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2012 May


May 31 2012 Doc Watson Dies At 89

WASHINGTON - American folk and roots music performer Doc Watson died on May 29 of complications from abdominal surgery.
For more than five decades, Watson entertained audiences around the world with an eclectic repertoire that included elements of folk, blues, Country, bluegrass, rockabilly, and even jazz.  A master of the contemporary flat-pick guitar style, the eight-time […]


May 30 2012 US Expells Syrian Envoy In Wake Of Houla Massacre

WASHINGTON - The United States is expelling Syria’s most senior envoy in Washington over what it says is the Syrian government’s responsibility for last week’s massacre in the village of Houla.  U.N. observers confirm the deaths of more than 90 people in Houla, including several families who appear to have been executed in their homes.
State […]


May 30 2012 Mitt Romney Clinches Republican Nomination

HOUSTON - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has clinched his party’s presidential nomination after winning the Texas primary Tuesday.  The primary drew little national attention, however, because Romney’s main rivals had dropped out of the contest.
Romney clinched the Republican presidential nomination with little fanfare in a contest that was really no contest at all.  The […]


May 29 2012 Kofi Annan Tries To Save Peace Plan In Syria

CAIRO - International peace envoy Kofi Annan began two days of talks in Syria Monday, attempting to salvage his battered peace plan following the massacre of at least 108 civilians, including 49 children, in central Syria last week.
Annan urged “everyone with a gun” to lay down arms and help resolve Syria’s 15-month conflict peacefully. He […]


May 29 2012 King Abdullah Of Jordan Faces Uncertainty

AMMAN - Every Friday since late 2010, small groups of protesters have been gathering across Jordan to air complaints about basic things like rising prices and high unemployment in the kingdom. Fearing a full-scale uprising similar to the one that has gripped neighboring Syria, King Abdullah II early on began promising fundamental reforms. But the […]


May 25 2012 France To Make Early Withdrawal From Afghanistan

PARIS - French President Francois Hollande said he plans to pull all of his country’s 2,000 combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year, but that France will continue to support the war-torn country.
During an unannounced visit to Afghanistan Friday, Hollande said some 1,300 other troops will remain in the country in […]


May 25 2012 Michael Phelps Seeks More Olympic Gold

WASHINGTON - American swimmer Michael Phelps made history at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, becoming the first athlete to win eight gold medals at a single Olympic Games.  He now has has his sights on the London Olympics hoping to add to his medal haul.
Phelps made his first U.S. Olympic swimming team at the age […]


May 25 2012 US Denouces Pakistan For Imprisonment Of Doctor

WASHINGTON - Pakistan on Thursday rejected U.S. criticism of the jailing of a Pakistani doctor who helped the United States track down Osama bin Laden, as a U.S. congressional panel agreed to cut aid to Pakistan to protest his imprisonment.
A court in the northwestern Khyber tribal region sentenced Shakil Afridi to 33 years in prison […]


May 24 2012 Pakistani Doctor Who Helped CIA Jailed For Treason

ISLAMABAD - Government officials say the Pakistani doctor who helped the United States track down Osama bin Laden has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for treason.
Shakeel Afridi was accused of running a fake vaccination campaign to help the CIA obtain DNA samples of the al-Qaida leader and members of his family to confirm […]


May 24 2012 US Congress Considers International Sea Treaty

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration says the United States should join a global maritime treaty known as the Law of the Sea Convention. The convention has bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, but is unlikely to advance before the November general election.
More than 160 nations belong to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the […]


May 23 2012 South Korea To Increase Missile Arsenal

SEOUL - Amid a perceived increased threat from North Korea, the military of South Korea intends to put a significantly larger number of missiles into its arsenal in the years ahead.
South Korea officials confirm plans are underway to increase spending on missile development.
Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok says this is part of an ongoing process […]


May 23 2012 NATO Continues To Develop Missile Defense Shield

WASHINGTON - Afghanistan might have been the most prominent topic discussed at this week’s summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but the 28 NATO leaders also addressed an equally delicate issue - deployment of a ballistic missile defense shield in Europe that is strongly opposed by Russia.
Newly inaugurated Russian President Vladimir Putin had been […]


