Yearender: Merkel's leadership going strong in Germany, Europe

December 22, 2012 9:50 am· Comments Off on Yearender: Merkel's leadership going strong in Germany, Europe 

BERLIN, Dec. 22 — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has burnished her credentials as the most influential leader in the European Union (EU) by striving to save the euro and championing further EU integration. In her home country, she is lauded for crisis-defying economic growth and cautiously guarding national interests when fighting the debt crisis.

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Peaceful, political solution vital in saving lives in Syria: UN official

December 22, 2012 9:50 am· Comments Off on Peaceful, political solution vital in saving lives in Syria: UN official 

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 22 — A senior UN official on Friday voiced his deep concerns at the great pains which the Syrian people are suffering in the long-standing violence in the Middle East country, saying that "a peaceful, political solution is vital in saving lives" in Syria and "that solution belongs to the Syrian people."

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S&P further downgrades Cyprus's long, short-term credit ratings

December 22, 2012 9:50 am· Comments Off on S&P further downgrades Cyprus's long, short-term credit ratings 

NICOSIA, Dec. 22 — Standard & Poor's rating agency has further downgraded long-term and short-term sovereign credit ratings on Cyprus, on account of uncertainty over a bailout agreement and increasingly financing vulnerability.

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Tax revenue helps shrink Canada's deficit

December 22, 2012 9:50 am· Comments Off on Tax revenue helps shrink Canada's deficit 

OTTAWA, Dec. 22 — Canada's budgetary deficit in October shrank from 2.1 billion Canadian dollars in October 2011 to 1.7 billion dollars, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said here Friday.

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Gunmen kidnap 3 foreigners in Yemen's capital

December 22, 2012 6:19 am· Comments Off on Gunmen kidnap 3 foreigners in Yemen's capital 

SANAA, Dec. 22 — Gunmen kidnapped three foreigners in the central area of Yemeni capital Sanaa on Friday, an interior ministry official told Xinhua.

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Hollande says France's combat mission in Afghanistan "completed"

December 22, 2012 6:19 am· Comments Off on Hollande says France's combat mission in Afghanistan "completed" 

PARIS, Dec. 22 — French President Francois Hollande announced on Friday that the mission of French fighting forces in Afghanistan was achieved, and only non-combat troops are to stay in the country by mid 2013.

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Over 1.6-trillion-euro aid to EU banks since financial crisis: European Commission

December 22, 2012 6:19 am· Comments Off on Over 1.6-trillion-euro aid to EU banks since financial crisis: European Commission 

BRUSSELS, Dec. 22 — Volume of national support to the financial sector actually taken by banks between October 2008 and December 2011 amounted to around 1.6 trillion euros (about 2.1 trillion U.S. dollars), said the European Commission Friday.

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U.S. House Speaker says needs to find a way to address fiscal issues

December 22, 2012 6:19 am· Comments Off on U.S. House Speaker says needs to find a way to address fiscal issues 

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 — U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said the withdrawn vote on "Plan B" was not the outcome he wanted and U.S. President Barack Obama must keep working with Congress on avoiding the "fiscal cliff."

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UN confirms four crew members in South Sudan peacekeeping mission killed

December 22, 2012 6:19 am· Comments Off on UN confirms four crew members in South Sudan peacekeeping mission killed 

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 22 — The United Nations on Friday confirmed that a UN peacekeeping mission helicopter was " shot down" in South Sudan, killing four crew members.

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Electricity outage blankets parts of Syrian capital due to " sabotage acts"

December 22, 2012 6:19 am· Comments Off on Electricity outage blankets parts of Syrian capital due to " sabotage acts" 

DAMASCUS, Dec. 22 — Electricity went out in several districts of the Syrian capital Damascus on Friday due to "sabotage acts" carried out by armed militias against power cables, the state media reported.

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