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Israel army confirms tank shell strikes in Syria

JERUSALEM — Israeli troops fired tank shells into Syria on Monday in retaliation for a mortar round that struck near an army post in the Golan Heights, scoring “direct hits” on the source of the fire, the army said. “A short while ago, a mortar shell hit an open area…

Energy group: U.S. could become world’s biggest oil producer

The US could become self-sufficient, while 90% of middle eastern oil could go to China, according to new estimates The US can shed its long-standing dependence on oil from Saudi Arabia and become the world’s biggest oil producer within the next decade, the world’s foremost authority in energy said on Monday.…

Veterans struggle with benefit claims thanks to missing war records

by Peter Sleeth, Special to ProPublica, and Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times A strange thing happened when Christopher DeLara filed for disability benefits after his tour in Iraq: The U.S. Army said it had no records showing he had ever been overseas. DeLara had searing memories of his combat experiences.…

Australia sets up national child sex abuse inquiry

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Monday announced a national inquiry into institutional responses to child sex abuse after a series of scandals involving paedophile priests. Gillard made the announcement following claims by a senior policeman that the Catholic Church in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales destroyed evidence and…

Newly united Syria opposition bids for recognition

The leader of Syria’s newly united opposition headed to Arab League headquarters in Cairo to push for diplomatic recognition on Monday, buoyed by the hard-won unity deal among the disparate factions. Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, 52, a moderate Muslim cleric who quit Syria three months ago, was to be accompanied on…

India unveils new version of ‘world’s cheapest tablet’

India has launched a new version of its ultra-low-cost tablet computer with a quicker processor and an improved battery, on sale to students at the subsidised price of $20. The Aakash tablet, dubbed the world’s cheapest computer, has been developed as a public-private partnership aimed at making computing technology available…

China not ‘serious’ in Tibet immolations probe: Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama said Monday that China is more interested in criticising him than finding the reason behind a spate of Tibetan self-immolations threatening to mar the Communist Party’s leadership change. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader told reporters in Japan that Beijing is not looking “seriously” at the protests taking…

Myanmar struggles to reach quake victims

Myanmar rescuers struggled Monday to bring help to outlying villages hit by an earthquake that aid agencies say has killed at least 13 and caused a bridge and mine to collapse. A series of powerful aftershocks rattled nerves after Sunday’s 6.8-magnitude quake, which sent terrified people running from their homes…

U.S. on edge over Human Rights Council election

The United States has launched a last-minute scramble for votes to secure its spot on the UN Human Rights Council in an election Monday. US diplomats are said to be “nervous” as they compete with Germany, Greece, Ireland and Sweden for three seats among 18 on the panel to be…

British churchgoers tweet with vicar’s blessing

The pews at St Paul’s Church are full of worshippers but they’re not praying; instead they’re all logged onto Twitter and Facebook. “Today is a Twitter Sunday so it’s time to get your Twitter on,” intones Brian Champness, the children’s pastor of the Anglican church in the southwestern English seaside…

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