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Police injured in Northern Ireland clashes BELFAST: Northern Irish demonstrators loyal to Britain clashed with nationalists and police on Saturday in fresh protests against curbs on flying the British flag, leaving four officers injured, police said.   Police used water cannon and fired a plastic bullet during the clashes in Belfast, the latest to blight the British province after more than five weeks of violent disorder over the flag issue.   "Four officers have now been injured during disorder in the Castlereagh Street of east Belfast this afternoon," a police spokesman said.   "Water cannon has now been deployed. Police have fired one AEP round", the spokesman added, referring to so-called baton rounds, or rubber bullets.   Witnesses said rocks and fireworks were thrown as lines of police tried to keep loyalists the Protestant community's working-class hardcore apart from Catholic nationalists in the Short Strand area of Belfast.   Nearly 1,000 people earlier gathered outside Belfast City Hall to protest.   Northern Ireland has been swept with a ...

Pope congratulates Monaco princess on sports prowess VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday congratulated Princess Charlene of Monaco on her sporting prowess as the former South African Olympic swimmer and her husband Prince Albert II visited the Vatican.   The glamour couple handed the pope a book and a painting linked to a Monaco ancestor, Cardinal Jerome Grimaldi (1595-1685), while the pope handed the prince a drawing of St Peter's basilica.   "Beautiful," the prince said, thanking the pope.   The Vatican said the 15-minute meeting included ...
Italian island readies for cruise disaster anniversary GIGLIO ISLAND: An Italian island on Saturday prepared to mark the first anniversary of the Costa Concordia cruise disaster, as officials promised the 290-metre (951-foot) wreck will be removed by September.   Survivors and victims' relatives began to arrive on Giglio for a commemoration on Sunday for the 32 passengers and crew who perished that night on a ship twice the size of the Titanic.   "It's not easy to return," said Kevin Rebello, whose brother was a waiter ...
Two killed in Russia MOSCOW: Russian security forces killed a suspected militant while storming a house in Dagestan, Russian news agencies reported on Saturday.   The raid, in which a member of the security forces was also killed, took place in Novy Khushet, a village near Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan in the volatile North Caucausus region.   News agencies earlier reported that security forces had surrounded a house in the village where two suspected militants were holed up.   "In the course of a ...
Erdogan demands Hollande explain meeting with militants ISTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has called on French President Francois Hollande to explain why he had met Kurdish militants with links to the PKK viewed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the EU and the United States who were shot dead this week in Paris.   Hollande has said that one of the victims, three women with links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), was known to him.   The execution-style killings in central Paris on Thursday ...
Berlusconi sex trial set to testify on Monday MILAN: The nightclub dancer who is the main witness in the sex trial of Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi will testify at a hearing in Milan on Monday, her lawyer said on Saturday.   Karima El Mahroug, better known by her stage name "Ruby the Heartstealer", was due to give evidence in the case last December but failed to show up, telling her lawyer she was on holiday in Mexico.   "Karima will be present in the courtroom on Monday," El Mahroug's ...
French unions, employers agree changes to labour laws PARIS: French President Francois Hollande led a chorus of approval after unions and employers reached a deal on reforms to the country's complex labour laws after more than three months of talks.   The measures are designed to give more flexibility to employers who have long complained of the red tape strangling the French economy.   But it will also offer more protection to employees, a key concern of France's unions.   The national agreement requires the support of at least ...

 



 
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