Case against Strauss-Kahn near collapse – NYT

NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – The case against former  International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who  was charged with sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper, is  near collapse, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Lebanon receives Hariri killing indictments

BEIRUT,  (Reuters) – A U.N.-backed tribunal seeking  the killers of statesman Rafik al-Hariri handed indictments and  arrest warrants to Lebanon yesterday that officials said  accused members of the militant Hezbollah group of involvement.

French arms to Libya rebels expose tensions over war

NEAR BIR AL-GHANAM, Libya, (Reuters) – Libyan rebels  gathered on a ridge overlooking a strategic town only 80 km (50  miles) from Tripoli yesterday, preparing for a battle that  could allow them to march directly to the seat of Muammar  Gaddafi’s power.

International panel to probe uprising in Bahrain

MANAMA, (Reuters) – The international committee  investigating violent protests in Bahrain this year will be  given access to official files and be able to meet witnesses in  secret, the panel’s chair said yesterday.

Alleged airline stowaway in US had cleared security

WASHINGTON  (Reuters Life!) – A man charged with  stowing away on a flight from New York to Los Angeles last  Friday cleared airport security screening, the Transportation  Security Administration confirmed yesterday.

Venezuela scraps summit due to Chavez health

CARACAS, (Reuters) – Venezuela called off a  regional summit due to Hugo Chavez’s unexpectedly longer  recovery from surgery in Cuba, hours after releasing video on  Wednesday of the socialist leader chatting with Fidel Castro.

Greece backs first austerity package, violence worsens

ATHENS,  (Reuters) – Greece approved the first of two  austerity measures yesterday despite worsening street  violence, in a vote vital to winning fresh international aid so  it can pay its debts on time and stave off bankruptcy.

Obama call for stimulus may complicate debt talks

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama  called yesterday for new steps to spur job growth and tax  hikes on the rich, hardening a stance that will likely  complicate deficit reduction talks with Republicans.

Syria tank assault kills 11 near Turkey border

AMMAN, (Reuters) – Syrian troops shot dead 11  villagers yesterday, residents said, as authorities pressed  on with a tank-led assault that has driven thousands of refugees  across the northwest border with Turkey.

Venezuela’s Chavez shown walking with Cuba’s Castro

CARACAS, (Reuters) – Venezuela and Cuba released  new photographs and video footage of President Hugo Chavez yesterday in an effort to stop speculation the socialist leader  was seriously ill after undergoing surgery in Havana.

Lagarde wins IMF top job, presses Greece on crisis

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – French Finance Minister  Christine Lagarde yesterday clinched the top job at the IMF,  keeping the international lender in the hands of a European at  a time of growing concern over a possible Greek debt default.

“Game over” for Gaddafi in months – prosecutor

TRIPOLI/AMSTERDAM,  (Reuters) – Libya’s Muammar  Gaddafi could fall within two to three months, the International  Criminal Court’s prosecutor said yesterday, as rebels sought to  build on a gradual advance towards Tripoli.

More security spending hasn’t made Mexico safer -study

MEXICO CITY,  (Reuters) – Mexico has increased  security spending six-fold in the past five years but  carjackings, kidnappings and other violent crime are rising  steadily, an independent study showed yesterday.

Indian women world’s most stressed — Nielsen

TOKYO, (Reuters Life!) – Women around the world feel  stressed and pressed for time, but women in emerging markets are  more stressed than their sisters in developed nations — and  Indian women say they are the most stressed of all, according to  a survey published yesterday.

International court orders Gaddafi’s arrest

THE HAGUE/TRIPOLI (Reuters) – The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant yesterday for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and rebels trying to oust him said their forces had advanced to within 80 km (50 miles) of the capital.

Syria activists meet, call for change to avert crisis

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Some of Syria’s leading intellectuals called yesterday for sweeping political change that could end 41 years of Assad family rule, at a rare conference allowed by the authorities under pressure from a three-month uprising.

US drones kill 21 militants in NW Pakistan

WANA, Pakistan (Reuters) – Missile strikes from two US drones killed at least 21 suspected militants in Pakistan’s South Waziristan yesterday, Pakistani officials said, part of an intensified US assault in the tribal belt this month.

US man charged with sexually abusing Haitian boys

MIAMI (Reuters) – An American man who ran a home for impoverished boys in Haiti has been arrested on charges that he forced them to perform sex acts in exchange for food, shelter and schooling, US prosecutors said on Friday.

Former Illinois governor convicted of corruption

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A jury convicted former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich yesterday of corruption for trying to trade the US senate seat once held by President Barack Obama for financial and political gain.

Near-Earth asteroid passes over Atlantic Ocean

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An asteroid with an estimated girth as large as a garbage truck soared within 7,500 miles (12,070 km) of the Earth yesterday as it passed harmlessly over the Atlantic Ocean, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).