Gaddafi supporters seize control of Libyan town

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Fighters loyal to Libya’s overthrown leader Muammar Gaddafi took control of a town south-east of the capital yesterday, flying their green flags in defiance of the country’s fragile new government.

France passes genocide law, faces Turkish reprisals

PARIS (Reuters) – France approved a bill yesterday, making it illegal to deny the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago was genocide, sparking angry retaliation from Turkey which threatened a “total rupture” of diplomatic ties.

Putin warns ethnic tensions risk tearing Russia apart

MOSCOW/KISLOVODSK, Russia (Reuters) – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, warning ethnic tensions could tear Russia apart, said yesterday he would toughen migration rules and keep a tight rein on Russia’s regions to prevent it following the Soviet Union into oblivion.

US flouts law at Guantanamo, despite Obama vow – UN

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States is still flouting international law at Guantanamo Bay, despite President Barack Obama’s election pledge to shut the facility, the United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay said yesterday.

Oprah Winfrey charms “chaotic” India at book event

JAIPUR, India, (Reuters) – Amid raucous cheers from thousands of admirers, television superstar Oprah Winfrey praised the contrast of calm and chaos in India at the region’s largest literature festival fast becoming a global cultural gala.

Yemen’s Saleh leaves for US, opponents protest

SANAA, (Reuters) – Outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh apologised for “any shortcoming” in his 33-year rule before leaving Yemen for the United States yesterday, paving the way for a transfer of power after a year of unrest.

Maldives asks for UN help in constitutional crisis

COLOMBO, (Reuters) – The Maldives asked the United Nations yesterday to mediate in a standoff with the opposition over the arrest of a criminal court judge, which has prompted accusations that President Mohamed Nasheed’s government has subverted democracy.

Arabs agree new Syria plan, urge UN support

CAIRO, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Arab foreign minister agreed yesterday a new political roadmap for Syria that sees President Bashar al-Assad delegating power to a deputy and setting up a unity government as a prelude to early parliamentary and presidential elections.

Nigerian sect kills over 100 in deadliest strike yet

KANO, Nigeria (Reuters) – More than 100 people were killed in bomb attacks and gunbattles in the Nigerian city Kano late on Friday, a local government security source said, in the deadliest strike claimed by Islamist sect Boko Haram to date.

Syrian blasts kill 14, Arab monitors may stay

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Bombs killed at least 14 prisoners in a Syrian security vehicle yesterday, and fierce battles erupted between rebels and state forces as the Arab League considered whether to keep monitors in place.

Islamists secure top spot in Egypt parliament

CAIRO (Reuters) – The Muslim Brotherhood won by far the biggest share of seats allocated to party lists in Egypt’s first freely-elected parliament in decades, final results confirmed, giving it a major role in drafting the country’s new constitution.

Bonnie and Clyde guns bring $210,000 in Missouri auction

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) – Two guns believed seized from gangsters Bonnie and Clyde in 1933 after a deadly Missouri shootout with police sold for a combined $210,000 at an auction yesterday in Kansas City to an unnamed online bidder.

Italy cruise disaster captain denies delaying alarm

GIGLIO, Italy (Reuters) – The captain of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which struck a rock and capsized off Italy, told magistrates he informed the ship’s owners of the accident immediately, denying he delayed raising the alarm, judicial sources said yesterday.

Congress puts brakes on anti-piracy bills

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers stopped  anti-piracy legislation in its tracks yesterday, delivering a  stunning win for Internet companies that staged an unprecedented  online protest this week to kill the previously fast-moving  bills.

Fears of mutant virus escape halt bird flu study

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Researchers studying a  potentially more lethal, airborne version of the bird flu virus  have suspended their studies because of concerns the mutant  virus they have created could be used as a devastating form of  bioterrorism or accidentally escape the lab.

Major powers divided on approach to Iran

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Major powers are  divided over what to put on the table should Iran resume talks  on curbing its nuclear programme and whether to allow it to  continue enriching uranium to some degree, diplomats said yesterday.

“Occupy” targets banks, corporate campaign spending

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – Dozens of  Occupy protesters chained themselves to doors at Wells Fargo   bank headquarters in San Francisco yesterday, while  hundreds more demonstrators across the United States rallied  against corporate campaign donations.

Blues singer Etta James dies at 73

LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) – Etta James, the  influential 1950s rhythm-and-blues singer best known for her  show-stopping hit “At Last,” died yesterday from complications  of leukemia in a California hospital surrounded by her family. 

Photography pioneer Kodak files for bankruptcy

(Reuters) – Eastman Kodak Co, the photography  icon that invented the hand-held camera, has filed for  bankruptcy protection and plans to shrink significantly, capping  a prolonged plunge for one of America’s best-known companies.

Gingrich angrily rejects marital question at debate

CHARLESTON, S.C., (Reuters) – Republican  presidential candidate Newt Gingrich angrily defended himself yesterday against allegations that he had asked his ex-wife for  an open marriage, lashing out in perhaps the most crucial debate  yet in the 2012 campaign.

Elite “death squad” Bangladesh force invites complaints

DHAKA,  (Reuters) – Bangladesh’s elite Rapid  Action Battalion force, accused of extrajudicial killings and  branded a death squad by Human Rights Watch, has opened a  complaints bureau, a senior RAB official said yesterday, in a  move to placate its critics.

U.S. Treasury names top Guatemalan drug trafficker

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury  Department named eight individuals and entities yesterday as  drug traffickers, including a Guatemalan drug lord believed to  be one of the most prolific Central American narcotics  traffickers, and banned Americans from having any dealings with  them.