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2009 July


Jul 31 2009 US Lawmakers Voice Concerns On Obama Foreign Policy

CAPITOL HILL - At two recent congressional hearings, U.S. diplomats, defense and military officials outlined how the Obama administration intends to go about “resetting” the U.S. relationship with Russia.  Lawmakers on the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs, and Armed Services committees asked some tough questions about key aspects of the U.S-Russian relationship.
Questions about where the […]


Jul 30 2009 Scotland Gathering Celebrates Family History

EDINBURGH - It was called “The Gathering” and gather they did. More than 50,000 Scots and would-be Scots from across the globe gathered this past weekend in Scotland for the largest ever reunion of the countries clansmen and their descendants.
Tartans of every color and size. Scotsmen and women of every description and nationality as well.
The […]


Jul 30 2009 US May Require More Troops In Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - A member of the strategic assessment team working with the new U.S. military commander in Afghanistan says the U.S. government and its allies need to be more realistic about what is needed to win the Afghan war, and he says that may include more troops.
Senior Washington analyst Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic […]


Jul 29 2009 US Defense Secretary Meets Kurdistan President

IRBIL - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has met with the president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, during the second day of his trip to Iraq.
The two held talks in the Kurdish regional capital Irbil on Wednesday as Mr. Gates attempted to bridge the divide between Iraq’s ethnic Kurds and majority Arabs.
On Tuesday, […]


Jul 29 2009 Britain To Withdraw Troops From Iraq

BAGHDAD - Britain said it will withdraw its remaining forces in Iraq to neighboring Kuwait. 
The British Embassy in Baghdad said Tuesday the move is necessary because the Iraqi parliament has failed to pass a deal allowing some British troops to stay beyond the end of July.
The deal would have allowed up to 100 British troops […]


Jul 28 2009 US Launches Cash For Clunkers To Lure Consumers

WASHINGTON - Automakers struggling to lure prospective car shoppers in the depressed U.S. market received a helping hand from the US government Monday. The Department of Transportation’s Car Allowance Rebate System or CARS made its official debut in Washington. Starting Monday, car buyers wishing to trade in their older vehicles for a newer model could […]


Jul 28 2009 Wildfires Blaze Across Greece, Spain

ROME - Summer wildfires continue to rage across forests on the Mediterranean islands of Corsica and Sardinia. Spain and Greece are also dealing with blazes.
Italian and French authorities have detained a number of people suspected of starting the forest fires that have ravaged Sardinia and Corsica. Hundreds of firefighters, using helicopters and aircraft, continue to […]


Jul 28 2009 US Peace Envoy Visits Egypt

CAIRO - Special U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell is in Egypt as part of a push to resume Arab-Israeli peace talks.
George Mitchell looked tired but sounded upbeat, on the latest lap of his shuttle mission that has brought him from Syria and Israel to Egypt.
The visit was his fifth to Cairo and the second in […]


Jul 26 2009 Democrats Lack Support For Health Care Reform

WASHINGTON - A key U.S. Democratic senator says his party cannot pass a health care reform bill in the Senate without support from minority Republicans.
Senate budget committee chairman Kent Conrad said Sunday on U.S. television network ABC Democrats do not have the votes to pass a bill despite holding a 60-seat majority in the 100-member […]


Jul 26 2009 India Unveils Arihant Nuclear Submarine

NEW DELHI - India has launched its first indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine capable of firing ballistic missiles. The submarine, once in service, will give the country the capability to fire nuclear weapons from sea besides land and air.
The Indian navy flooded a dry dock in the southern port city of Visakhapatnam to send out the […]


Jul 26 2009 US Defense Secretary Gates To Visit Israel

JERUSALEM - The United States is sending senior officials to Israel for a week of high diplomacy. There are wide gaps to be bridged. 
Iran will top the agenda when American Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrives in Israel on Monday. Gates is expected to urge Israel not to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, saying the planned […]


Jul 25 2009 Kurdistan Holds Regional Elections

IRBIL - Iraqi Kurds are voting Saturday in a presidential and parliamentary election, just as the autonomous region is locked in a bitter feud with Baghdad over land and oil.
There are about 2.5 million people eligible to vote in Iraqi Kurdistan, a region in northern Iraq that includes three provinces - Irbil, Dahuk and Sulaimaniyah.
After […]


