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Police bust online narcotics ‘Farmers Market’

LOS ANGELES — US authorities announced the bust of an online narcotics “Farmers Market” where people around the globe could buy LSD, ecstasy and other illicit substances. Fifteen people were arrested as the result of a two-year-long investigation code-named “Project Adam Bomb” and involved law enforcement in Scotland, Columbia, the…

Romney to Obama: ‘Start packing’

WASHINGTON — Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney had a few choice words to President Barack Obama on Monday as the two gear up for a monumental elections battle: “start packing.” Obama leads in the polls in a prospective head-to-head November matchup with Romney, but the challenger is putting the incumbent…

Washington Post journalist resigns after ‘significant ethical lapse’ reported in her work

WASHINGTON — A Washington Post writer whose blog posts triggered editor’s notes for “serious factual errors” and what was described as a “significant ethical lapse” has resigned from the newspaper. Elizabeth Flock, 26, told AFP that she resigned on Friday before the Post published a second editor’s note about her…

U.S. rules out easing Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday ruled out Iran’s call for a lifting of sanctions, saying that the Islamic republic must first address concerns over its nuclear program in “concrete” ways. Iran held talks with major powers on Sunday for the first time in 15 months. Foreign Minister Ali…

Romney names trusted aide to run VP search

WASHINGTON — Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney said Monday he is tapping long-time aide Beth Myers to coordinate his search for a running mate to join him on the ticket for November’s election. “I’ve asked her to be the person who oversees the process of the vice presidential selection and…

Virginia Tech massacre survivors, family press U.S. lawmakers on gun laws

WASHINGTON — Survivors and relatives of victims of US shootings marked the fifth anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre Monday by calling on Congress to “put an end to this madness” of gun violence. The anniversary of the worst school shooting in US history, in which 32 students and faculty…

Pope celebrates 85th birthday with Bavarian singalong

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI on Monday sang along to the anthem of his native Bavaria in Germany to celebrate his 85th birthday, which makes him the oldest pope since Leo XIII who died in 1903 aged 93. The pope began his birthday with mass in the frescoed Pauline…

Obama raises $53 million in March for campaign

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama hauled in $53 million in March for his reelection effort, as his Chicago-based team trains its sights on all but certain Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Obama’s fundraising clip, which translates to a $1.7 million dollar average daily take over the month for his campaign…

Scientists get under skin of tattooed tipplers

PARIS — French scientists said Monday they have found evidence proving the stereotype that people who sport tattoos and piercings are heavier drinkers. Alcohol tests performed on nearly 2,000 young men and women frequenting bars in the west of France showed a strong correlation between body art and boozing, they…

Trial opens for alleged New York bomb plotter

NEW YORK — The high-profile trial began Monday of a man accused of being part of a New York trio that was only “days” from bombing the city’s crowded subway to take revenge for the US war in Afghanistan. The trial in Brooklyn features quintessential New York immigrant Muslims who…

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