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Olympics: Russia plans glitzy ceremony to sway sceptical world
Olympics: Russia plans glitzy ceremony to sway sceptical world

Russia on Friday officially opens in Sochi its first ever Winter Olympics with a lavish ceremony attended by dozens of heads of state and aimed at impressing a sceptical world with an unforgettable spectacle.

Olympics: Russia plans glitzy ceremony to sway sceptical world
Syria, UN in Homs aid deal as Aleppo fighting hots up
Syria, UN in Homs aid deal as Aleppo fighting hots up

Aid operations were due to start in besieged areas of Homs Friday, a US official said, as Syria and the UN agreed to hold a "humanitarian pause" on fighting in the devastated city.

Syria, UN in Homs aid deal as Aleppo fighting hots up
US diplomat sorry for cursing EU in bugged Ukraine call
US diplomat sorry for cursing EU in bugged Ukraine call

The United States tried Thursday to defuse a potential row with its European allies after the leak of an embarrassing phone call in which a top US diplomat cursed the EU response to the Ukraine crisis.

US diplomat sorry for cursing EU in bugged Ukraine call
Top US diplomat for Europe caught swearing about EU
Top US diplomat for Europe caught swearing about EU

Washington's new top diplomat for Europe, Victoria Nuland, has been apparently caught being decidedly undiplomatic about her EU allies in a phone call about Ukraine posted Thursday on YouTube.

Top US diplomat for Europe caught swearing about EU
Photo courtesy of  sports.yahoo.com
Google Doodle flies gay flag for Sochi Olympics

Google marked the Winter Games in Sochi by flying the gay flag in a search page Doodle that linked to a call for equality in the Olympic Charter.

Google Doodle flies gay flag for Sochi Olympics
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the 47th International Conference on Security Policy in Munich, February 5, 2011. ©Reuters/Bundesregierung/Guido Bergmann/Pool
Syria, spying, Iran in focus at global security meet

Global leaders from politics, defence and diplomacy meet in Germany from Friday to discuss conflict hotspots and looming threats, from Syria and Afghanistan to East Asia and Africa.

Syria, spying, Iran in focus at global security meet
UN's Ban hails 'historic milestone' in Tunisia
UN's Ban hails 'historic milestone' in Tunisia

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed Tunisia's adoption of a new constitution on Sunday, declaring it a "historic milestone" and a model for other countries seeking reform.

UN's Ban hails 'historic milestone' in Tunisia
No hint of compromise as Syria peace talks enter day two
No hint of compromise as Syria peace talks enter day two

Syria's peace conference moved into a second day Thursday with the warring sides showing no willingness to compromise as global powers seek to engineer head-to-head talks on ending the bloodshed.

No hint of compromise as Syria peace talks enter day two
Photo courtesy of donors1.org
Donors in major fundraising push for Syria

Donors gathered in Kuwait Wednesday in a major fundraising drive for 13 million Syrians affected by war following a record UN appeal for $6.5 billion.

Donors in major fundraising push for Syria
Iran's Zarif to visit Syria ahead of peace talks
Iran's Zarif to visit Syria ahead of peace talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is due to travel to Tehran ally Damascus in the next few days, media reported Sunday, amid preparations for a Syria peace conference.

Iran's Zarif to visit Syria ahead of peace talks
Israel unveils 1,800 settler homes after Kerry visit
Israel unveils 1,800 settler homes after Kerry visit

Israel unveiled plans Friday for more than 1,800 new settler homes in a move the Palestinians said was aimed at forcing Washington to abandon its Middle East peace drive.

Israel unveils 1,800 settler homes after Kerry visit
Deadlocked Bangladesh swears in contested parliament
Deadlocked Bangladesh swears in contested parliament

Bangladesh's newly elected lawmakers took the parliamentary oath on Thursday after an election condemned as a farce by critics, with the country's battling political leaders still locked in a deadly confrontation

Deadlocked Bangladesh swears in contested parliament
Russia buries dead as bombings toll hits 33
Russia buries dead as bombings toll hits 33

Russia beefed up security and mourned its dead on Tuesday as the toll from jarring successive-day suicide strikes in the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympic Games rose to 33.

Russia buries dead as bombings toll hits 33
Putin to keep within the law in terror hunt: UN
Putin to keep within the law in terror hunt: UN

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Monday to stay within international law in the hunt for the perpetrators of two bomb attacks in the city of Volgograd, the United Nations said.

Putin to keep within the law in terror hunt: UN
Syria views Saudi as number one enemy
Syria views Saudi as number one enemy

Syria now views Saudi Arabia as its number one enemy and accuses it of trying to destroy the country by arming jihadists and other rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria views Saudi as number one enemy
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir. ©Reuters/Goran Tomasevic
S. Sudan at 'precipice' amid growing violence: Obama

US President Barack Obama warned that South Sudan stands at the "precipice" of renewed civil war, amid spiralling violence including an attack on a UN base that killed three Indian peacekeepers.

S. Sudan at 'precipice' amid growing violence: Obama
Up to 500 dead in South Sudan clashes: UN
Up to 500 dead in South Sudan clashes: UN

Clashes between rival army factions in South Sudan have left up to 500 dead and 800 wounded, a top UN official told the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

Up to 500 dead in South Sudan clashes: UN
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. ©Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
UN chief says Syria chemical attackers should be sanctioned

UN chief Ban Ki-moon called on the international community Friday to sanction those responsible for Syrian chemical weapons attacks documented in a newly released report.

UN chief says Syria chemical attackers should be sanctioned
UN leader calls for speedy Maldives vote
UN leader calls for speedy Maldives vote

UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Monday joined international opposition to the cancellation of a presidential election in the Maldives that has heightened tensions in the Indian Ocean nation.

UN leader calls for speedy Maldives vote
UN Council backs Ban's Syria disarmament plan
UN Council backs Ban's Syria disarmament plan

The UN Security Council on Thursday backed a plan by UN leader Ban Ki-moon for a joint mission with the global chemical arms watchdog to destroy Syria's weapons.

UN Council backs Ban's Syria disarmament plan