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Three dead in Iraq attacks  BAGHDAD: Attacks on Iraqi officials and security forces killed three people and wounded four others on Wednesday, security and medical officials said. In the northern town of Tuz Khurmatu, 175 kilometres (110 miles) north of Baghdad, two people -- a female judicial investigator and a police sergeant -- were shot dead as they left the town's court, a local police lieutenant colonel and a doctor at the nearby hospital said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Also north of the capital, an anti-Qaeda militiaman was shot dead and another was wounded in a gun attack on a checkpoint in Samarra, according to a police officer and a doctor at the city's hospital. Three other militiamen were wounded by a bombing targeting their car in the town of Baladruz, 75 kilometres (45 miles) north of Baghdad, security and medical officials said. The fighters were all members of the Sahwa, or Awakening movement, a collection of Sunni ...

China says South China Sea freedom of navigation BEIJING: Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Wednesday that nations should enjoy freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and promised that there would "never be issues" in the tense waterway.   At a joint news conference with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Yang said China hoped to work with the United States and took note of calls by Southeast Asian nations to reach a code of conduct on the South China Sea.   "Freedom of navigation... in ...
South China Sea code BEIJING: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Beijing Wednesday that reaching a code of conduct over the South China Sea was in "everyone's interest", but denied seeking to contain the rising power.   "We do believe it's in everyone's interest that China and ASEAN engage in a diplomatic process toward the shared goal of a code of conduct," Clinton told a joint news conference in Beijing with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.   Clinton has voiced hope that China, ...
Clinton to press wary China in Beijing  BEIJING: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will look Wednesday to press China to make progress on bitter disputes across the region, while she will also try to tone down friction with the rising power. Clinton plans to meet the full Chinese leadership including President Hu Jintao and his expected successor Xi Jinping, at a time when tensions have been soaring over the South China Sea in particular. Clinton has voiced hope that China, which claims virtually ...
McDonald NEW DELHI: US fast food giant McDonald's, famed for its beef-based Big Mac burgers, on Tuesday said it will open its first ever vegetarian-only restaurant in the world in India next year. The world's second-biggest restaurant chain after Subway already tailors its menus to suit local tastes -- which in India means no beef to avoid offending Hindus and no pork to cater for Muslim requirements. It will open its first vegetarian outlet in the middle of ...
US to hand over Afghan jail next week: Kabul  KABUL: The Afghan government said Tuesday it expected to take full control next week from the United States of the controversial Bagram prison, which numbers Taliban fighters among its 3,000 inmates. President Hamid Karzai's office made the announcement following talks with some of Afghanistan's most senior justice, defence and intelligence officials. "The transition of Bagram prison to Afghan authority is a great success for Afghanistan therefore a splendid ceremony has to take place on September 10 for ...
India, China to resume joint military exercises  NEW DELHI: India and China announced Tuesday they would resume joint military exercises after a four-year gap, a move designed to build trust in the often prickly relationship between the world's two most populous nations. After Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony hosted talks with his Chinese counterpart Liang Guanglie, the pair told reporters they had debated some of the main sources of friction between the two sides and agreed a series of measures. "We have decided that ...

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