May 23 2012 Lebanese Shiites Kidnapped In Syria

BEIRUT - The leader of Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah militant group has appealed for calm after protests erupted in Beirut following the kidnapping of at least 11 Lebanese Shi’ites near the Syrian city of Aleppo as they returned home from a pilgrimage.
Tuesday’s abductions are the latest spillover of the neighboring Syrian conflict to sow unrest in […]


May 23 2012 NATO Plan To Transfer Operations In Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - NATO leaders have formally approved plans to transfer combat operations in Afghanistan to Afghan security forces by the middle of 2013. However, an agreement to reopen NATO supply lines through Pakistan never materialized at the alliance’s recent summit in Chicago.
After more than 10 years of war in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 […]


May 19 2012 Japan Launches South Korean Satellite

SEOUL - Early Friday, Japan successfully launched a South Korean satellite. The historical accomplishment puts the Japanese in the same arena as European and Russian entities in the lucrative commercial space launch business.
The roar of the H-2A launch vehicle shattered the early morning silence On the southern Japanese island of Tanegashima.  The space center was […]


May 19 2012 US Boosts Funding For Iron Dome System

WASHINGTON - The United States has fulfilled Israel’s request for another $70 million to pay for Iron Dome, a missile defense system aimed at protecting Israelis from rockets fired by militants in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak came to the Pentagon Thursday, the latest of several visits in recent months to ask for […]


May 19 2012 UN Blames Al-Qaida For Attacks In Syria

DAMASCUS - Syria braced for opposition protests on Friday as U.N. officials expressed concern that al-Qaida may have played a role in recent attacks that have further strained a fragile cease-fire.
Anti-government activists urged protesters to take to the streets under a slogan of “heroes” of Aleppo University, on Friday, in a show of support for […]


May 19 2012 Obama Launches Food Plan For Africa

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama has announced a plan aimed at lifting 50 million Africans out of poverty in the next 10 years. Private companies from around the world have pledged more than $3 billion toward the effort.
With the leaders of several African countries watching, the president said Friday that governments, private industries and […]


May 17 2012 Obama Issues Executive Order On Yemen

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Wednesday issued an executive order freezing U.S. assets of anyone considered to be threatening the success of the U.S.-backed political transition in Yemen.
In the order, Mr. Obama declares a national emergency with respect to “actions and policies of certain members of the government of Yemen, and others threatening peace, […]


May 16 2012 India To Cut Iranian Oil Imports

WASHINGTON - India says it has decided to cut imports of Iranian crude oil by 11 percent, following pressure from the United States to isolate the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program.
India’s minister of state for petroleum, R.P.N. Singh, said Tuesday that Indian refiners now plan to import 15.5 million metric tons of crude oil […]


May 15 2012 EU Naval Force Strikes Pirate Base In Somalia

BRUSSELS - European Union’s anti-piracy naval force has carried out its first air attacks against a pirate base on the Somali coast.
EU NAVFOR said in a statement Tuesday that initial reports show no Somalis were injured in what was described as the “focused, precise and proportionate” attack against “known pirate supplies” on the Somali shoreline. […]


May 14 2012 Yemen Launches Offensive Against Al-Qaida

SANAA - Yemeni officials say at least 16 militants and 12 government soldiers were killed Sunday as troops backed by warplanes and heavy artillery launched a major offensive to retake the al-Qaida-held southern city of Zinjibar.
The attacks pounded areas of Ayban province including the city of Jaar, where al-Qaida has maintained control since March 2011. […]


May 12 2012 Al Qaida Blamed For Syrian Bombings

DAMASCUS  - As repeated bombing attacks hit Syria, concerns are rising that al-Qaida terrorists may be opening a dangerous new chapter in a conflict that has killed thousands of people.
Protesters flee gunfire in the Syrian town of Aleppo. And near Damascus, amateur video shows United Nations peace monitors edging their vans through anti-government protesters.
The protests […]


May 12 2012 Mitt Romney Supports Traditional Marriage

WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney, the presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee, drew rousing support Saturday at a conservative Christian university as he defended traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
Romney, often viewed with skepticism by the most conservative ranks of the Republican party, stressed the importance of personal faith and commitment to families in a […]


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