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2009 February


Feb 28 2009 Mexico Sends Additional Troops To Juarez

MEXICO CITY - Mexican authorities say more troops and federal police are being deployed to the border city of Juarez to crack down on drug-related violence plaguing the area.  
Officials say the federal government could send as many 5,000 more soldiers and police to the area, bringing the number there to more than 7,000. More […]


Feb 27 2009 Obama Announces Iraq Withdrawal Plan

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama says he will withdraw all American combat troops from Iraq by the end of August 2010.
Mr. Obama made the announcement Friday to Marines at Camp Lejeune, a U.S. military base in the southeastern state of North Carolina.
The president says up to 50,000 troops could stay in Iraq for limited […]


Feb 27 2009 Pentagon Lifts Photo Ban On US Military Coffins

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has announced a new policy that will allow families to decide whether flag-draped caskets of American soldiers killed in war can be photographed by news organizations.
Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced a reversal in department policy regarding the photography of coffins containing the remains of […]


Feb 27 2009 Republicans: Obama Tax Plan Harms Small Businesses

WASHINGTON - U.S. lawmakers are reacting to President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for the 2010 fiscal year that begins in October. Democrats and Republicans commented on the $3.5 trillion budget that would raise the federal deficit to $1.75 trillion.As lawmakers assess the budget, the rhetoric about spending and saving projections and priorities heated up.
Democrats face […]


Feb 27 2009 Obama To Unveil Proposal For US Troops In Iraq

WHITE HOUSE - President Barack Obama is expected on Friday to unveil his proposal for gradually reducing U.S. troop strength in Iraq. Mr. Obama will make the announcement at Camp Lejeune, a Marine base in North Carolina.  
Thousands of Marines from Camp Lejeune have been deployed to Iraq during the course of the war.
About 500 […]


Feb 26 2009 Palestinian Factions Seek To Create Unity Government

CAIRO - Rival Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas, have signed a deal in Cairo aimed at healing their divisions and creating a unity government.
Senior Fatah official and former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei told reporters Thursday both sides believe in the importance of ending their internal fighting and rebuilding the institutions that have been […]


Feb 26 2009 US Human Rights Report Cites Abuses In China

WASHINGTON - The State Department’s annual report on human rights conditions worldwide issued Wednesday includes sharp criticism of China despite a suggestion last week by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the issue was secondary to broader concerns in the U.S. dialogue with Beijing. Clinton told reporters the promotion of human rights is “essential” to […]


Feb 26 2009 Obama To Present Budget Proposal To Congress

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama presents his first budget proposal to Congress Thursday, and administration officials say it will seek a $634 billion fund for health care reform as well as cuts in some programs.The president has said he intends to cut the U.S. government’s budget deficit in half in four years, despite the need […]


Feb 26 2009 Democrats, Republicans Battle Over Spending

WASHINGTON - Democratic and Republican lawmakers engaged in more emotional debate on Wednesday over government spending. Heated exchanges over budget measures left over from last year provided a glimpse of what is likely to come when Congress tackles President Barack Obama’s 2010 fiscal year budget which is expected to arrive on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
The […]


Feb 25 2009 Gary Locke Becomes Third Nominee For Commerce Secretary

WASHINGTON - The man who was the first Chinese-American governor of a U.S. state is President Barack Obama’s latest choice to be Commerce Secretary. Former Washington governor Gary Locke is the third person Mr. Obama has nominated for the post.
President Obama’s nominee to run the Commerce Department spent eight years leading a Pacific Rim state […]


Feb 25 2009 President Obama Reassures America On Economy

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States will emerge from uncertain economic times stronger than before. In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, the president made the case for his economic policies.
It was a night of pure political theatre on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers crammed around the aisles of the […]


Feb 24 2009 NASA Global Warming Satellite Crashes Near Antarctica

WASHINGTON - A NASA mission intended to monitor global carbon dioxide emissions suffered a setback Tuesday when a rocket carrying a satellite did not reach orbit.
An official with the company that built the satellite, John Brunschwyler of Orbital Sciences Corporation, told a news conference Tuesday that the rocket landed in the ocean near Antarctica. He […]


