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2008 July


Jul 31 2008 US Economy Continues to Expand as Exports Explode

WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy continues to expand at a slow pace, according to the latest growth figures provided by the federal government.
The Commerce Department says the U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 1.9 percent from April through June, up from 0.9 percent in the first quarter of the year.
For a nation that […]


Jul 31 2008 President Bush: Progress in Iraq May Enable Troop Reductions

WHITE HOUSE - U.S. President George Bush says enough progress is being made in Iraq to enable the Pentagon to consider further reductions in force levels and cut troop tours.  
President Bush says July has been a month of encouraging news in Iraq.
“Violence is down to its lowest levels since the spring of 2004 and we […]


Jul 31 2008 US Deploys Advanced Missile Detection System in Israel

WASHINGTON - The United States has agreed to place advanced missile detection systems in Israel.
Senior U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, say the systems will give Israel an extra layer of protection in case of an attack by Iran.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed the deal.  Officials say the systems will be set […]


Jul 31 2008 US Congress Criticizes China on Human Rights

CAPITOL HILL - U.S. lawmakers, organizations advocating for human rights and religious freedom, and China democracy activists have sharply criticized the Chinese government in advance of the Beijing Olympic Games opening in August 8.
Felice Gaer, who heads the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and other commission members detailed a range of violations of human […]


Jul 31 2008 President Bush Signs Bill to Fight Diseases

WASHINGTON - President Bush has signed a bill committing $48 billion to the global fight against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The bill vastly expands a U.S. program that already treats millions in Africa, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere.
Launched in 2003, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR, is America’s largest-ever global health initiative. […]


Jul 30 2008 US House Judiciary Cites Karl Rove for Contempt

WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has voted to recommend that President Bush’s former political aide, Karl Rove, be cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to testify under subpoena.
The vote was 20 to 14 along party lines to recommend to the full House that Rove be cited for contempt.
In early July, Rove […]


Jul 30 2008 President Bush Urges Congress to Rescind Oil Drilling Ban

WHITE HOUSE - President Bush is again urging Congress to authorize expanded domestic oil drilling in order to combat record-high gasoline prices. Mr. Bush spoke after a cabinet meeting, one day after speaking to workers at a factory in Ohio on the same topic. 
Despite a dip in global oil prices during the past week, Americans […]


Jul 30 2008 Ehud Olmert to Step Down in September

JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he plans to step down as prime minister in September.
In a surprise announcement from his residence in Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert says he will step down as Israel’s prime minister immediately after his Kadima Party selects a new leader at a party convention on September 17.  
Mr. Olmert […]


Jul 30 2008 Tensions Remain High Between Russia, Georgia

WASHINGTON - Tensions remain high between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Some analysts fear the crisis could escalate to a war.
The Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia declared their independence from Tbilisi in the early 1990s. And since then, every Georgian leader, including current President Mikhail […]


Jul 29 2008 US, Iraq Launch New Offensive Against al-Qaida

BAGHDAD - U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have launched a new offensive designed to wipe out al-Qaida in Iraq from one of its last strongholds.
Officials say the operation began Tuesday, with a series of raids in Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad.  
U.S. military officials say Iraqi troops are leading the fight, with only […]


Jul 29 2008 US Beef Arrives in South Korea Ending Ban

SEOUL - The first cuts of US beef with bones have arrived in South Korea since they were banned nearly five years ago. Massive street protests over US beef have calmed, but anger over an import resumption deal remains. 
South Korean quarantine inspectors began the process Tuesday of admitting beef ribs from the United States for […]


Jul 29 2008 President Bush Meets with Pakistan PM

WASHINGTON - President Bush has met at the White House with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. The talks took place at a time of rising tensions on the Pakistan-Afghan border.
The Bush administration wants the Pakistanis to do more to confront extremists and terrorists that have flourished along the Pakistani side of the border.
But at […]


Jul 28 2008 Israel Kills Top Hamas Commander in Hebron

JERUSALEM - Israel has settled scores with a Palestinian on its most-wanted list during a raid in the West Bank. Tensions are also running high between rival Palestinian factions.
Israeli commandos killed 25-year-old Shihab al-Natsheh, a top commander of the Islamic militant group Hamas, in the West Bank town of Hebron. There was a shootout, and […]


