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UN council waters down Eritrea sanctions resolution

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UN Council toughens sanctions against Eritrea

A resolution tightening sanctions on Eritrea, expected to be passed by the UN Security Council next week, has been watered down and no longer bans investment in the country's promising mining sector.
In an unusual arrangement, Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki has been invited to address the council on Monday morning but not to take part in an afternoon session scheduled to pass the resolution, diplomats said on Friday.
A spokesman for the U.S. mission, Mark Kornblau, said a U.S. visa for Isaias to come to New York was approved on Friday. Diplomats said it was unclear whether he would arrive, after Asmara complained the invitation had given him too little time, Reuters reports.

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Belgium’s new Socialist premier: from rags to riches

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Elio Di Rupo, who becomes Europe’s second openly gay government leader when sworn in on Tuesday as Belgium’s new premier, is a 60-year-old career politician with a storybook background. Born to an Italian coalminer father and illiterate mother in a 1951 migrant shanty-town, Di Rupo will be the first French-speaking leader of language-divided Belgium in more than 30 years and its first Socialist prime minister in almost four decades.

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Gap between rich and poor growing fastest in Britain

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Business people walk past a homeless person in London

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a leading economic forum, said that the wealthiest tenth of society now earn 12 times as much as the poorest, up from eight times as much in the 1980s.

In addition the amount of total income taken by the top 1 per cent of earners - including bankers, managers and executives - has doubled to 14 per cent.

By contrast, the top tax rate has fallen while benefits for the poorest have become less generous.

The OECD says the growing inequality in Britain is mainly down to the soaring wages of the super-rich, as well as the fact that the wealthy work longer hours.

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Pakistan not to attend Bonn conference on Afghanistan

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Pakistan Tuesday announced that it would not attend Bonn Conference on Afghanistan as protest against a recent NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The Conference is scheduled to be held on Dec. 5 to discuss the post withdrawal Afghanistan and possibility of talks with Taliban. Pakistan had earlier decided to send its Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to the conference which will be attended by representatives from nearly 100 countries and international organizations. "Pakistan looks forward to the success of this Conference but in view of the developments and prevailing circumstances has decided not to participate in the Conference," a Pakistani government statement said.

 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 December 2011 03:12

45 tons of highly radioactive water leaked

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Some 45 tons of highly radioactive water leaked Sunday from desalination equipment used to decontaminate the radioactive water in Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and it is unclear if any made it to the sea, a Tepco official said Monday.The water is believed to have high concentrations of strontium, which can cause bone cancer if ingested. The decontamination system Tepco is using to stablize the crippled reactors mainly removes cesium, but does little to mitigate strontium.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 December 2011 02:50

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