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2011 April


Apr 30 2011 Obama Foreign Policy Criticized By Republicans

WASHINGTON - In U.S. presidential politics, some of the Republicans who would like to challenge President Barack Obama in next year’s election are starting to speak out forcefully against some of the president’s policies, including foreign policy issues.
Although it is very early in the U.S. presidential election campaign cycle, several Republicans have already taken steps […]


Apr 30 2011 US Imposes New Sanctions Against Syria

WASHINGTON - The United States imposed sanctions Friday on Syria’s intelligence agency and two relatives of President Bashar al-Assad over the Damascus government’s bloody crackdown on democracy protestors. Officials say the penalties may be later be expanded to include the Syrian leader himself.
Obama administration officials acknowledge the sanctions, freezing any American assets and barring U.S. […]


Apr 29 2011 Assad Amps Up Violence Despite Obama Condemnation

DAMASCUS - Additional Syrian troops have reportedly been sent to the troubled Syrian town of Daraa and other areas on Thursday.  The deployment comes after several hundred members of the ruling Baath Party resigned in protest of the crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.
The resignation of 200 Baath Party members late Wednesday happened days after three members […]


Apr 29 2011 Jimmy Carter Fails To Meet With Kim Jong Il

SEOUL - Four former world leaders say North Korea has shifted its stance on talking about key issues with South Korea. But the senior statesmen, who spent three days in Pyongyang this week, were not able to meet with the top leaders in either country.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said Thursday that the delegation failed […]


Apr 29 2011 Muslim Brotherhood Plans Protests In Syria

DAMASCUS - Syrian opposition protesters are planning to take to the streets again in defiance of an intense and deadly government crackdown on their demonstrations.
Another day of nationwide protests is planned for Friday, in what has become a weekly outpouring of anger and dissent against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Syria’s banned Muslim Brotherhood […]


Apr 29 2011 Obama Shuffles Administration Officials

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Thursday formally announced leadership changes for the Department of Defense, CIA, and command of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan.  Mr. Obama said the choices will help the United States confront ongoing challenges to its security.
In moving CIA chief Leon Panetta to the Pentagon by July, and switching Afghanistan commander […]


Apr 28 2011 Gas Prices Soar As Jobless Claims Skyrocket

WASHINGTON - U.S. economic growth slowed in the first three months of this year, as energy prices rose and state and local government spending fell.  But many experts expect growth to recover later this year.
The U.S. Commerce Department said Thursday that the U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate during the […]


Apr 28 2011 Palestinian Factions Reach Reconciliation Deal

JERUSALEM - The rival Palestinian Fatah and Hamas factions have reached a reconciliation deal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has responded by asking Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to choose between peace with Israel, or peace with Hamas.
It was a surprise announcement that came after secret talks in Cairo. The rival Fatah group that runs the […]


Apr 28 2011 Syrian Baath Party Members Resign

DAMASCUS - At least 228 members of Syria’s ruling Baath Party have resigned in protest of President Bashar al-Assad’s deadly crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.
A group of more than 200 party members from Deraa province resigned Wednesday, signaling their anger at a bloody ongoing attack by security forces against the flashpoint regional capital.
Earlier, at least 28 […]


Apr 28 2011 Obama To Change National Security Team

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is making sweeping changes in his national security team.  The president Thursday will name a new defense secretary, a CIA director, an ambassador to Afghanistan and a commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan. 
A senior administration official says President Obama will announce four appointments on Thursday. 
He is naming Leon Panetta, the […]


Apr 27 2011 President Barack Obama Releases Birth Certificate

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says the White House released his long-form birth certificate Wednesday because questions about his birthplace have become a distraction.
He said the country faces “enormous challenges” and he has better things to do than deal with the “silliness” about whether he was born in the United States.  He said there would […]


Apr 27 2011 US Congress Faces Contentious Debt Ceiling Debate

WASHINGTON - Sometime during the next several weeks, the U.S. Congress will take up the issue of raising the nation’s debt ceiling so that the United States can continue to borrow money to cover a national debt that will soon soar past $14 trillion.  The debate over raising the debt ceiling comes amid a highly […]


