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2012 April


Apr 30 2012 US, Japan Seek Stronger Alliance

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda have announced a new joint vision designed to both strengthen their countries’ alliance that has weakened in recent years and help shape the Asia Pacific region.
Speaking alongside Mr. Noda Monday, President Obama said the alliance will remain the foundation of security and prosperity […]


Apr 25 2012 US Supreme Court Hears Arizona Immigration Law

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments Wednesday on a controversial immigration law in Arizona that supporters say is necessary, but opponents say unfairly targets all immigrants.
The sweeping legislation was signed into law by Republican Governor Jan Brewer in 2010.  Supporters say tough local action is urgently needed in the border state, charging […]


Apr 25 2012 Syria Cease Fire In Peril

WASHINGTON - A nearly two-week old U.N.-brokered cease-fire in Syria continued to fray Tuesday, amid reports of government shelling in the country’s third and fourth largest cities of Homs and Hama, despite visits to those areas by U.N. observers. A bomb blast was also reported in the center of Damascus.
U.N. observers continued their mission to […]


Apr 25 2012 USDA Confirms Case Of Mad Cow Disease In California

WASHINGTON - Two South Korean retailers have discontinued selling U.S.-imported beef after a new case of mad cow disease was discovered in the United States.
John Clifford, the chief veterinary officer for the U.S. Agriculture Department, announced the discovery Tuesday.
“The animal was a dairy cow from the state of California,” said Clifford.  “Our laboratory confirmed the […]


Apr 23 2012 UN Approves 300 Observers To Syria

NEW YORK - The United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution sending 300 unarmed observers to Syria, boosting the strength of a previously approved force of 30. The move comes as a ten-day-old cease-fire agreement has failed, so far, to bring an end to violence in many parts of the country. 
A mostly young crowd […]


Apr 23 2012 North Korea Threatens Action Against South

SEOUL - North Korea is escalating its war of words against the South Korean government over what the North perceives as insults by the South. Pyongyang is now threatening to turn the heated rhetoric into action, threatening to take “quick action” against South Korea.
Senior newscaster Ri Chun Hee, interrupting regular programming on North Korea’s central […]


Apr 22 2012 US Supreme Court Reviews Arizona Immigration Law

WASHINGTON - The United States Supreme Court on Wednesday will review a restrictive immigration law from the southwestern state of Arizona. The law requires police to check a person’s immigration status during routine traffic stops or other actions. The Arizona statute has brought immigration laws to the forefront on a state and federal level.
Alhassanne Foungounou […]


Apr 20 2012 Americans Want Obamacare Overturned

WASHINGTON - A new U.S. public opinion poll finds a surge in Americans’ optimism about the nation’s economic recovery may have stalled.
The survey, released Friday by Quinnipiac University, finds the percentage of voters who think the economy is in a recession has grown by two percent since February, and the percentage who believe it is […]


Apr 20 2012 North Korea Holds Rally In Pyonyang

SEOUL - North Korea said Friday a rally was being held in Pyongyang’s central square to protest against South Korea’s government, which has been sharply critical of the North’s failed rocket launch last week.
In typically aggressive language, the official Korean Central News Agency said the square was crowded with military members and civilians who vow […]


Apr 20 2012 Pentagon Prepared To Help Syrian People

WASHINGTON - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told a congressional panel on Thursday that the Pentagon is providing “nonlethal aid” to the civilian-led opposition in Syria and that it is preparing additional measures if it becomes necessary to help protect the Syrian people.
Amid concern from some members of the U.S. Congress that the United States […]


Apr 18 2012 BP Finalizes Gulf Oil Disaster Settlement

NEW ORLEANS - Oil giant BP says it has finalized a multi-billion dollar agreement with fishermen and other private plaintiffs who sued over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The London-based company released a statement Wednesday saying it still estimates the cost of the settlement will be around $7.8 billion. The money will come out […]


Apr 17 2012 US Senate Republicans Block Obama Tax Scheme

WASHINGTON - Republicans in the U.S. Senate have blocked a bill that would have imposed a new minimum tax rate on millionaires, a plan President Barack Obama has pushed as both parties present election-year proposals on taxes and the economy.
The Senate voted 51-45 largely along party lines Monday, with majority Democrats not able to get […]


