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Obama turns to roots as key year dawns

HONOLULU, Hawaii — US President Barack Obama opened a landmark year on Sunday by paying homage to his roots as he wraps up his vacation in his native Hawaii. Obama visited the graveyard of his grandfather, a World War II veteran, in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at…

Huntsman hits Ron Paul with another ad

Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign released another video targeting rival Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) on New Years Eve. The video is modeled on the science-fiction series The Twilight Zone and attempts to portray Paul as a kook who believes in conspiracy theories. The video shows clips of the Texas congressman talking…

Argentina ex-intel chief dies in New Year shooting

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s former spy chief, who recently took up a post as a provincial governor, was killed in a New Year’s Day shooting at his country house in Patagonia, authorities said Sunday. Carlos Soria, 61, was just weeks into his job in the key oil-producing southern province of…

Progressives plan to challenge Obama in Iowa

The group Progressive Democrats of America hope to send a message to President Barack Obama by organizing people to vote for “uncommitted” in the Iowa Democratic caucuses. “I believe we need an inside outside strategy,” Tim Carpenter, the founder of the group, said at an organizing meeting in Des Moines…

Iraq war veteran questions rationale of U.S. invasion

Josh Stieber, an Iraq war veteran turned conscientious objector, explained to Al Jazeera English why he questioned whether the 8-year war in Iraq was worth it. He said that when he was deployed to Iraq, the local population held a large peaceful rally against the U.S. presence in their city.…

Amnesty: By signing NDAA, Obama has given al Qaeda a ‘propaganda victory’

The human rights group Amnesty International blasted President Barack Obama for signing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law on New Year’s Eve. The $662 billion defense spending bill contained highly controversial provisions regarding the military detention of terrorism suspects. While signing the bill, Obama issued a signing statement…

Israel plans Jordan border fence to stop migrants

JERUSALEM, Israel — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ministerial colleagues on Sunday that he planned to strengthen barriers along his country’s border with Jordan, the Jerusalem Post reported. The English-language daily’s website said Netanyahu told ministers from his Likud party that he feared illegal migrants who currently enter Israel…

Four soldiers, 12 militants killed in Pakistan attacks

QUETTA, Pakistan — Four Pakistani soldiers and a dozen Taliban militants were killed on Sunday in separate incidents in the violence-wracked country, according to officials. An anti-Taliban fighter also died in a day of clashes and bomb blasts in the country. The first incident took place in Salarzai town, about…

Spaniards ring in new year of more austerity

MADRID — Luis Zorrilla wants to celebrate the New Year and forget, at least for a day, Spain’s economic crisis and government spending cuts that have triggered the “indignant” protest movement. “Today is a day to forget the crisis,” says Zorrilla, a teacher, laughing as he gets ready to eat…

Bahrain teenager dies ‘as police crush protest’

DUBAI — Bahraini police fired tear gas grenades to disperse protesters, killing a Shiite protester in the Sunni-ruled country where tensions have been running high, the opposition said on Sunday. Meanwhile the newly-appointed police chief said 500 officers would be recruited across the country, including Shiites, to help bolster community…

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