Berlusconi to contest for prime minister’s post

Rome : Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, leader of the centre-right People of Freedom (PDL) party, said on Saturday that he would run for office again next year. “I’m in the race,” he said. “Without me the PDL will lose.” Berlusconi, 76, who was convicted of tax fraud in October and sentenced to four years in jail, previously said he would not run. However, he has threatened to bring down the Mario Monti government, which, he said, was leading Italy into a recession. Berlusconi, forced to step down in 2011, made the statement shortly after he was found guilty of tax fraud and sentenced to four years in prison. The sentence was later reduced to one year under a 2006 amnesty law aimed at reducing prison overcrowding.

Monk detained for inciting self-immolations

Beijing : Grappling with recurring suicides by Tibetans protesting Chinese rule, police in China have detained a Buddhist monk and his nephew accusing them of inciting a series of self-immolations on the “instructions” of the Dalai Lama and his followers in India.

Vietnam breaks up anti-China protest

Hanoi (Vietnam) : Vietnamese police broke up anti-China protests in two cities on Sunday and made about 20 arrests in the first such demonstrations since tensions between the communist neighbuors flared anew over rival claims to the oil and gas-rich South China Sea. Any sign of popular anger in tightly controlled Vietnam causes unease among the leadership, but anti-Chinese sentiment is especially sensitive. The country has long-standing ideological and economic ties with its giant neighbour, but many of those criticising China are also the ones calling for political, religious and social freedoms at home.

US doctor rescued from Taliban

Kabul : An American doctor abducted by the Taliban five days ago was rescued today in eastern Afghanistan, the US-led military coalition said. Dilip Joseph was captured by Taliban insurgents Wednesday outside the Afghan capital, in the Sarobi district of Kabul province. He was rescued in an early morning operation ordered after intelligence showed that the doctor was in imminent danger of injury or possible death, according to a statement.

Mandela hospitalised

Johannesburg : South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has been admitted to a hospital in Pretoria for “medical attention”. 94-year-old Mandela, who was South Africa’s first black President, was hospitalised yesterday “to undergo tests,” President Jacob Zuma’s office said in a statement. The Nobel peace prize laureate “is doing well and there is no cause for alarm,” the statement said

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