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Putin says Russia ‘pushed’ by NATO

MOSCOW, Feb. 22 (UPI) — The $77.2 billion set aside to modernize the Russian defense industry doesn’t mean a militarization of the budget, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

Putin writes in U.S. foreign affairs magazine Foreign Policy that …

Probe ordered for Koran burning at Bagram

KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 22 (UPI) — A probe into the alleged mishandling of the Koran at a military base in Afghanistan has been launched by international authorities, a U.N .official said.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Kabul to prot…

U.K. reviews Somali threat before meeting

LONDON, Feb. 22 (UPI) — Though al-Shabaab is losing ground in Somalia, the al-Qaida affiliate remains a serious national security threat to Somalia, the British prime minister said.

London is the site of an international meeting Thursday for Somalia…

Taiwan invests in Australian coal

TAIPEI, Taiwan, Feb. 22 (UPI) — China Steel Corp., Taiwan’s biggest steel producer, plans to invest in a coal mine in Australia.

Under the terms of the deal, China Steel will pay Australian miner MCG Group $108 million for a 10 percent stake in the …

Abkhazia leader survives attempt on life

SUKHUMI, Georgia, Feb. 22 (UPI) — The president of Georgia’s breakaway republic of Abkhazia survived an assassination attempt though two bodyguards were killed, an official said Wednesday.

President Aleksandr Ankvab survived when his motorcade struc…

Syria challenges ICRC claims

DAMASCUS, Syria, Feb. 22 (UPI) — The Syrian government provides free healthcare services to all residents, the government said in response to concerns expressed by the ICRC.

The Syrian government, through its official Syrian Arab News Agency, blamed…

Misurata militias trouble HRW

TRIPOLI, Libya, Feb. 22 (UPI) — Authorities in Misurata, the former Libyan rebel capital, aren’t doing enough to stop local militias from harassing displaced people, Human Rights Watch said.

The rights organization called on authorities in Misurata …

Baghdad welcomes Saudi outreach

BAGHDAD, Feb. 22 (UPI) — A decision by the government in Saudi Arabia to appoint a non-resident envoy to Baghdad is testament to developing bilateral relations, an Iraqi lawmaker said.

Riyadh this week said it appointed Fahd Bin Abdul Mohsen al-Zaid…

Iran defiant after inspectors leave

TEHRAN, Feb. 22 (UPI) — The Islamic Republic of Iran has never, nor will it ever, seek to develop a nuclear weapon, the country’s ruling ayatollah proclaimed Wednesday.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said if Iran were allowed to make independen…

U.S. issues travel warning for Colombia

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (UPI) — U.S. citizens are reminded of the dangers of traveling to Colombia despite improvements in security measures there, the U.S. State Department said.

The State Department, in a travel advisory, said narco-terrorist groups c…


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