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US drone strike in Pakistan kills militant: officials

A US drone strike on Sunday killed at least one militant riding on horseback in a mountainous area of Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt, security officials said. The missile attack, the first by an unmanned American drone in Pakistan for at least a month, came in Dehgan village, 30 kilometres (18 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in lawless North Waziristan. North Waziristan is one of seven tribal districts on the rugged border with Afghanistan which are a haven for Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Boxing: Hopkins becomes oldest to win major title

Bernard Hopkins became the oldest boxer to win a major world championship Saturday, breaking his own record by beating Tavoris Cloud at the age of 48. Hopkins scored a unanimous 12-round decision to dethrone Cloud, who is 17 years his junior, for the International Boxing Federation's light-heavyweight title and beat his own record. "The 40 and up club still rules," Hopkins said. "I got a history. I got a history of destroying young champions and you never seen them again."

China to abolish rail ministry in anti-graft shakeup

China is to effectively abolish its scandal-plagued railways ministry as part of a sweep of government reforms aimed at tackling inefficiency and corruption, a top official told parliament on Sunday. The changes include bolstering a maritime body as China engages in island disputes with its neighbours, and giving an economic development body more say over the one-child policy as the country faces a shrinking labour pool.

UPDATE 2-Egypt inflation jumps as currency slides, hurting poor

* Turmoil pushes down currency which accelerates inflation * Food and drink prices up 9.3 percent * Economist says inflation may rise yet further * IMF may target subsidies under any loan deal (Recasts) By Alexander Dziadosz and Yasmine Saleh CAIRO, March 10 (Reuters) - Egyptian inflation has leapt as a sliding local currency pushes up food prices, badly hurting the poor who are suffering most during the country's economic, political and security crisis.

Debate flares on 'Twitter revolutions,' Arab Spring

How important were Twitter, Facebook and other social media in toppling regimes in the Arab Spring uprisings? Amid a fierce debate in academic circles, an upcoming book argues that social media and new technology made a key difference in successful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and helped foster grassroots movements in other Arab nations. The book by Philip Howard and colleagues concludes that digital media was "consistently one of the most important sufficient and necessary conditions" for the Arab Spring movements.

ANALYSIS-Bellicose N.Korea forces China to shift stance on old friend

By Ben Blanchard and Sui-Lee Wee BEIJING, March 10 (Reuters) - Six months ago China's state media was lauding North Korea as a great place to invest as both countries tried to promote a cross-border economic zone. One nuclear test, a long-range rocket launch and much sabre-rattling later and China is a central player in new U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang, something Chinese experts say marks a major shift in Beijing's policy toward its impoverished neighbour.

Obama pokes fun at self, reporters at D.C. dinner

WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama poked fun at himself, Bob Woodward and Washington reporters on Saturday at a dinner that brought together the country's press and political elites. Attending the Gridiron Club dinner, Obama made light of a recent back and forth between his administration and Woodward, the veteran Washington Post journalist whose reporting on the Watergate scandal helped bring down Richard Nixon's presidency.

Obama: budget cuts send joke writers packing

US President Barack Obama took a satirical swipe at the political drama over an $85 billion austerity drive clutching at the US economy Saturday, at a cozy dinner for the Washington establishment. Obama attended the 128th Gridiron Club banquet, a week after the cuts, known as the sequester, came into force when he and Republicans failed to agree a deficit cutting deal as political acrimony haunts the US capital.

Conclave offers business boon for crisis-hit Rome

The upcoming conclave to elect a new pope is proving a boon for business in Rome in a harsh economy -- from a new iPad application to booked-out hotels and balconies rented out for stellar prices. Thousands of pilgrims have descended on the Italian capital in what would normally be low season to bid a final farewell to Benedict XVI and watch the rare and centuries-old tradition of a papal conclave to vote in his successor.

Falklands oil bonanza still distant prospect: experts

The prospect of an oil bonanza around the Falkland Islands is heightening tensions between Britain and Argentina, but commercial exploitation of reserves remains a distant possibility, industry experts say. Diplomatic friction between London and Buenos Aires has intensified since 2010, when London first authorised oil prospecting in the waters around the South Atlantic archipelago.
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