Category archives: Politics

Italy's Senate expels ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi

The Italian Senate has voted to expel ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from parliament with immediate effect over his conviction for tax fraud. Berlusconi, who has dominated politics for 20 years, could now face arrest over other criminal cases as he has lost his immunity from prosecution. He told supporters in Rome it was a “day of mourning” for democracy. Ahead of the vote, he vowed to remain in politics to […]

Afghanistan-US security deal at impasse ahead of jirga

  The Afghan government has rejected a key proposal of a security agreement with the US, putting the entire deal in doubt days before Afghan tribal leaders gather in Kabul to consider the matter. The government in Kabul is refusing to allow US forces to enter Afghan homes after combat operations end next year. Negotiations are going on to produce a document acceptable to both sides, to present to Afghan […]

Sri Lanka rejects Cameron call for human rights inquiry

Sri Lanka’s government has rejected UK PM David Cameron’s call for an international probe into alleged human rights abuses following the civil war. Mr Cameron urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to ensure an independent inquiry, or face a UN investigation. But senior minister Basil Rajapaksa said such a probe would “definitely” not be allowed to take place. The abuses are alleged to have been committed mainly against Tamils since the end […]

Hopes rise for Iran nuclear deal amid 'intense' talks, but Israel skeptical

STORY HIGHLIGHTS NEW: U.N. atomic energy chief will head to Tehran on Monday, agency announces “Intense” talks are under way, spokesman for EU foreign affairs chief says Top Western diplomats dash to Geneva amid rising hopes for deal “It is possible to reach an understanding” before Friday night, Iran’s Javad Zarif says Western diplomats and Iran appeared to be on the verge of a breakthrough agreement Friday that could slow […]

Obamacare: After Obama's apology, talk of solutions and -- still -- the website

STORY HIGHLIGHTS President Obama tells NBC: “I am sorry” about people who’ve received cancellation notices “Even though it’s a small percentage of folks,” Obama says he’s looking for solutions Speaker Boehner: House will vote to allow everyone to keep their current health insurance plan Other ideas: Ask insurers to delay cancellations; delay penalty for no insurance President Barack Obama’s apology to Americans whose health insurance plans are being canceled because […]

Saudi nuclear weapons 'on order' from Pakistan

Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will, a variety of sources have told BBC Newsnight. While the kingdom’s quest has often been set in the context of countering Iran’s atomic programme, it is now possible that the Saudis might be able to deploy such devices more quickly than the Islamic republic. Earlier this year, a senior Nato decision maker […]

John Kerry arrives in Saudi Arabia to smooth ties

US Secretary of State John Kerry has landed in Saudi Arabia, the second stop on his tour of the Middle East. America’s top diplomat is expected to try to repair ties with a long-standing ally that have been frayed by the conflict in Syria and the recent US outreach to Iran. He first made an unscheduled stop in Egypt, where he called for an end to violence and a move […]

Reports: Three former Murdoch tabloid journalists plead guilty to phone hacking

STORY HIGHLIGHTS Three News of the World journalists plead guilty to phone hacking in trial in London Neville Thurlbeck, James Weatherup and Greg Miskiw plead guilty, report British media Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are accused of conspiring to hack voice mails They both formerly edited the now-defunct News of the World newspaper Three former journalists at Rupert Murdoch’s defunct British tabloid News of the World have pleaded guilty to […]

Manmohan, Modi share dais, cross swords over Sardar Patel

AHMEDABAD: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday crossed swords over Sardar Patel as they shared dais here at an event on the first home minister. Modi made a veiled attack on Jawaharlal Nehru as he said the country’s “fate” and “face” would have been different if Patel had been the first Prime Minister. Singh immediately hit back by questioning Modi’s claim over Patel’s legacy, […]

Obama 'not told of Merkel phone bugging'

The chief of the US spy agency NSA has not discussed the alleged bugging of German chancellor’s phone with President Barack Obama, officials say. Gen Keith Alexander never discussed alleged operations involving Chancellor Angela Merkel, an NSA spokeswoman said. German media say the US has been tapping the chancellor’s phone since 2002, and Mr Obama was told in 2010. The row has led to the worst diplomatic crisis between the […]