Feb 24 2009 President Obama To Address The Nation

WHITE HOUSE - On Tuesday, February 24, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, U.S. President Barack Obama will go before a joint session of Congress for the first time to address the American people on the challenges facing the nation. The Speech is expected to focus largely on the economy.
The president will use the speech to […]


Feb 23 2009 Egypt Frets Falling Suez Canal Revenues

CAIRO - Egyptian economists are fretting, as the global economic crisis bites, hitting vital sources of government revenue, like tariffs from Suez Canal traffic. The canal authority reported that traffic for January was off by 22 percent, and that revenue was down by nearly 20 percent.
A cargo ship blows its horn, as it prepares to […]


Feb 23 2009 NATO Seeks To Deploy Additional Troops To Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - The deputy commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan says he is confident member states will send thousands of extra troops needed to bolster security for presidential elections in August.
Lieutenant General Jim Dutton told reporters Monday “we are talking about thousands” of soldiers, but he added “not many thousands.” He explained they will be […]


Feb 23 2009 Somali Group al-Shabab Threatens Terror Attacks

NAIROBI - Somalia’s militant al-Shabab group has promised to launch more attacks against African Union peacekeeping troops a day after 11 soldiers from Burundi were killed in blasts claimed by the group.
On an Internet website, al-Shabab posted pictures of the two young men it says were responsible for Sunday’s deadly attack on the Mogadishu compound […]


Feb 22 2009 Scientists Breed New Disease Resistant Wheat

WASHINGTON - International teams of plant scientists are stepping up their efforts to breed hardier types of wheat, a global food staple used to make bread, cereals and pasta. They’re hoping the new wheat varieties will better resist the fungal diseases that are attacking wheat crops all over the world and threatening widespread food shortages.
Stem […]


Feb 21 2009 Obama Backs Bush Policy On Afghanistan Detainees

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration says detainees at the U.S. air base in Bagram, Afghanistan cannot use U.S. courts to challenge their detention.
The ruling by the U.S. Justice Department upholds the former Bush administration’s policy on the issue.
Attorneys representing the detainees expressed disappointment with the decision.
Last year the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prisoners at […]


Feb 21 2009 Syria President Bashar al-Assad Meets John Kerry

DAMASCUS - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry Saturday. This is the latest in a series of contacts between the two countries.
Syrian government TV emphasized the importance of Senator Kerry’s visit and showed President Bashar al-Assad smiling and gesturing energetically, as both men met to explore improving relations […]


Feb 21 2009 US Requests High Level Meeting With Syria

WASHINGTON - U.S. officials have called for a meeting with Syria’s ambassador to the United States to address concerns over Syria’s possible nuclear program and its alleged support of terrorist groups.
State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid said Friday that Ambassador Imad Mustafa has been invited to meet with Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near […]


Feb 21 2009 Lebanon Condemns Rocket Attack Against Israel

JERUSALEM - Lebanese security sources say Israel has fired artillery shells into southern Lebanon, after three rockets were fired toward Israel from Lebanon. Israeli sources say one of those rockets landed in northern Israel and wounded three people. Lebanese rocket fire is raising tension on the border with Israel.  
Rockets were fired at Israel from Lebanon, […]


Feb 20 2009 Shimon Peres Nominates Benjamin Netanyahu

JERUSALEM - Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose party came in second in national elections last week, is in line to return to power. 
President Shimon Peres nominated Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu to be Israel’s next prime minister and gave him six weeks to form a coalition government.  Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni narrowly won […]


Feb 20 2009 UN Inspectors Find Processed Uranium In Syria

GENEVA - The United Nations nuclear agency says it has found more traces of uranium at a Syrian site that Israel bombed because of suspicions it was a covert nuclear plant.

A report to members of the International Atomic Energy Agency board in Geneva Thursday said the uranium was processed and not naturally occurring. It also gave […]


Feb 20 2009 UN Begins Talks On Security Council Reform

UNITED NATIONS - UN member states met informally on Thursday to begin talks on key issues of reforming the body’s powerful Security Council. Many countries want to see the 15-member council expanded to include broader regional representation and additional permanent members.  
The subject of Security Council reform and expansion is not new.  It has been […]


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