The White House has tempered the statements of president Hamid Karzai, according to whom the United States were going to maintain nine bases in Afghanistan after 2014, the year set for the essential withdrawal of American troops from the country after eleven years of war. “We predict that the bilateral security agreement will be treated with the access and the usage of Afghani bases for the American forces. But we are not looking to establish permanent military bases in Afghanistan,” assured the American presidency.
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The French jihadist Gilles Le Guen was arrested in Mali and given over to the country’s authorities. The man’s face appeared uncovered in a video in which he warned France. In the past January, Gilles Le Guen had said: “I am follow the path of Bin Laden.” The islamist, who is called Abdel Jelil, had been arrested a few days ago in the north of Mali, according to a source close to the case.
Five people died and many more were injured in an accident of a bus that was carrying Russian and Ukrainian youths in Belgium. The accident happened on the way to Antwerp in the north of the country. The bus was carrying 42 passengers. Amongst the victims were three adolescents, as well as the driver and one companion. Two people were seriously injured and fifteen had light injuries. The majority of passengers came from Russia in a trip from Volgograd to Paris and were between 15 and 22 years old.
The former Beatle Paul McCartney stands at an impressive 680 million pounds (approximately 1 billion dollars), putting him at the top of the list of the richest musicians of the United Kingdom and Ireland. The richest female musician is Adele. McCartney is closely followed by Andrew Lloyd-Webber with 620 million pounds, the Irish band U2 and Elton John, according to a list made by the British newspaper the “Sunday Times”. McCartney is currenty seventy years old.
The Prime Minister of Portugal, Pedro Passos Coelho, nominated on Thursday two ministers to replace his trusted cabinet member Miguel Relvas, who renounced a week ago due to an academic scandal. Coelho who has been in power for the past twenty two months, resolved with these nominations his first ministerial crisis. The replacement of the resigned minister, whose delay was criticized by the opposition, was resolved without the large remodeling of the government expected by the Portuguese media.
At least one hundred and fifty two civilians were killed in Syria during air attacks by the government, according to news revealed by the Human Rights Watch organization, based on visits to fifty locations. According to the NGO, the Syrian Airforce has “repeatedly carried out indiscriminate aerial attacks and, in some cases, deliberately, against civilians”. According to the Human Rights Watch, the accusations of the report represent “grave violations of international human rights”.
At least fourty two people died in an offensive lead by the Syrian regime against the rebel forces in the southern region of Deraa, close to the border with Jordan, according to opposition and human rights groups. Amongst the dead are at least sixteen rebels and nine soldiers. The General Commission of the Syrian Revolution has said that the majority of those who died were civilians and which occured during intense bombings and attacks in the city of Al Sanamein.
Business such as Microsoft and Nokia having increased the pressure on antitrust regulaters of the European Union to act against Google, accusing the company of blocking the competition in the mobile telephone market. The complaint comes as Google tries to solve a two year investigation by the European Commission into their practices of their search engine and are also trying to avoid an eventual fine that could reach up to five billion dollars.
A strain of bird flu found for the first time in humans in the east of China is not a reason to panic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said as the number of those contaminated rose to twenty one with six dead. The WHO praised China for mobilizing forces on a national level to combat the H7N9 flu, which included the slaughter of thousands of birds and the monitoring of hundreds of people close to those contaminated. “Until now, really we only have sporadic cases of a rare illness … this is not the time to react exaggeratedly or with panic,” said the WHO representative in China, Michael O’Leary.
The secretary of state of the United States of America, John Kerry, is going to donate five percent of his annual salary to charity organizations in solidarity with public staff that suffered automatic cuts in their salaries. The decision of Kerry, the wealthies member of government, was announced after the president Barack Obama had decided to return five percent of his salary to the treasury for similar reasons.