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Scottish sports star warned after calling Obama a Wall Street whore

GLASGOW — A Scottish rugby player has been warned about his “completely inappropriate” language after calling US President Barack Obama a “whore” on Twitter. When praising Ron Paul, a candidate to be the Republican Party’s nominee for the 2012 presidential election, Rory Lamont said on January 4: “He doesn’t work…

Obama seeks merger of U.S. trade, commerce agencies

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will ask Congress on Friday for powers to merge US trade and commerce agencies in an effort to cut red tape for businesses and end government overlap, an administration official says. The proposed shake-up aims to consolidate six agencies and Obama will announce details of…

U.S. seeks to exchange ambassadors with Myanmar

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that the United States is moving toward exchanging ambassadors with Myanmar, as a reward for reforms by the military-backed government. Echoing President Barack Obama in hailing the release of political prisoners, Clinton said she is also instructing State Department officials…

Buzz around Beyonce as fly named in diva’s honour

It might not be the most flattering accolade for the “bootylicious” American pop star, but new mother Beyonce now has a fly named after her. Just days after the singer and actress gave birth to a baby girl, Australian scientists said Friday they had named a rare horse fly from…

Thailand arrests suspect after US terror warning

Thai authorities said Friday they had detained a Lebanese man with suspected links to the Hezbollah militant group, after the United States warned of a terrorist threat against tourists in the kingdom. “Foreign terrorists may be currently looking to conduct attacks against tourist areas in Bangkok in the near future,”…

Pentagon identifies unit in US Marine abuse video

Top US officials strongly condemned a video that appears to show Marines urinating on dead insurgents in Afghanistan, while the Pentagon said it had identified the unit involved. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the behavior in the video was “utterly deplorable,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke of…

Myanmar frees leading political prisoners

Myanmar pardoned a number of prominent dissidents, journalists and a former premier Friday under a major prisoner amnesty, intensifying a surprising series of reforms by the army-backed regime. Western powers have demanded the freedom of political detainees languishing in jail in the country formerly known as Burma before they will…

U.S. to withdraw about 7,000 troops from Europe

WASHINGTON — The United States plans to withdraw about 7,000 US troops of the 81,000 troops based in Europe, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said. In an interview with the Armed Forces Press Service, Panetta said two brigade combat teams, or roughly 7,000 US troops, would be withdrawn from Europe,…

New Zealand woman auctions tattoo space on her butt

WELLINGTON — A cash-strapped New Zealander is auctioning off the chance to put a tattoo on her derriere so she can pay her bills. Wellington woman Tina Beznec, 23, says she needs the money after being made redundant twice in the past year. She set up an online auction under…

Polio breakthrough: India marks disease-free year

NEW DELHI — India marked a year since its last new case of polio Friday, a major milestone in a country once considered the epicentre of the disease and one that gives hope the scourge can be eradicated worldwide. There were 150,000 cases of the highly contagious virus in India…

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