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WASHINGTON, D.C.: The US Treasury on Thursday added 20 companies and individuals to its Iran sanctions blacklist, accusing them of supporting Tehran’s nuclear efforts and helping the country avoid international sanctions. The 20 include Iran-based transport and freight companies Aban Air, DFS Worldwide and Everex, as well as officials of…

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: WikiLeaks has released an annotated version of what it says is a leaked transcript of a documentary that takes a critical look at the antisecrecy group ahead of the film’s US premiere on Friday. WikiLeaks said it had not participated in the making of We Steal Secrets: The…

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HELSINKI: Finnish researchers unveiled new data on Thursday to link the Pandemrix flu vaccine to a higher risk of the sleeping disorder narcolepsy in adults. The new research, conducted by Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare, found that Pandemrix-vaccinated adults between the ages of 20 and 64 had a…

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LONDON: Both runways were closed at London’s Heathrow airport on Friday, a spokeswoman said, after a British Airways plane reportedly had to make an emergency landing. Smoke was seen emerging from the plane as it tried to take off, according to reports.

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UNITED NATIONS: Kenya made a new plea to the UN Security Council on Thursday to “terminate” International Criminal Court charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta and other leaders over political unrest in 2008. But western nations on the 15-member council told Kenyan diplomats at a private meeting that Kenyatta, Deputy President…

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SYDNEY: A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck 255 kilometers southwest of Tonga early on Friday, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake, at a depth of 171 kilometers, sparked a tsunami alert although no damage is expected, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. AFP

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BY AFP AMMAN: World powers urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to commit to peace, but warned on Thursday that if he fails to negotiate a political transition they would boost their backing of the opposition. The stark warning came from a meeting of the Friends of Syria group, which held…

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BY AFP ISTANBUL: Syria’s main opposition National Coalition opened a fresh round of talks in Istanbul on Thursday, where dissidents will discuss a US-Russian proposal to bring rebels and regime officials to the negotiating table. During their three-day meeting, the coalition is also expected to choose a new president, discuss…

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BY AFP TEHRAN: A new report by the United Nation’s atomic watchdog validates Iran’s progress in its “peaceful” nuclear activities despite international sanctions, the country’s envoy to the agency said on Thursday. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report said Iran had accelerated the installation of advanced uranium enrichment equipment…

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BY AFP JERUSALEM: Israel’s government is divided on the issue of peace with the Palestinians, its top negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said on Thursday ahead of a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry. “There are ideological differences at the heart of the government,” Livni told public…