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Musharraf charged in treason case

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A court in Pakistan charges former military ruler Pervez Musharraf with treason, the country’s first army chief to face such a prosecution.

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Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf pleads not guilty to 5 counts of treason

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Former president Pervez Musharraf yesterday pleaded not guilty to five counts of treason, in the latest chapter of a long-running drama between the country’s increasingly assertive judiciary and its former military ruler. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Russia sets terms for Ukraine deal as 40,000 troops mass on border

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Lavrov demands that Kiev have only limited powers as Kerry says military moves are obstructing peace dealRussia on Sunday night repeated its demand that the US and its European partners accept its proposal that ethnic Russian regions of eastern and southern Ukraine be given extensive autonomous powers independent of Kiev as a condition for agreeing a diplomatic solution to the crisis over its annexation of Crimea.Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, told reporters Ukraine could not function as a “unified state” and should become a loose federation. He made the remarks after an inconclusive meeting with John Kerry, the US secretary of state, at the Russian ambassador’s residence in Paris following a day in which tensions over Ukraine deepened appreciably. Lavrov called the talks “very, very constructive”.

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Do Lu Ping’s comments reveal Beijing’s hidden bottom line?

<!– google_ad_section_start –> The “carrot and stick” approach is common in negotiating and bargaining. It would not be exceptional for Beijing to use this tactic in its talks with Hong Kong’s pan-democrats on who may be eligible to run as the city’s leader in 2017, hopefully through universal suffrage. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Liberal academics push compromise 2017 plan

<!– google_ad_section_start –> The blueprint, spearheaded by the vice-chairman of the SynergyNet think tank, Dr Brian Fong Chi-hang, and Community Care Fund chairman Dr Law Chi-kwong, dispenses with public nomination, a point that radical pan-democrats consider is indispensable. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Slovakia elects Andrej Kiska as president

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Landslide victory for millionaire-turned-philanthropist deals blow to prime minister Robert Fico ahead of 2016 general electionAndrej Kiska swooped in out of the blue to clinch Slovakia’s presidency by a landslide, dealing a heavy blow to the credibility of the prime minister, Robert Fico, ahead of a general election in 2016.A non-aligned centrist who made his fortune in the consumer-credit business, Kiska, 51, will be Slovakia’s first president since independence in 1993 without a past in the Communist party.

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Russia clarifies Ukraine stance as Sergei Lavrov meets John Kerry in Paris

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Russia’s foreign minister said Moscow was seeking a federal solution with greater autonomy for southern and eastern UkraineRussia’s radical terms for agreeing a diplomatic solution to the crisis over its annexation of Crimea are becoming clearer after Sergei Lavrov, the country’s foreign minister, said Moscow wanted greater autonomy for southern and eastern parts of Ukraine where many ethnic Russians live.Speaking on Russian state television ahead of emergency talks in Paris on Sunday with John Kerry, his US counterpart, Lavrov said Moscow wanted a federal solution for Ukraine as part of “deep constitutional reform”.

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Russian foreign minister plays down impact of Western sanctions

Sergei Lavrov says restrictions have led to some disruption but have not been too painful

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Thais vote for senators as PM showdown looms

Outcome of upper house ballot could influence decision to remove prime minister which requires three-fifths vote.

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Afghanistan’s Karzai steps up accusations against Pakistan

President accuses Pakistan of being behind a recent series of attacks and of blocking his government from striking a peace deal with the Taliban

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Thais vote for Senate as showdown looms for PM

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Thais voted on Sunday to elect the upper house of parliament in a poll that could hold the key to the fate of the prime minister, who faces possible impeachment for negligence after months of street protests. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Hamid Karzai’s tangled legacy: inept failure or anti-Taliban hero?

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A look at the extraordinary career of the Afghan president, the leader first hailed by the west who is now widely attacked for his perceived weaknesses, as he prepares to give up powerAmid the dust and traffic of today’s Kabul, three things remain almost as they were a decade or so ago. In winter, and when the wind clears the smog that is a side-effect of years of economic boom, the blue sky above the snowcapped peaks that ring the city is as impressive as ever. Then there is the Arg, the sprawling palace at the city’s centre and the apparently calm eye of a turbulent storm of a country. The complex is home to the third element that has remained constant since the end of the Taliban’s grim regime in 2001: Hamid Karzai, now in his 13th year of power.However, Karzai, 56, will soon be gone. He is constitutionally barred from contesting next weekend’s elections and soon this theatrical, mercurial, complex man will have to find a new occupation. Many, particularly in Washington, will be relieved.

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New York City council passes bill to protect unpaid interns’ rights

Bill would guard against sexual harassment and discrimination Mayor Bill de Blasio expected to sign into law this weekOn Wednesday, the New York City council unanimously approved a bill that seeks to protect unpaid interns against sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. The bill, sponsored by councilman James Vacca, expands the citys Human Rights Law to afford unpaid interns the same protection accorded to paid employees. It is currently awaiting Mayor Bill de Blasios signature, which is expected in the coming days.

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Kerry to meet Russia’s Lavrov for Ukraine talks in Paris on Sunday

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Top diplomats discuss Ukraine and agree to meet in Paris Vladimir Putin calls Barack Obama late FridayHalfway home from Saudi Arabia, US secretary of state John Kerry has abruptly changed course. He will now stay in Europe for talks on Ukraine.The news followed reports from Russia that Kerry had spoken to the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, by phone, a day after President Vladimir Putin called President Barack Obama. The Russian foreign ministry said Washington had initiated the call between Kerry and Lavrov, adding that they discussed Ukraine and plans for further contact.

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Taliban attack Afghan electoral commission HQ in Kabul

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Five Taliban fighters killed during four-hour gun battle in latest in spate of attacks ahead of 5 April presidential electionFive Taliban fighters were killed after they launched an assault on the Kabul headquarters of the Afghanistan’s independent election commission (IEC) headquarters on Saturday, the latest in a spate of attacks before next week’s presidential vote.Two police officers were injured in the ensuing four-hour gun battle.

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America, Inc. at it’s Finest

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