botched theft attempt

By RIA Novosti

Rio De Janeiro : Robbers drove a car into a swimming pool as they tried to make their getaway in Florianopolis, in the country's south, local police said on Wednesday.

Three armed and masked robbers broke into a house attacking and wounding the householders with a knife. After taking money and jewelry, the robbers decided to make their getaway in the owner's Peugeot car.

However, the driver confused the automatic transmission with a manual gearbox and the car reversed plunging into a swimming pool.

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Sarkisyan leads with 53% of vote in Armenian presidential polls

By RIA Novosti

Yerevan : Armenia's prime minister Serzh Sarkisyan, garnered 52.8% in Tuesday's presidential elections with 99% of votes counted, the central election commission said on Wednesday.

A total of 642,859 people voted for Sarkisyan, who is also the chairman of the ruling republican party.

He nearest rival, Armenia's first president Levon-Ter-Petrosyan, received 21.5% of the vote and ex-parliamentary speaker Artur Bagdasaryan 16.7%.

Vaan Ovannisyan, a deputy parliamentary speaker and a member of the Dashnaktsutyun party's bureau, garnered 6.2%.

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Dissidents hope Castro's retirement will spur change

By IANS

Havana : Cuban dissidents have hailed the retirement of Fidel Castro, who stepped down Tuesday as president after 50 years in power, expressing hope that the new leadership would usher in changes in the communist-ruled island nation, Spain's EFE news agency reported Wednesday.

They said the move would enable Raul Castro - acting president since his older brother fell ill in July 2006 - to carry out promised economic reforms.

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US imposes curfew on troops in southern Japan

By KUNA

Tokyo : The US military imposed a curfew Wednesday on its troops in Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa following a series of incidents involving US servicemen, including an alleged rape of a 14-year-old local girl on Febbruary 11 that sparked tension.

The curfew, which took effect at 7:30 a.m. (2230 GMT Tuesday) without specifying an end date, applies to all Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps personnel as well as their families and non-military staff, the US military said in a statement.

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