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2012 March


Mar 31 2012 France Combats Radical Islam

PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy says more suspected Muslim extremists will be rounded up, following a series of arrests Friday in operations around the country. The arrests are part of a larger crackdown against radical Islam following a string of killings by an al-Qaida-inspired gunman.
Interviewed on France’s Europe 1 radio Friday, President Nicolas Sarkozy […]


Mar 31 2012 Earl Scruggs Dead At 88

WASHINGTON - Earl Scruggs, whose distinctive style of bluegrass banjo picking influenced countless players and helped to shape the sound of modern country music, died in a Nashville hospital Wednesday, March 28.  He was 88 years old.
Before Earl Scruggs, most banjo players used a two- fingered picking style. But all that changed after the 21-year-old […]


Mar 31 2012 US Imposes New Sanctions Against Iranian Oil Exports

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is pushing forward with new sanctions designed to cripple Iran’s oil exports.  The president said Friday there is enough oil on world markets to allow him to take the step without harming U.S. allies
President Obama’s move authorizes U.S. sanctions on foreign banks that continue to purchase oil from Iran.
It is […]


Mar 28 2012 US Supreme Court Considers Obamacare

WASHINGTON - America’s top justices are considering what to do if they strike down the key provision of U.S. President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.
The U.S. Supreme Court held its third and final day of arguments Wednesday on the law, examining whether parts of it should survive if the court determines the so-called “individual […]


Mar 28 2012 US Suspends Food Aid To North Korea

WASHINGTON - A senior U.S. Defense Department official says Washington has decided to suspend food aid to North Korea, in part because of its plans to carry out a provocative missile launch next month.
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Lavoy told a congressional hearing Wednesday that such a launch would reflect Pyongyang’s desire to ignore […]


Mar 27 2012 Syria Accepts Peace Plan

DAMASCUS - International peace envoy Kofi Annan says Syria has accepted his plan to end violence in the country.
A spokesman for Mr. Annan said Tuesday Syria’s response came in a letter to the U.N.-Arab League envoy.
Mr. Annan met with Chinese officials Tuesday in Beijing, including Premier Wen Jiabao, as China pledged to support his mediation […]


Mar 27 2012 US Unemployment For Service Members Very High

WASHINGTON - The unemployment rate for members of the U.S. National Guard and military Reserve returning from deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan is much higher than the jobless rate among U.S. veterans overall, according to the military and veterans’ advocacy groups.
The National Guard has been reporting jobless rates as high as 50 percent among its […]


Mar 26 2012 Turkey Closes Embassy In Syria

ISTANBUL - Turkey has closed its embassy in Syria because of what Turkish officials say is a worsening security situation.
Turkey warned its citizens in Syria last week that it planned to suspend services at the embassy in Damascus and urged them to return home.
Turkey has become increasingly vocal in urging an end to the bloodshed […]


Mar 26 2012 Obama Meets With Leaders Of China, Russia

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Obama met with the leaders of Russia and China ahead of a nuclear non-proliferation summit Monday in the South Korean capital. He also delivered a speech calling on the North Koreans to “have the courage to pursue peace” and “take irreversible steps” to meet their international obligations. The president also cautioned […]


Mar 26 2012 Obamacare Comes Before US Supreme Court

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama’s divisive health care law comes before the U.S. Supreme Court Monday, as opponents argue the measure violates the Constitution and tramples on individual liberties.
The court will hear a challenge by attorneys representing private parties and 26 states, whose main argument is against a provision in the law requiring nearly all […]


Mar 25 2012 Dick Cheney Receives Heart Transplant

WASHINGTON - Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney is recovering after undergoing heart transplant surgery Saturday.
Cheney’s office said he is in the intensive-care unit at a Virginia hospital. He had been on a waiting list to receive a heart for 20 months.
His aide Kara Ahern said Cheney does not know the identity of the donor.
The […]


Mar 24 2012 Obama Visits South Korea For Nuclear Summit

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama is on his way to South Korea for next week’s Nuclear Security Summit.  He flew out of the Washington area on Air Force One in the early Saturday morning darkness.
Obama will join more than 50 world leaders for the high profile summit in South Korea’s capital, Seoul.  The meeting […]


