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Markets hit new low despite world leaders’ positive talk

Efforts by US President Barack Obama and other global leaders to restore confidence failed to do the trick Tuesday as markets hit new lows in a massive sell-off driven by fears of a new recession. European stock markets fell deeply into the red in morning trade, with early gains for…

Moody’s: U.S. still as sound as AAA-rated countries

NEW YORK — The United States remains on a fiscal footing that is as solid as other AAA-rated countries, the Moody’s ratings agency said Monday, in a retort to last week’s downgrade by its rival Standard & Poor’s. “Relative to other large AAA-rated governments, the US debt position is somewhat…

Philadelphia imposes ‘flash mob’ curfew

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia announced Monday a nighttime curfew for minors in its historic downtown in an attempt to stop flash mob invasions by rampaging teenagers. The measure was the latest effort to secure a city famous as the site of the signing of the US Declaration of Independence and drafting…

NASA funds 30 new space research projects

WASHINGTON — The US space agency announced funding for 30 new space projects Monday, including ways to protect astronauts from deep-space radiation, eliminate space debris and improve spacesuit technology. Each of the proposals will get $100,000 in funding for a one-year period as part of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC),…

Return of dead U.S. troops closed to media: officials

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said Monday that a ceremony marking the return of 30 US troops killed in Afghanistan would be closed to the media because their remains have yet to be identified. President Barack Obama lifted a blanket ban on media coverage of the return of dead soldiers in…

Southern states break U.S. heat record

WASHINGTON — The southern United States in July endured the hottest single month ever recorded in any climate region nationwide, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday. The federal body’s southern region — Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas — saw average temperatures of 86.1 degrees Fahrenheit (30…

House to end 180-year-old ‘page’ program

WASHINGTON — Bringing the curtain down on a nearly 200-year-old tradition, leaders of the US House of Representatives announced Monday that they were doing away with the chamber’s “page” program. Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi cited the high cost of the program as…

New theory blames Soviets for death of Albert Camus

ROME — Famous French author Albert Camus, who died in a car accident in 1960, may have been the victim of a Soviet plot, new research suggests. Italian academic Giovanni Catelli, an eastern European specialist, put forward the theory in the pages of the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera.…

Obama says America still a ‘triple-A’ country

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama vowed Monday that America would always be a “triple-A country,” defending US credit after a historic downgrade and insisting the reeling economy was “eminently” fixable. Speaking against a backdrop of tumbling global stock markets, Obama said he would present his own solutions for mending US…

McConnell: Cut safety net to prevent tax hikes

WASHINGTON — Republican US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that he favored cuts to popular safety net programs but opposed tax hikes on the rich as part of a plan to rein in galloping US debt. “The country needs economic growth and fiscal responsibility, not higher taxes and…

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