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Indian state election expected to end Kolkata’s 34-year communist rule | guardian.co.uk

Voters are streaming into polling stations in India’s West Bengal state in a local election that could see a populist maverick unseat the world’s longest-serving democratically-elected communist government. After 34 years of communist rule, the federal railway minister, Mamata Banerjee, a firebrand orator known as Didi or elder sister, looks set to overthrow the party blamed for leaving West Bengal ...

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Death toll rises amid fresh Syrian protests | Amnesty International

At least 171 people are believed to have been killed during three weeks of unrest in Syria, Amnesty International said today after at least eight more fatalities during protests. “The alarming reports coming from Syria today show that the authorities have not altered their violent methods for dealing with dissent,” said Philip Luther, Deputy Director of the Middle East and ...

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Azarbaijan: ‘More than 70’ arrested demonstrating to save lake Urmia (video) | Iranian.com

During the demonstrations of Iranian Azerbaijanis to save Lake Urmia in the Azerbaijani cities of Tabriz and Urmia on April 2, 2011, dozens of protesters were arrested. According to reliable sources, the peaceful protest in Tebriz been turned into battle field by police and plain clothed armed forces. Read more here: Azarbaijan: ‘More than 70’ arrested | Iranian.com.

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China’s national defense tasked to guard sovereignty, peace: white paper | Xinhua

China said Thursday that its goals and tasks for national defense include safeguarding national sovereignty, maintaining social harmony and stability, promoting the modernization of national defense and keeping world peace. China’s national defense is tasked to guard against and resist aggression, defend the security of China’s lands, inland waters, territorial waters and airspace, safeguard its maritime rights and interests, and ...

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Syria: President Asad Fails to Deliver Reform | Human Rights Watch

(New York) – President Bashar al-Asad’s speech on March 30, 2011, failed to commit to a specific reform agenda that would safeguard public freedoms and judicial independence and prohibit the Syrian government from encroaching on human rights, Human Rights Watch said today. The much anticipated speech was delivered before parliament. Commentators and analysts had expected the president to announce specific ...

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Japan nears key fix for nuclear plant, but could it come too late? | CSMonitor.com

A top nuclear regulatory official testified Wednesday that Japan’s nuclear plant might already be too dangerous to allow repairs, even though external power could soon be available to run crucial water pumps. If the electricity arrives in time and workers can prevent the Fukushima I plant’s predicament from becoming more grave, the utility faces a long road to what several ...

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In Brief: Drought threatens hydropower in Vietnam | IRIN Asia

BANGKOK, 9 March 2011 IRIN – Low water levels in reservoirs opened in January to irrigate rice fields in Vietnam are threatening to undermine hydropower-fuelled electricity, warn experts. Approximately 2.7 billion cubic metres of water, equivalent to 500 million kilowatts of electricity, were discharged to irrigate more than 635,000 hectares of crops, according to Nguyen Tri Ngoc, head of the ...

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Philippines Prepares for Next Phase of Peace Talks | Voice of America

The Philippines government lead negotiator says the core of the problem with Muslim separatists is not religion – it is identity. Marvic Leonen, head of the peace panel negotiating with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, (MILF) says his team looks forward to hashing out several aspects of the “comprehensive compact”. Read more here: Philippines Prepares for Next Phase of Peace ...

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