Jul 25 2009 US Gives $200 Million To Palestinians

WASHINGTON - The United States has announced a financial aid package to the Palestinian Authority. The announcement was made as a senior U.S. official prepares to hold talks with Syria.  
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the $200 million is to help the Palestinian Authority improve the lives of people in the region. And she […]


Jul 24 2009 Joe Biden Addresses Georgia Parliament

WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden has expressed support for the NATO aspirations of Georgia, but rejects any military option for re-integration of that country’s two breakaway regions recognized as independent by Russia. Biden’s statement coincides with a Kremlin reminder of its objections to military aid for Georgia. 
In an address to Georgia’s Parliament, Biden recalled […]


Jul 24 2009 US Law Enforcement Targets Mexican Drug Cartels

WASHINGTON - U.S. federal law enforcement agencies have stepped up efforts to capture top leaders of two of the most powerful Mexican drug trafficking organizations that are now operating together under an umbrella framework they call “the Company”.  The United States and Mexico view these criminals as threats to their national security.

This week, the U.S. […]


Jul 23 2009 US Congress Debates Sanctions Against Iran Petroleum

WASHINGTON - The chairman of a key U.S. House of Representatives committee has signaled his intention to move ahead with sanctions legislation targeting Iran’s refined petroleum sector, if Iran does not take up the U.S offer of direct talks on its uranium enrichment program. The statement by Democratic Representative Howard Berman of the House Foreign […]


Jul 23 2009 US Health Care Reform Loosing Public Support

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama’s fourth nationally-televised evening news conference Wednesday was dominated by the debate over reforming the country’s health care system. The president is trying to overcome objections to his plan from lawmakers in both parties.  
President Obama’s initiative to fix the way Americans pay for health care is losing popular support and […]


Jul 22 2009 US Senate Ends F-22 Raptor Fighter Jet Program

PENTAGON - The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to end funding for the most sophisticated U.S. fighter jet, supporting President Barack Obama on one of the most controversial issues to come before the Congress since he took office six months ago.  

President Obama had threatened to veto his own defense budget if the Congress added $1.75 […]


Jul 22 2009 US Considers Defense Umbrella To Deter Iran

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the United States may offer a “defense umbrella” for U.S. allies in the Gulf, to deter Iran if it acquires nuclear weapons. Clinton, in Thailand for a regional dialogue with ASEAN foreign ministers, also says the United States is concerned about possible North Korean nuclear aid […]


Jul 21 2009 Israeli Police Seek Indictments Against Ehud Olmert

JERUSALEM - Israeli police are recommending new indictments against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for fraud and breach of trust - the latest development in a wave of corruption scandals that forced him from office. 
Monday’s recommendation stems from allegations that Mr. Olmert improperly appointed acquaintances during his term as the minister of industry and trade […]


Jul 21 2009 Hillary Visits Thailand For ASEAN Conference

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Thailand Tuesday for meetings with Thai officials and to attend a regional security conference expected to focus on the North Korean nuclear threat, Burma’s human rights record and terrorism.
Following a five-day visit to India, Clinton will meet with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva after her […]


Jul 20 2009 Israel: Jerusalem Is The Capital Of The Jewish People

JERUSALEM - Israel’s government has reacted to fresh American criticism of Jewish settlements.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a demand by the United States to halt a project to build apartments for Jews in disputed East Jerusalem.
“United Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” Mr. Netanyahu told the Cabinet, […]


Jul 19 2009 Kenya Seeks Total Ban On Ivory Trade

WASHINGTON - It has been 20 years since the international community banned the sale of ivory to protect endangered animals.  But Kenyan wildlife officials complain elephants are being slaughtered because of occasional exceptions.
Officials here in Kenya warn the nation’s elephants are again in danger.  Poachers are venturing into the country’s national parks and killing them […]


Jul 19 2009 Americans Skeptical Of Obama Health Care Plan

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama is spending several days promoting his health insurance reform proposal to skeptical lawmakers and a skeptical American public. Opposition Republicans say the president is moving too quickly.  
 In his weekly address, President Obama tells several anecdotes that he says illustrate the need to reform the way Americans pay for […]


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