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AFGHANISTAN: IDPs at a crossroads | IRIN Asia

KABUL, 24 February 2012 (IRIN) – Thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Afghanistan, mainly from the strife-torn southern provinces, have been heading for Kabul in the hope of finding work and a better life, but most end up living in appalling conditions in makeshift camps. According to the Afghan Health Ministry, more than 20 children have frozen to death ...

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Seoul holds military drills despite NKorea threat | The Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea conducted live-fire military drills near its disputed sea boundary with North Korea on Monday despite Pyongyang’s threat to respond with a “merciless” attack. North Korea did not carry out the threat as it focuses on internal stability two months after the death of longtime leader Kim Jong Il and prepares for nuclear disarmament ...

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FMCT and Pakistan’s rational stand | thenation.com.pk

He did not single out Pakistan, but UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s late January meaningful statement, concerning the stalled deliberations over the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) in the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament (CD), left little doubt as to which country was being tipped as the spoilsport. For more on this story, visit: FMCT and Pakistan’s rational stand | The ...

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Uzbekistan: Looking in the other direction | Editorial, The Guardian

Uzbekistan has one asset that Washington needs: a railhead into northern Afghanistan, which has become the key node of a US military supply line known as the northern distribution network. For this alone, America and the EU are prepared to look the other way, when confronted with what the US embassy cables described as a nightmarish world of rampant corruption, ...

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US proposes $2.4 billion aid to Pakistan | thenews.com.pk

WASHINGTON: Obama administration Monday proposed $2.4 billion in financial aid to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2012-13 while unveiling its annual budget of $3.8 trillion that calls for tax hikes on the rich. For more on this story, visit: US proposes $2.4 billion aid to Pakistan | thenews.com.pk. See Also: WASHINGTON: Unveiling its annual budget of USD 3.8 trillion that ...

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Tibetan acts of self-immolation rise amid the battle for hearts and minds | The Guardian

On the roof of the world, Chinese paramilitaries are trying to snuff out Tibetan resistance to Beijing’s rule with spiked batons, semi-automatic weapons and fire extinguishers. Every 20 metres along the main road of Aba, the remote town on the Tibetan plateau that is at the heart of the current wave of protests, police officers and communist officials wearing red ...

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ASIA: Indigenous groups – stateless and sick | IRIN Asia

BANGKOK, 9 February 2012 (IRIN) – The health of millions of indigenous people across Asia is at risk, experts say, as lack of recognition of their legal status hinders data collection, making their medical problems invisible in most national health surveys. Indigenous peoples – defined by the UN as people with ancestral ties to a geographical region who retain “distinct ...

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SRI LANKA: Mine clearance could take 10 years or more | IRIN Asia

COLOMBO, 6 February 2012 (IRIN) – Landmine clearance in Sri Lanka’s conflict-affected north could take more than a decade, experts say. “It is expected to take [in] excess of 10 years to fully mitigate all remaining contamination in Sri Lanka,” the Mine Action Project of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka told IRIN, citing a lack of resources ...

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China intensifies criticism of sanctions on Iran | Reuters via AlertNet

BEIJING, Feb 3 (Reuters) – A top Chinese newspaper stepped up Beijing’s opposition to a Western push for tighter sanctions against Iran, warning on Friday that tensions over Tehran’s nuclear programme are hurting energy markets and could stifle the global economic recovery. China’s criticism of tighter sanctions on Iran, designed to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, appeared in the ...

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Don’t Mention the War: Georgian President Visits White House for NATO Push | Antiwar.com

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili held high-profile White House meetings today with President Obama, who promised to help expand trade between the two nations and support the Georgian military’s reconstruction. The visit was aimed at bolstering Georgia’s ambitions to join NATO, which are supported loudly by the US but appear overwhelmingly opposed across the rest of the alliance. The elephant in ...

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