Apr 27 2011 Mourners Attend Funeral Of Sathya Sai Baba

NEW DELHI - In India, nearly half a million devotees have attended the funeral of a guru whose massive following in India and overseas included many rich and powerful people.  Sathya Sai Baba’s followers looked upon him as a divine incarnation and believed he had mystical powers.     
Priests chanted Hindu hymns as the funeral of Sathya […]


Apr 27 2011 Emperor Akihito Visits Quake Damaged Areas

TOKYO - Japan’s emperor and empress were in devastated Miyagi prefecture Wednesday to view earthquake damage and comfort survivors.
It was the first visit to the hardest-hit areas by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, though they have visited evacuation centers closer to Tokyo. The couple flew early Wednesday to an air base in Miyagi.  The prefecture […]


Apr 27 2011 UN Chief Condemns Syrian Violence

NEW YORK - Members of the U.N. Security Council are due to meet Wednesday to discuss a joint statement condemning the continuing violence against anti-government protesters in Syria.
On Tuesday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an independent inquiry into the violence.  He specifically condemned the use of tanks and live fire that have killed and injured […]


Apr 27 2011 Bashar al-Assad Under Fire

WASHINGTON - A senior U.S. State Department official said Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s actions against protesters are “completely inconsistent with those of a responsible leader.” U.S. diplomats are talking to European allies about new sanctions targeting the Syrian ruling circle.
Officials here stop short of saying that Assad has lost his legitimacy to rule. […]


Apr 26 2011 US Considering Targeted Sanctions Against Syria

WASHINGTON - The United States is stepping up pressure on the Syrian government to end its violent response to protesters.  The White House for the first time said Monday that targeted sanctions are among a range of options the president is considering.
During the past month, the White House has issued five statements about violence in […]


Apr 25 2011 Syrian Tanks Assault City Of Daraa

DAMASCUS - Witnesses say several thousand Syrian army troops, flanked by special forces, shot their way into the southern city of Daraa before dawn Monday, causing numerous casualties. Tanks reportedly began the assault, shelling the city as they moved in from four sides.
Videos distributed by human rights activists show black smoke over the city center […]


Apr 25 2011 Pakistanis Protest US Drone Attacks

ISLAMABAD - Thousands of Pakistanis opposed to U.S. drone strikes on militants in the country’s northwest have ended their two-day blockade of a key supply route for U.S.-led NATO troops fighting Taliban insurgents in neighboring Afghanistan.
The call for the blockade, which began Saturday on the outskirts of Peshawar, came from the Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) […]


Apr 23 2011 Japan Extends Exclusion Zone For Radiation

TOKYO - An evacuation advisory for areas near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was widened on Friday because of concerns about long-term radiation exposure. The move comes a day after Japan began legally enforcing a 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the power station.
The new advisory covers several towns northeast of the mandatory exclusion zone. […]


Apr 23 2011 US Condemns Syrian Crackdown On Protesters

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama has condemned Syria for what he called an “outrageous use of violence” against opposition protesters, after 75 people were killed Friday in a government crackdown on the demonstrations.
Obama said in a statement that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ignored the Syrian people’s calls for freedom and has instead chosen […]


Apr 22 2011 Obama Escalates War In Libya Using Predator Drones

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon says the United States is now authorized to use armed Predator drones in Libya as yet another means to end the conflict there.  Earlier Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Dutch counterpart, Uri Rosenthal, met at the State Department to discuss other ways to bring the violence to an […]


Apr 22 2011 McCain Calls Libyan Rebels Heroes During Visit

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator John McCain arrived in the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi Friday to meet with opposition leaders and to assess the situation on the ground.
McCain told reporters the rebels are his “heroes”, after his arrival in the eastern city that serves as the headquarters of the Libyan opposition.
The veteran Republican lawmaker was […]


Apr 22 2011 High Gas Prices Take Toll On Obama Administration

WASHINGTON - The U.S. government says it is going to monitor the sharply rising gasoline prices in the country to see if anyone is profiting illegally.
The country’s top legal official, Attorney General Eric Holder, said Thursday that officials from several agencies would be “vigilant” in looking at oil and gas markets for “any wrongdoing” so […]


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