North Africa

BISMARCK, N.D. - Cool, wet weather at planting and again at harvest means North Dakota farmers still are out in the fields and few days behind getting durum, which is used to make semolina flour for pasta, in the bin.

ALGIERS, Algeria - Algeria and Russia signed six deals Wednesday in sectors including energy and transportation during a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

CAIRO - The International Monetary Fund says the Middle East and North Africa region is recovering strongly following the global financial meltdown, with sizable stimulus packages and continued strength in oil prices supporting the rebound.

CAIRO - A leading independent Egyptian newspaper said Tuesday its mogul publisher has fired the daily's chief editor, an outspoken government critic - the latest development in what watchdogs say is a campaign of restricting media freedoms in the country.
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