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2012 January


Jan 31 2012 Hillary Urges Security Council Action On Syria

NEW YORK - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to urge the U.N. Security Council to support an Arab League peace plan for Syria, after Washington strongly condemned escalating violence by President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Clinton will join the foreign ministers of France and Britain at Tuesday’s Security Council session.  Western powers have been […]


Jan 31 2012 Obama Confirms Drone Strikes In Pakistan

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama has defended the use of drone strikes in Pakistan, which U.S. officials have never before publicly acknowledged.
Speaking during an online town hall discussion Monday, President Obama said the drone attacks have been used to target al-Qaida and its affiliates, and that many of the strikes have been in Pakistan’s […]


Jan 30 2012 US Officials Meet With Taliban In Qatar

CAIRO - Taliban officials say Afghan Taliban negotiators are meeting with U.S. officials in Qatar for a series of discussions aimed at building trust between the two sides ahead of the upcoming peace talks.
Maulavi Qalamuddin, who once led the group’s religious police, said Sunday the delegation includes several former officials, as well as a former […]


Jan 30 2012 South Korea Seeks Alternative To Iranian Oil

SEOUL - South Korea’s president is to visit Saudi Arabia and two other Gulf oil producers in an attempt to secure stable sources of energy. The trip will come as Seoul is considering reducing imports from Iran in line with U.S.-led sanctions.
But the government of South Korea, heavily dependent on energy supplies from abroad, is […]


Jan 29 2012 Russia Decries Arab League Suspension In Syria

MOSCOW - Russia’s foreign minister has criticized the Arab League’s decision to suspend its observer mission to Syria after an upsurge of violence that, according to human rights activists, killed at least 36 people across the country.
Russian state media quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Sunday as saying he would support instead an increase in the […]


Jan 29 2012 US Republicans Battle For Florida Primary Votes

WASHINGTON - U.S. Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are battling for support in the southern state of Florida, which holds its primary in two days.
The two front-runners in the race to determine who will challenge President Barack Obama this year were campaigning around Florida Saturday.
Romney, a multimillionaire investor and former governor of […]


Jan 29 2012 African Union Summit Opens In Ethiopia

WASHINGTON - African Union leaders opened a two-day summit in Addis Ababa Sunday with the election of a new chairman for the pan-African organization.
Benin’s President Thomas Yayi Boni was selected chairman for the next year, taking over from Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was among the first speakers in the new […]


Jan 28 2012 US Army Hit Hardest In Obama Military Cuts

WASHINGTON - U.S. military leaders say they have begun preparations for a new, leaner military as Washington prepares to make cuts in the defense budget. Washington wants to reassure its allies, though, that it will remain engaged with them.
The branch of the military to be hardest hit is the U.S. Army, which will see the […]


Jan 28 2012 Arab League Suspends Syria Mission

DAMASCUS - The Arab League says it is suspending its observer mission in Syria due to an upsurge of violence in the country. But Arab League officials said Saturday observers will stay in Syria until further notice.
The mission has been in Syria for the past month to monitor the Syrian regime’s deadly crackdown on dissent.  […]


Jan 27 2012 Mitt Romney Under Fire For Foreign Holdings

WASHINGTON - The four remaining candidates for the U.S. Republican Party’s presidential nomination met in a sometimes heated debate in Jacksonville, Florida, Thursday ahead of that state’s January 31 primary.
The debate quickly produced fireworks on issues like immigration and foreign bank accounts. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney reacted angrily to former Speaker of the House […]


Jan 27 2012 US To Hold War Games With South Korea

SEOUL - The United States and South Korea are to hold two military exercises on the Korean peninsula soon. They will be the first such war games since the recent change of leadership in North Korea.
There had been speculation one or both of the joint U.S.-South Korean military drills might be postponed or called off […]


Jan 27 2012 Turkey Observes Holocaust Remembrance Day

ISTANBUL - Turkey’s observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day began with a broadcast of a French documentary on the Holocaust on state run television.
Filmmaker Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah was shown late Thursday, on the eve of the observance.
Lanzmann says the broadcast marked the first time a predominantly Muslim country has shown his 1985 biographical film of […]


