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German MPs unblock Greek aid in parliament vote

Berlin - German lawmakers approved Greece's hard-won bailout extension Friday in a move the finance minister called "not easy" but necessary, removing the last hurdle to keep crucial international aid flowing to Athens.

Argentina judge dismisses cover-up case against president

Buenos Aires - An Argentine judge dismissed the case against President Cristina Kirchner for allegedly shielding Iranian officials from prosecution over the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center.

Kyrgyzstan to vote on controversial anti-gay law

Bichkek - Kyrgyzstan is set to vote on a controversial bill that would make it a crime punishable by up to six months in jail to present gay relationships in a positive way in the ex-Soviet state.

Kindergarten kids with 'AK-47s' cause outrage in Russia

Moscow - Pictures of young Russian children posing with mock AK-47 rifles and other weapons at a kindergarten have provoked a storm of controversy, but some defended them as patriotic education.

Tensions with Germany over 'greedy' Greece's debt

Atenas - Renewed tensions emerged Thursday between Greece and Germany as attention turned to Athens's huge debt load two days after the stricken eurozone country secured an extension of its bailout.

Argentina creates new spy agency after prosecutor's death

Buenos Aires - Argentina's congress passed a law Thursday creating a new intelligence service after the mysterious death of a prosecutor who had accused the president of a cover-up in his probe of a 1994 bombing targeting Jews.

With 2016 on horizon, U.S. conservatives rally at CPAC

Washington - Thousands of American conservatives will gather just outside Washington beginning Thursday with a thinly-veiled mission: vet the Republican politicians who might soon announce bids for the White House.

U.S. Senate strikes deal to avert homeland security shutdown

Washington - U.S. Senate leaders struck a deal to avert an ugly shutdown and fund homeland security operations through September, but it remained unclear whether lawmakers will agree to the plan before Friday's deadline.

Guatemala's ex-president Portillo home from U.S. jail

Guatemala City - Guatemala's ex-president Alfonso Portillo returned home after serving time in a U.S. prison for money laundering in a graft scandal involving Taiwan.

Venezuelan students demand end to 'deadly force' order

Caracas - Angry Venezuelan students marched to the justice ministry Wednesday to demand it revoke a resolution allowing police to use deadly force at protests after an officer was charged with killing a 14-year-old boy.

Podemos leader challenges Spanish PM to TV debate

Madrid - The leader of new Spanish anti-establishment party Podemos, which is heading opinion polls, on Wednesday attacked conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's record in office and challenged him to a television debate.

Kazakhstan president calls early elections

Astana - Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Wednesday set early elections for April 26 in a move that will almost certainly see the septuagenarian leader re-elected for another term in the energy-rich state."In the interests of the people...

Austria passes law on Islam, banning foreign funding

Vienna - Austria's parliament on Wednesday passed a law banning foreign sources of financing to Muslim organisations and requiring imams to be able to speak German, in a move closely watched by other European nations facing growing problems with radical Islam.

Search widens for abducted French woman, Yemeni guide

Sanaa - Efforts intensified Wednesday to find a French woman and her Yemeni interpreter kidnapped in crisis-hit Yemen, with relatives reaching out to tribal chiefs and the Shiite militia in control of the capital.

France reforms seek to tackle Muslim radicalisation

Paris - France set out a package of reforms on Wednesday aimed at better integrating Muslims and preventing radicalisation in the wake of the recent jihadist attacks in Paris.

Egypt sets Morsi trial verdict for prison break May 16

Cairo - An Egyptian court set May 16 for a verdict in the prison break trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, who could be sentenced to death if convicted, an official said Wednesday.

Hungary PM needs style change after poll setback: analysts

Budapest - Hungary's strongman Prime Minister Viktor Orban needs to strike a less confrontational stance after his ruling party Fidesz lost its parliamentary super-majority in a key by-election, analysts said."There is a need for a correction.

Libya could be next Syria, foreign minister warns

Paris - Libya's Foreign Minister Mohamed Dayri has called for Western military support, saying the growing threat from jihadist groups threatened to turn his country into another Syria."Time is running out," Dayri told AFP in an interview on Tuesday.

Turkish model faces jail term for 'insulting Erdogan'

Ankara - A former Miss Turkey beauty queen faces up to 4.5 years in prison on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the latest in a growing number of such cases, reports said Wednesday.

Tough road for Greece as Merkel hails 'starting point'

Atenas - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble voiced doubts Wednesday on whether indebted Greece can live up to its fiscal promises, underlining the problems facing Athens on both the domestic and EU fronts.

Protests blamed as Hong Kong misses growth targets

Hong Kong - Hong Kong's leadership Wednesday blamed months of pro-democracy protests as the economy fell well short of predicted growth in 2014, and said "prolonged political bickering" could do more damage to investor confidence.The growth rate was just 2.

Bangladesh court orders opposition leader Zia arrest

Dhaka - A Bangladeshi court Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for opposition leader Khaleda Zia for failing to attend hearings on graft charges, amid fears the move will worsen weeks-long deadly political turmoil.

World will soon know if Iran serious on nuclear deal: U.S.

Washington - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday it would soon become clear if Iran is serious about ending suspicions over its nuclear ambitions, as world powers appeared to inch towards a historic deal with Tehran.

Venezuela's ruling party targets new opposition leader

Caracas - Lawmakers from Venezuela's ruling party said Tuesday they have asked prosecutors to investigate a leading opposition lawmaker for conspiring to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, the latest attack on his opponents.

Argentine government accuses ex-spy of smuggling

Buenos Aires - A powerful ex-spy linked to explosive allegations against Argentine President Cristina Kirchner was accused by the government Tuesday of running a smuggling ring and committing tax fraud.

French woman kidnapped in crisis-hit Yemen

Aden - A French woman working in Yemen was kidnapped Tuesday as President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi struggled to reassert his authority in the crisis-hit Arabian Peninsula nation.

Fists fly in rowdy 18-hour Turkey parliament session

Ankara - Ruling party and opposition lawmakers turned the Turkish parliament into a battlefield once again Tuesday during an 18-hour session debating a contentious bill to broaden police powers.

Cuba's revolution generation: Few regrets

Havana - Communist Cuba's revolution has held sway for so long -- 56 years -- that those who remember no other system are nearing retirement age with a mixture of fond memories, and just a few regrets.

Eurozone backs Greece bailout extension

Brussels - Eurozone finance ministers on Tuesday backed new reforms proposed by Greece in exchange for a four-month financial lifeline that will keep the country afloat and in the single currency for the time being.

Greek reforms list received 'on time' in Brussels: Commission

Brussels - The list of Greek reform measures demanded by the country's international creditors in return for extending its bailout programme has arrived "on time," the European Commission said Tuesday.
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