February 2013
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/ Feb 25, 2013

President admits to economic woes

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a rare acknowledgment Saturday night of the economic challenges his country is facing.“This was a very difficult year for our economy,” Ahmadinejad said during a live television interview in which he outlined his government’s budget plan for the coming ...

Feb 25, 2013

Exporters dreaming of tariff abolition

After Friday’s bilateral summit in Washington paved the way for Japan to join negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade accord, many domestic companies expressed hope that the abolition of tariffs would help drive up Japanese exports.Major business industry groups also voiced a positive view ...

Feb 25, 2013

'Silver Linings' wins Spirit Award

“Silver Linings Playbook” won the prize for best film at the Spirit Awards honoring independent movies on Saturday, as well as best actress for Jennifer Lawrence and best director.On the eve of the Oscars, director David O. Russell received a publicity boost for his ...

Feb 25, 2013

Pakistan airport 'security' rapped

Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry reprimanded airport security agencies Friday after a wealthy murder suspect managed to flee abroad, warning that lax procedures could allow terrorists to escape.Chaudhry is investigating how Shahrukh Jatoi, 20, managed to fly to the United Arab Emirates from ...

Feb 25, 2013

Fighting rages in northern Mali

Tuareg militias battled Arab rebels in northern Mali on Saturday, while French jets, U.S. drones and Chad’s elite desert forces were also in action in a major push to stamp out resistance from pockets of Islamist fighters.After recapturing the north’s cities from the al-Qaida ...

Feb 25, 2013

Palestinian, 30, dies in Israeli detention

A Palestinian prisoner died in an Israeli jail on Saturday, sparking violence in the West Bank city of Hebron, his hometown, and a call from the Palestinian territories’ prime minister for a full inquiry.The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, meanwhile, said the number of inmates on ...

Feb 25, 2013

35% of tsunami debris disposed of

A total of 9.43 million tons of tsunami debris generated by the Great East Japan Earthquake had been disposed of in coastal areas of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures as of the end of January, the Environment Ministry reported.The figure represents 35 percent of ...

Feb 25, 2013

China to apply new rules to toilets

Authorities in China are looking to wipe out dingy public toilets with proposed rules to limit the number of flies and flush away bad smells, Beijing said.Public toilets in China are generally badly maintained, particularly at public transport locations. But draft regulations released by ...

Feb 25, 2013

Tycoon gives $2.3 billion to charity

Indian software tycoon Azim Premji said Saturday he has given $2.3 billion to an education charity he controls, reportedly the biggest charitable donation in the country’s recent history.It is his second recent big donation after giving almost $2 billion to the charity in 2010, ...

Feb 25, 2013

Germany halts neo-Nazi subsidies

Germany’s lower house of Parliament, the Bundestag, said Saturday it had halted public subsidies to the neo-Nazi party NPD over an unpaid fine.“The payments were stopped,” a parliamentary spokesman was quoted as saying by the online version of Der Spiegel newsmagazine, meaning the far-right ...

/ Feb 25, 2013

Japan leads Nordic combined event at worlds

Japan took the lead after the first half of the Nordic combined team event at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships on Sunday.The team of Akito and Yoshito Watabe, Yusuke Minato and Taihei Kato surged into the lead in the jumping portion on the ...

/ Feb 24, 2013

U.S. radar to counter North's missiles

Tokyo and Washington are mulling the installation of an X-band radar system at an Air Self-Defense Force base in Kyoto Prefecture to build up Japan’s missile defense system and counter the North Korean ballistic missile threat, sources close to bilateral ties revealed Saturday.The Kyogamisaki ...

Feb 24, 2013

Fukuoka's PM2.5 levels off chart as China's toxic smog smothers city

Toxic smog that is spreading to Japan from China almost certainly exceeded the central government’s maximum limit in Fukuoka on Saturday, local officials said.The Fukuoka Municipal Government reported Saturday morning that the average amount of PM2.5 particulates — an air pollutant found in the ...