Jan 27 2012 US New Home Sales Lowest In History

WASHINGTON - The sluggish U.S. economy produced mixed signals Thursday about how fast it is advancing.
The U.S. government reported that orders for durable goods, those designed to last at least three years, surged three percent in December, suggesting that manufacturing is a strong segment of the national economy.  Orders for cars, commercial airplanes, machinery, communications […]


Jan 26 2012 Jimmy Carter Decries Negative Campaign Ads

WASHINGTON - As presidential contenders campaign for the Republican Party nomination, advertising that supports or attacks each of the candidates is already costing millions of dollars.
In an interview former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat who defeated Republican President Gerald Ford in the 1976 election, but who lost to Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980, says negative […]


Jan 26 2012 US Federal Reserve To Keep Lending Rate Low

WASHINGTON - The U.S. central bank says it will keep its benchmark interest rate near zero at least until late 2014, a new move to try to spark the sluggish growth of the world’s largest economy.
The Federal Reserve had previously said it would keep its key lending rate low through mid-2013.  But on Wednesday, officials […]


Jan 25 2012 US Condemns Russian Arms Sales To Syria

WASHINGTON - Britain, France and the United States condemned Russia’s sales of weapons to Syria on Tuesday, saying it is contributing to violence in that country.
Without naming Russia directly, but making it clear that it was the country they were speaking about, the three ambassadors separately criticized Moscow’s arms deals with Damascus during a meeting […]


Jan 25 2012 US Military Rescues Hostages In Somalia

WASHINGTON - A U.S. military operation has freed two aid workers – an American woman and a Danish man – who were kidnapped by gunmen three months ago in central Somalia.
In a statement Wednesday, President Barack Obama praised U.S. special operations forces who hours earlier freed Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted during a daring […]


Jan 24 2012 US President John F Kennedy Tapes Released

WASHINGTON - Newly released recordings reveal many of President John F. Kennedy’s private conversations and meetings during the final months of his administration.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on Tuesday declassified the final 45 hours of White House audio recordings the president secretly taped.
The tapes include meetings with then Russian Foreign […]


Jan 24 2012 Romney Accused Of Spreading Falsehoods

WASHINGTON - The four remaining candidates for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination met for a testy debate in Florida late Monday, just one week before a crucial primary vote in that southern state.
There were a number of heated exchanges during the NBC debate between the two top contenders, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich and […]


Jan 24 2012 Iran Again Threatens To Close Hormuz Strait

TEHRAN - Iran has denounced the European Union’s decision to ban new purchases of Iranian oil and freeze the assets of the country’s central bank, calling the moves “illogical and unfair.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Monday the world’s long-term need for energy means it is “not possible to impose sanctions on Iran,” with its […]


Jan 24 2012 EU Imposes Oil Embargo Against Iran

LONDON - The European Union has imposed an oil embargo on Iran, effective July 1 - taking away 20 percent of Iran’s current oil sales. The embargo is intended to increase pressure on Iran’s government to allow inspections to ensure its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, as Iran’s leaders say it is.
The ban […]


Jan 22 2012 Defeated Romney To Release Tax Returns

WASHINGTON - U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says he will release his tax returns for the past two years this week, saying it was a mistake for his campaign not to do so earlier. 
The former Massachusetts governor said in an interview Sunday with Fox News that not releasing the returns has been a distraction […]


Jan 22 2012 Ali Abdullah Saleh Seeks Medical Treatment In US

WASHINGTON - The United States says it will allow outgoing Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to come to the U.S. for a limited time to undergo medical treatment.
A State Department release Sunday noted that Mr. Saleh’s travel request had been approved for the sole purpose of such treatment, and that his expected stay in the […]


Jan 22 2012 Saudi Arabia Withdraws Observers From Syria

WASHINGTON - Saudi Arabia says it is withdrawing its observers from Syria in protest at what it calls the Syrian government’s failure to respect an Arab League plan to end a violent crackdown on a 10-month old opposition uprising.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal announced the pullout of the Saudi observers Sunday, at a meeting […]


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