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Romney gains in two swing states but battles loom

With his Republican rivals vanquished, Mitt Romney is focusing on the battlegrounds that will decide the 2012 election, with a new poll Thursday showing he has pulled even with President Barack Obamain two key swing states. “We’re starting the general election, and at least in Ohio and Floridawe’re starting where they are basically dead even,” Peter Brown,…

Asia’s architectural treasures ‘vanishing’

NEW YORK — Asia’s architectural treasures, from a Buddhist monastery in Afghanistan to an ancient city in China, are in danger of vanishing under a tide of economic expansion, war and tourism, according to experts. The Global Heritage Fund named 10 sites facing “irreparable loss and destruction.” “These 10 sites…

Russia threatens pre-emptive attack against U.S. missile shield

MOSCOW — Russia said Thursday its dispute with the United States over missile defence was near a “dead end” and warned it might have to deploy new rockets in Europe to take out elements of the controversial shield. “We have not been able to find mutually-acceptable solutions at this point…

Vogue slaps worldwide ban on under-16 models

NEW YORK — The editors of all 19 editions of Vogue around the world pledged Thursday to use only healthy models no younger than 16 on their editorial pages in an attempt to shift fashion’s approach to body image. Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue’s flagship US edition, and Emmanuelle Alt…

Rep. Issa releases draft resolution accusing Holder of contempt

WASHINGTON — A key Republican lawmaker released a draft resolution Thursday accusing US Attorney General Eric Holder of contempt of Congress for allegedly failing to cooperate with a probe into a botched government effort to track arms flows into Mexico. Darrell Issa, head of the House Oversight and Government Reform…

Two arrested after small explosion at Memphis school

CHICAGO — Two people were arrested after a small — and likely deliberate — explosion at a high school injured a staff member in Memphis, Tennessee Thursday, police said. The explosion happened shortly after a bomb threat was called into Craigmont high school around 11:20 am (16:20 GMT). “After receiving…

U.S. health care spending highest, Japan lowest: study

WASHINGTON — A study of 13 industrialized countries released Thursday showed Japan spends the least on health care, while the United States spends the most without providing superior care for the money. The United States spent nearly $8,000 per person in 2009 on health care services, more than Australia, Britain,…

Hollande sees ‘moment of hope’ for Europe in Socialist win

TOULOUSE, France — French presidential favourite Francois Hollande made his final rallying call Thursday in the city of Toulouse where a few weeks ago an Islamist killer brought a brief halt to a bitter election campaign. The Socialist candidate confidently declared that his triumph on Sunday over right-wing incumbent Nicolas…

Android expenses questioned at Oracle copyright trial

SAN FRANCISCO — Jurors on Thursday continued to weigh whether Android infringed on Java copyrights as the trial judge ordered Google to clarify how much money has been made or lost on the mobile gadget software. The order in the case pitting Internet titan Google against business software giant Oracle…

Two missing photojournalists found dead in Mexico

VERACRUZ, Mexico — Mexican security forces Thursday found the dismembered bodies of two missing news photographers and two others in eastern Veracruz, days after a magazine reporter was killed in the same state. Federal forces found “four bags with the remains of four people, with two of them so far…

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