Jul 27 2008 Moammar Gadhafi Seeks Revenge Against Switzerland

GENEVA - Tensions between Switzerland and Libya are continuing to escalate as Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi enacts a number of retaliatory measures to protest the recent arrest of his son and wife in Geneva. The son, Hannibal Gadhafi and his wife were arrested July 15 charged with abusing two of their domestic servants. 
Libyan leader Moammar […]


Jul 27 2008 Lebanon Deploys Army to Stop Sectarian Violence

BEIRUT - The Lebanese army has been deployed in an attempt to stop sectarian violence in the north of the country that has killed at least nine people and wounded more than 50.
Soldiers and armored vehicles patrolled the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli Saturday, as clashes continued between Sunni Muslims and rival Alawites, a Shi’ite […]


Jul 27 2008 US Senate Passes Major Housing Bill

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate has passed a major bill to provide government support for financially troubled homeowners and two of the country’s largest mortgage lenders.
Senators voted 76-13 in favor of the measure Saturday during a rare Saturday session.
The House of Representatives passed the bill Wednesday. President Bush says he will sign it into law […]


Jul 26 2008 Locusts Threaten Drought Ravaged Eastern Australia

SYDNEY - Locusts are threatening to inflict more pain on some of the most drought-ravaged parts of eastern Australia. Hundreds of farmers have found beds of locust eggs and officials fear that many more have not been reported. Officials have said that recent wet weather has increased the risk of devastating locust activity.  
Australia’s last major […]


Jul 26 2008 US Expands Sanctions Against Zimbabwe

STATE DEPARTMENT - President Bush Friday ordered expanded U.S. sanctions against what he termed the “illegitimate” government of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. At the same time, the United States is offering the country aid if there is a negotiated end to the country’s political conflict.
The Bush administration had promised to tighten unilateral U.S. sanctions against […]


Jul 25 2008 Lebanon Sectarian Violence Intensifies

BEIRUT - The sounds of gunfire and explosions in northern Lebanon echoed through the streets of Tripoli Friday as fighting between sectarian groups intensified.
Lebanese police say at least one person has been killed and 10 wounded in Friday’s fighting between Sunni and Shi’ite gunmen.
Officials say most of the fighting has been concentrated in the Sunni […]


Jul 25 2008 Bangalore India Rocked By Numerous Explosions

NEW DELHI - India’s high-tech city of Bangalore was rocked by numerous explosions on Friday. Initial reports indicate a coordinated terrorist attack, but authorities say the blasts were of relatively small intensity. At least one person is dead and as a many as a dozen others injured.  
As many as seven blasts shook the southern […]


Jul 25 2008 US Investigates Iraq Oil Contracts

WASHINGTON - The U.S. State Department’s acting inspector general says he is investigating the department’s possible role in lucrative oil deals between Iraq and Western oil companies. 
U.S. policy has been to discourage any such deals because Iraq does not yet have a national oil law that would fairly distribute the revenue.
Acting Inspector General Harold Geisel […]


Jul 24 2008 President Bush Promotes Freedom Agenda

WHITE HOUSE - U.S. President George Bush is promoting his freedom agenda, and urging his successor to do the same. Mr. Bush used a speech at the headquarters of the government’s foreign aid agency to talk about the future.  
With his time in office drawing to a close, Mr. Bush used his speech to offer […]


Jul 24 2008 Somalia Urges UN to Deploy Peacekeeping Force

UNITED NATIONS - Somalia’s top diplomat has urged the U.N. Security Council to deploy an international peacekeeping force to his country, saying the political environment is improving and he hopes it will lead to an improved security situation. 
Last month in Djibouti, the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the oppositon Alliance for the Reliberation for […]


Jul 24 2008 Former Iraqi PM Allawi Testifies Before Congress

WASHINGTON - In testimony to a congressional committee, former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi says the United States and Iraq are at a critical stage of deciding on a measured and responsible withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. 
Allawi appeared before a House foreign affairs subcommittee that has held hearings on the future of U.S. - […]


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