Mar 24 2012 EU Imposes Travel Ban Against Assad Family

BRUSSELS - The European Union imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s British-born wife and several other members of his family and administration Friday.
Meanwhile in Geneva, the United Nations Human Rights Council also toughened its stance on Syria with a sharp condemnation of Syria’s “escalating violence” and called for an […]


Mar 23 2012 Whitney Houston Death Ruled Accidental Drowning

LOS ANGELES - Medical authorities have ruled that the death of U.S. music star Whitney Houston last month was due to accidental drowning and the effects of cocaine use and heart disease.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office made the announcement Thursday, saying no foul play is suspected. Houston’s manager and sister-in-law, Patricia Houston, says the […]


Mar 23 2012 EU Imposes Fresh New Sanctions Against Syria

BRUSSELS - The European Union is set to impose a new round of sanctions against the inner circle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as fresh clashes broke out across the country on Friday.
European foreign ministers meeting in Brussels are expected to impose a travel ban and asset freeze against several members of the president’s family, […]


Mar 22 2012 China Arrests Vietnamese Fishermen

BEIJING - China has defended its detention of 21 Vietnamese fishermen in a disputed area of the South China Sea, after Vietnam called for their immediate release.
The fishermen were detained recently near the Paracel Islands, which are controlled by China but claimed by Vietnam.
Vietnam’s foreign ministry on Wednesday demanded the “immediate and unconditional” release of […]


Mar 22 2012 US Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Against Obamacare

WASHINGTON - Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on legal challenges to President Obama’s signature health care reform law. The court’s ruling, expected in June, will be of immense importance to Americans and a president seeking re-election in November.
President Obama signed health care reform into law in 2010 after prevailing in a year-long […]


Mar 21 2012 US Suspends Recovery Efforts In North Korea

WASHINGTON - The United States says it is suspending efforts to recover the remains of its service members in North Korea. This follows Pyongyang’s announcement last Friday it plans to go against international agreements and launch a rocket.
The U.S. project was designed to bring home remains left in North Korea after the Korean military conflict […]


Mar 21 2012 US Housing Market Rebounding

WASHINGTON - The U.S. housing market has been the weakest link of the country’s economic recovery from its recession, but new sales totals show the industry is rebounding.
Banks assumed ownership of millions of houses in the United States in the last few years as homeowners, many of them laid off from their jobs, were unable […]


Mar 19 2012 Heavy Fighting Reported In Syrian Capital

DAMASCUS - Witnesses and opposition activists in the Syrian capital of Damascus are reporting heavy fighting between rebels and government forces.
The witnesses tell international news agencies that they could hear machine gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades exploding in al-Mezze - one of the most heavily guarded neighborhoods of Damascus and home to government security facilities.
There […]


Mar 18 2012 Egypt Mourns Death Of Shenouda III

CAIRO - Egyptians are mourning the death of Coptic Pope Shenouda III, the spiritual leader of the Middle East’s largest Christian community.
Shenouda died on Saturday in Cairo at age 88 after suffering from what the official MENA news agency says was liver and lung disease.
Mourners gathered in the main Coptic cathedral in Cairo to pray […]


Mar 17 2012 Turkey May Create Buffer Zone In Syria

ISTANBUL - Turkey’s prime minister has warned Damascus that they are considering creating a buffer zone in Syria to stem the stream of Syrian refugees fleeing over the border.
With thousands of Syrians fleeing into Turkey to escape the violence, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicates Turkey is considering intervening inside Syria to protect those refugees, […]


Mar 17 2012 Airfares Skyrocket Amid Rising Fuel Costs

WASHINGTON - Global airfares are on the rise just as many travelers are set to begin their Easter and seasonal vacations. The higher cost for an airline ticket is being blamed on rising crude oil and jet fuel prices. 
Airlines are bracing for a tough year as higher jet fuel prices put a squeeze on profits. […]


Mar 16 2012 Swift Cuts Off Iranian Banks

BRUSSELS - The world’s largest electronic payment system says it will cut off Iranian banks blacklisted by the European Union, another step in the West’s effort to further diminish Tehran’s ability to finance its nuclear program.
The Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift, said it would comply with an EU order to disconnect […]


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