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Senate panel advances Janet Yellen nomination to run Federal Reserve

The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday approved Janet Yellen to chair the US Federal Reserve, setting up a likely confirmation by the full chamber next month. President Barack Obama’s pick to replace outgoing Fed chairman Ben Bernanke passed the committee 14-8, and if approved by the overall Senate would be…

Central African Republic’s president negotiating with infamous rebel leader Joseph Kony

The Central African Republic’s president said Thursday he was in contact with Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, one of the world’s most wanted war criminals, to negotiate his surrender. “It’s true, Joseph Kony wants to come out of the bush. We are negotiating with him,” Michel Djotodia said during a…

Germany’s Merkel agrees to Social Democrats demand for a universal minimum wage

Germany is set to introduce a national minimum wage, conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, giving in to a key demand by her likely centre-left governing partners. “The Social Democrats will not conclude negotiations without a universal legal minimum wage,” she said about ongoing talks to form a ‘grand…

UN needs ‘all hands on deck’ to combat ozone-damaging nitrous oxide

Levels of nitrous oxide, a gas that both depletes the ozone layer and stokes global warming, could nearly double by mid-century, the UN warned on Thursday. “We need all hands on deck to combat the serious and significant increases in N2O [nitrous oxide] levels in the atmosphere,” UN Environment Programme…

UN representative Samantha Power: U.S. has ‘nothing to apologize’ to Afghanistan for

Washington’s UN representative Samantha Power said Thursday Afghanistan is owed no apology for US actions in the country since the overthrow of the Taliban 12 years ago. “We have nothing to apologize for. Our soldiers have sacrificed a great deal,” Power told CNN, as Washington hammered out the details of…

Weekly unemployment claims fall to 2-month low

First-time claims for US unemployment benefits fell last week to their lowest level in two months as the recovery in the jobs market grinds forward, government data released Thursday showed. Initial jobless claims, an indicator of the pace of layoffs, fell to 323,000 in the week ending November 16, from…

‘Dead’ baby wakes at Chinese funeral parlor before cremation

A Chinese baby boy who had been declared dead was saved from being cremated alive when he started crying at a funeral parlour, media reported Thursday. The parents of the critically-ill boy, who was less than one month old, had agreed to end his medical treatment at Anhui Provincial Children’s…

Jewish leader blasts return of Nazi art trove to hoarding recluse

The leader of Germany’s Jewish community on Thursday slammed a decision by authorities to return hundreds of paintings to a recluse accused of hoarding priceless artworks believed stolen by the Nazis. The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, said the aim by prosecutors to give…

Health-care price inflation is at its lowest rate in 50 years

President Obama makes a statement before the start of a meeting with representatives of health insurance companies in the White House in Washington Friday. (Evan Vucci/AP) Health care spending is growing at the slowest rate on record, and health-care…  …

Honda’s ‘Hydrogen Boy’ pees his way to a cleaner world

A little boy urinating might not easily conjure up images of a cleaner world, but Honda had other ideas Thursday as it tries to promote its green-car technology. The Japanese firm erected a 6.6-foot replica of famous Brussels landmark Manneken Pis — the bronze statue of a boy peeing into…

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