Apr 17 2012 China Warns North Korea Against Provocations

BEIJING - China has joined other world powers in warning North Korea that they will not tolerate any more provocations after the isolated nation’s failed rocket launch last week.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said late Monday in Brasilia that the U.N. Security Council members, including China, are agreed there will be “further consequences” in […]


Apr 16 2012 UN Observers Begin Mission In Syria

NEW YORK - An advance team of six United Nations observers will begin monitoring a shaky cease-fire in Syria, as activists said government troops continue to shell rebel neighborhoods in the opposition stronghold, Homs, and clashes persisted elsewhere.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Monday that security forces shot dead two people in the […]


Apr 13 2012 Kim Jong Un Suffers Public Embarrassment

WASHINGTON - North Korean scientists are scrambling to find out what caused their much-hyped long-range rocket to crash into the sea shortly after it was launched on Friday, causing a public embarrassment for the new leadership of Kim Jong Un.
North Korea’s state television acknowledged that the three-stage Unha-3 rocket disintegrated barely a minute into its […]


Apr 13 2012 North Korea Rocket Launch Ends In Dismal Failure

WASHINGTON - North Korea defied international protests by launching a long-range rocket on Friday, but it appeared to fall apart and harmlessly crash into the sea shortly after blast off.
North Korea’s official news agency acknowledged that the three-stage rocket failed to send what it says is a weather satellite into orbit. The brief report said […]


Apr 12 2012 Kim Jong Un Assumes New Titles

SEOUL - North Korea has neared completion of its leadership transition, giving Kim Jong Un several new titles and solidifying his position as heir to the political dynasty established by his father and grandfather.
North Korea’s official news agency said Thursday Mr. Kim was named chairman of the ruling Worker’s Party Central Military Commission, which controls […]


Apr 12 2012 FDA Seeks To End Livestock Antibiotic Abuse

WASHINGTON - U.S. regulators are taking steps to check the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections from animals to humans.  The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, is giving farmers three years to end their practice of using antibiotics solely to help animals grow.  The European Union already has banned this use of antibiotics, but it is […]


Apr 12 2012 Charles Manson Denied Parole

LOS ANGELES - California prison officials have again denied parole for notorious mass murderer Charles Manson, possibly for the last time.
The 77-year-old Manson again did not attend his parole hearing Wednesday at Corcoran State Prison north of Los Angeles.
The parole board ruled that Manson is still a danger to society.
Manson will not be eligible for […]


Apr 11 2012 Rick Santorum Ends Presidential Campaign

WASHINGTON - Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum left the U.S. presidential race on Tuesday, effectively conceding the Republican Party presidential nomination to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. 
Surrounded by family members, Rick Santorum told reporters in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania that after much discussion and reflection in recent days, he has decided to end his quest for the […]


Apr 11 2012 8.6 Earthquake Strikes Off Indonesia Coast

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Geological Survey says an 8.6-magnitude earthquake has struck off the northwestern coast of Indonesia, sparking fears of a tsunami throughout the Indian Ocean region.
The quake hit about 430 kilometers southwest of Banda Aceh, the provincial capital and largest city in the province of Aceh, at an estimated depth of 22 kilometers.
In […]


Apr 10 2012 US Unemployment Rate Dips To 8.2 Percent

WASHINGTON - A new snapshot of the U.S. job market paints a mixed picture. The Labor Department says the economy added 120,000 jobs in March, down sharply from the previous months. Still, it was enough to bring the unemployment rate down to 8.2 percent.
American companies hired fewer workers in March but the nation’s unemployment rate […]


Apr 9 2012 North Korea Unveils New Rocket

SEOUL - North Korean space officials took the rare step Sunday of allowing foreign journalists to see a rocket, that, despite the objections of the United States and South Korea, is being prepared for launch this week.
The rocket viewing came as South Korean intelligence photos, obtained by VOA, showed what appear to be preparations for […]


Apr 9 2012 Syria Peace Plan Falls Apart

DAMASCUS - A peace deal to stop bloodshed in Syria brokered by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan appeared in jeopardy Sunday, after President Bashar al-Assad’s government raised new, last-minute demands that the country’s main rebel group quickly rejected.
Damascus said it wanted iron-clad “written guarantees” that insurgents would stop fighting before it withdraws troops from cities.
A […]


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