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2009 June


Jun 30 2009 US Military Completes Withdrawal From Baghdad

WASHINGTON - The top U.S. military commander in Iraq, Army General Ray Odierno, said Tuesday that American combat forces have completed the planned withdrawal from Baghdad and other urban areas.
Speaking via satellite from Baghdad to reporters at the Pentagon, General Odierno said Iraqi security forces have taken control of all major metropolitan areas in the […]


Jun 30 2009 Iraq Opens Bidding For Oil Field Development

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi government has opened bidding for development rights for some of the country’s massive oil and gas fields.
More than 30 international firms, including U.S. giant Exxon Mobil and China’s CNPC, are vying for a chance to secure service contracts to develop six oil and two gas fields.
The contracts will provide money to […]


Jun 30 2009 President Obama Pushes Energy Conservation

WHITE HOUSE - U.S. President Barack Obama is pushing energy conservation in American homes and businesses, starting with a new set of standards for lighting. 
Mr. Obama is working hard to get sweeping energy legislation through Congress. But in the meantime, he is taking smaller steps to promote conservation.
He says many seemingly small moves can make […]


Jun 29 2009 US, Poland Hold Talks On Missile Defense

WASHINGTON - The top U.S. military officer told Polish officials in Warsaw Monday the Obama Administration has still not decided whether to proceed with the Bush Administration’s plan to build a missile defense installation in Poland and the Czech Republic. But Admiral Mike Mullen says the U.S. government is still concerned about the growing missile […]


Jun 28 2009 US Admiral Mullen: Iraq Ready For Handover

WASHINGTON - The United States’ top military officer says he believes Iraqi forces are ready to take full control of their country’s cities on Tuesday, as called for in the U.S.-Iraq security agreement. 
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, told a small group of reporters traveling with him in Europe that […]


Jun 28 2009 Jackson Family Wants Second Autopsy For Michael

LOS ANGELES - Michael Jackson’s family said Saturday they are seeking a private, second autopsy to figure out what caused the sudden death of the American pop icon Thursday at his Los Angeles home.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office conducted an autopsy of Jackson’s body Friday and said there were no indications of external trauma […]


Jun 27 2009 Saad Hariri Becomes Prime Minister Of Lebanon

BEIRUT - Saad Hariri has been named the new prime minister of Lebanon, taking over a post once held by his father, Rafiq Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005.
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman appointed Mr. Hariri on Saturday, after a majority of lawmakers had nominated him.
Speaking at the presidential palace, Mr. Hariri pledged to work to […]


Jun 27 2009 US House Passes Climate Change Bill

WASHINGTON - Majority Democrats and President Obama have won a major although narrow victory with passage on Friday by the House of Representatives of a major energy and climate change bill. The vote was 219 to 212. If eventually approved by Congress the measure would impose the first government-mandated limits on greenhouse gas emissions linked […]


Jun 26 2009 Michael Jackson Remembered

WASHINGTON - American music superstar Michael Jackson died June 25 after suffering cardiac arrest at his home in Los Angeles. He was 50 years old. One of the most-recognized performers in the world, Jackson’s blend of pop, rock and soul appealed to people of all races and cultures.
Michael Jackson’s life was described as one of […]


Jun 26 2009 US Attorney General Seeks New Hate Crimes Law

WASHINGTON - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is calling on Congress to pass a new, expanded hate crimes law that would permit the federal government to prosecute cases of violence based on disability, gender and sexual orientation.  Democrats have been trying to update the current hate crimes law for more than a decade, which already […]


Jun 25 2009 Farrah Fawcett Dead At 62

LOS ANGELES - Hollywood actress Farrah Fawcett, a glamorous face on television in the 1970s series Charlie’s Angels, has died in Los Angeles at age 62.  The actress succumbed to cancer after a 2.5 - year battle.
Farrah Fawcett was born in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1947 and got her start as a model and actress […]


Jun 25 2009 Michael Jackson Dead At 50

LOS ANGELES - Sources in California say international pop star Michael Jackson has died after suffering cardiac arrest.Los Angeles fire officials say Jackson was rushed to UCLA Medical Center Thursday after emergency officials found him not breathing at his home. He was given CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, at the scene before being taken to the hospital. […]


