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North Korea Combat Posture To Hit US

North Korea says it has ordered artillery and rocket units into “combat posture” to prepare to target US bases in Hawaii, Guam and the US mainland.

North Korea NewsThe announcement, carried by KCNA news agency, follows days of strong rhetoric from Pyongyang.

The Pentagon condemned the threats, saying the US was ready to respond to “any contingency”.

South Korea on Tuesday marked the third anniversary of the sinking of the Cheonan ship, in which 46 sailors died.

It said there was no unusual activity in the North.

Tensions remain high on the Korean peninsula in the wake of North Korea’s third nuclear test on 12 February. The test led to new UN sanctions which Pyongyang strongly opposes.

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Thatcher papers reveal Tory party split over Falklands

Senior Tories were initially sceptical about going to war over the Falklands, newly released papers from Margaret Thatcher’s personal archive show.

A note from the whips’ office following Argentina’s 1982 invasion reported solid support for military action from some Tory MPs, but others were privately hostile.

The papers have been released in Cambridge by margaretthatcher.org.

They show for the first time how deeply split the party was over the Falklands.

One Tory MP is quoted by the Whips as having said “we’re making a big mistake, it’ll make Suez look like common sense”.

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Cyprus crisis: Coming hours ‘to decide’ fate

The coming hours will decide Cyprus’ fate as it struggles to meet the terms of an international financial bailout, a government spokesman has said.

Cyprus Rising“Any solution involves pain,” Christos Stylianides said in the capital Nicosia, without giving details.

Parliament will debate plans to raise the 5.8bn euros (£4.9bn; $7.5bn) needed to qualify for the 10bn-euro bailout, having rejected an earlier deal.

Without it, the cash supply to the euro member’s struggling banks may be cut.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Cyprus’ eurozone partners are running out of patience with its efforts to secure the bailout.

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Bosco Ntaganda: Kagame promises to help transfer to ICC

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has given his backing for the speedy transfer of Congolese war crimes suspect Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Known as “The Terminator”, he surrendered to the US embassy in Kigali on Monday.

Rwanda would help facilitate his transfer to The Hague “as fast as possible”, Mr Kagame said.

Gen Ntaganda has been a key figure in the conflict in eastern DR Congo.

The ICC has charged him with 10 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, accusing him of using child soldiers, keeping women as sex slaves and participating in the murder of at least 800 people in 2002 and 2003.

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Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman dies after illness

The president of Bangladesh, Zillur Rahman, has died after a long illness, a spokesman for the prime minister’s office in Dhaka has announced.

Zillur RahmanThe president, 84, had been undergoing treatment at a hospital in Singapore.

President Rahman was elected by parliament to the largely ceremonial role in February 2009.

Mr Rahman was a stalwart of the Awami League – now in power in Bangladesh – and a close friend of the country’s first president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Sheikh Mujib was the father of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Mr Rahman was sentenced to 20 years in jail during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of liberation from Pakistan and was again imprisoned for four years after Sheikh Mujib’s assassination in 1975.

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