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Observers slam Congo vote flaws

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Tension grows in Congo's capital

The Democratic Republic of Congo's election standoff has intensified after a team of international observers reported that incumbent Joseph Kabila's win is so flawed it lacks credibility. Kabila, in power since 2001, was on Friday named the winner of the November 28 poll, but runner-up Etienne Tshisekedi immediately rejected the result and declared himself president. Violent protests and looting erupted in Kinshasa when Kabila's win was announced, but a heavy security force presence including police, presidential guards and some 20,000 soldiers deployed to the capital had largely restored a tense calm on Sunday.

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Italian Catholic Church under pressure to start paying property tax

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Landlords: The Italian Catholic Church is said to own 20 per cent of properties across the country, including The Duomo in Florence

Italy's Catholic Church has shifted gears and shown a willingness to revisit its tax-exempt status amid renewed criticism that much of its vast real estate holdings isn't subject to local property taxes. The criticism has grown recently since Premier Mario Monti's proposal to restore a property tax on first and second homes as part of his sweeping austerity measures to help rein in Italy's debt. With citizens being asked to make sacrifices, the church is coming under fire to do its part and give up what some consider an unfair privilege.

 

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Last Updated on Sunday, 11 December 2011 17:20

David Cameron has done 'bad deal' on Europe

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The UK is the only one of 27 European Union members to opt out of closer ties this week. The Liberal Democrat leader said any further withdrawal from Europe risks making Britain "a pygmy in the world". He spoke the Prime Minister straight after the European summit at 4am on Friday morning, warning that the decision to veto the treaty was wrong.

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US personnel vacate Shamsi airbase

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US vacates airbase in Pakistan

The United States on Sunday vacated a Pakistani airbase following a deadline given by Islamabad over Nato air strikes last month that killed 24 soldiers, officials said. Pakistan’s military said in a statement that the last flight carrying US personnel and equipment had left Shamsi airbase, in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, completing a process that began last week. “The control of the base has been taken over by the Army,” the statement said. The base was widely believed to have been used in covert CIA drone attacks against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda commanders in northwest Pakistan’s tribal areas, which border Afghanistan.

 

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Last Updated on Sunday, 11 December 2011 17:12

Prachanda remains no longer Chairman of Nepal Maoist

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On ideological grounds, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ remains no longer the Chairman of Unified Maoists’ Party, so said Party secretary C.P. Gajurel while addressing a press meet in Nawalpur of Sarlahi District, December 10, 2011. “Dahal has already abandoned the ideology charted by the peoples’ revolt. He adheres to the socialist ideology. How Dahal could continue claiming that he holds significant position in the party”, asked Gajurel and said, “He has no space in the party.” Chairman Dahal being taken to task by his own former NOIDA exposed hibernation colleagues.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 11 December 2011 16:56

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