Jun 25 2009 US Federal Reserve Maintains Low Interest Rate

WASHINGTON - The US central bank on Wednesday opted to leave interest rates unchanged, saying economic weakness likely will continue.
The Federal Reserve said economic conditions warrant continued exceptionally low interest rate levels for what it termed “an extended period”.
In a statement issued at the end of a two-day monetary policy meeting, the Fed said the […]


Jun 25 2009 US Returns Ambassador To Syria

STATE DEPARTMENT - The Obama administration confirms it is sending a U.S. ambassador to Syria after a four-year absence. The last U.S. ambassador in Damascus was withdrawn in 2005 after the Beirut assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. 
The decision to return a full-fledged ambassador to Damascus follows a series of visits to Syria […]


Jun 25 2009 US, Russia Discuss Nuclear Arms

WASHINGTON - The United States and Russia have resumed negotiations in Geneva on cutting their nuclear arsenals.
The two sides are set to complete their third formal round of talks Wednesday on replacing the Cold War-era Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The talks are the last before a summit next month between President Barack Obama and his […]


Jun 24 2009 US, Kyrgystan Reach Deal On Manas Air Base

WASHINGTON - The United States and Kyrgyzstan have reached a deal on the continued use of a Kyrgyz air base to transport supplies for the U.S. military in Afghanistan.
The news comes four months after Kyrgyzstan’s parliament voted to evict U.S. troops from the Manas air base near the country’s border with Kazakhstan. 
Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kadyrbek […]


Jun 24 2009 US, China Hold High Level Defense Talks

WASHINGTON - U.S. and Chinese defense officials met Tuesday in Beijing for their highest-level bilateral military talks in 18 months.
Washington is expected to focus on North Korea and international efforts to persuade the reclusive state back to talks on ending its nuclear weapons program.
U.S. undersecretary for defense Michele Flournoy is leading the U.S. side for […]


Jun 23 2009 Ed McMahon Dies At 86

LOS ANGELES - A longtime mainstay of late-night American television, Ed McMahon, has died at the age of 86.
A spokesman for the announcer and television host said McMahon died early Tuesday at a hospital in Los Angeles. The spokesman did not give a cause of death.
McMahon was best known as Johnny Carson’s sidekick on the […]


Jun 23 2009 Iran Guardian Council Will Not Annul Election Results

TEHRAN - Iranian media reported Tuesday that the nation’s powerful Guardian Council has said it will not annul the results of the nation’s disputed presidential election, saying there were no major polling irregularities.

The council’s spokesman, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, said late Monday that most complaints centered around irregularities before the election, and not during or after […]


Jun 23 2009 President Obama Signs Anti-Smoking Law

WHITE HOUSE - U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law Monday sweeping new legislation regulating the nation’s tobacco industry. The bill gives the federal government the ability to regulate the production and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Decades after the dangers of tobacco first became known, the strongest anti-smoking legislation in U.S. history has […]


Jun 22 2009 Iran Criticized For Violence Against Citizens

WASHINGTON - International criticism of Iran’s handling of a disputed presidential vote and subsequent protests is mounting, after Iranian media reported the arrest of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani’s eldest daughter.  
German Chancellor Angela Merkel added her voice to a growing chorus of Western leaders demanding respect for civil liberties in Iran.
“Human rights and citizens’ rights […]


Jun 21 2009 UN To Begin Investigating Benazir Bhutto Assassination

NEW YORK - The United Nations secretary-general has appointed a three-person commission to investigate the circumstances of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in December 2007. The commission will begin its work on July 1.
In February, the government of Pakistan asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to establish an international commission to investigate Mrs. Bhutto’s […]


Jun 21 2009 Russia Concerned Over US Missile Defense System

MOSCOW - Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says that Russia is willing to cut its nuclear arsenal if the United States will ease Moscow’s concerns about the proposed United States missile defense system in Europe. 
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says that Moscow would  go lower than the nuclear warheads limits being envisaged in the Strategic Arms Reduction […]


Jun 20 2009 US Congress Condemns Iran Crackdown On Demonstrators

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Congress has condemned the Iranian government’s crackdown on demonstrators protesting the result of the recent election. The U.S. Senate acted Friday after an earlier nearly unanimous vote by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The 405 to 1 vote was the strongest expression of support yet from the U.S. Congress for demonstrators who […]


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