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Obama appeals for peace to young Israelis

In a powerful direct appeal to Israelis, President Barack Obama Thursday insisted a two-state peace with the Palestinians could still be forged and was their only hope of true security. In a trademark soaring address, Obama also built on his vow of an “eternal” defence of the Jewish state in…

New York man released after being wrongly imprisoned for 23 years

A New Yorker was freed Thursday after serving more than 20 years in prison for the murder of a rabbi that the authorities now say he did not commit. David Ranta was sentenced to 37 years behind bars after being convicted in 1991 of killing an Orthodox Jewish rabbi during…

Joe Biden: White House is not going to rest until gun laws passed

The White House will keep pushing for tough new gun ownership laws despite lack of support in Congress, Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday, urging politicians to show “courage” for the sake of shooting massacre victims. “I’m not going to rest and nor is the president until we do all…

Chuck Schumer: Senate close to finalizing ‘pathway to citizenship’ for immigrants

Eight US senators crafting an overhaul of immigration policy are on the verge of finalizing a deal that could bring 11 million undocumented migrants out of the shadows, one of the lawmakers said Thursday. Senator Chuck Schumer, the leading Democrat in the bipartisan Gang of Eight, said the plan, which…

U.S. House votes to avert government shutdown

Congress approved a funding stopgap Thursday to keep the US government operating through September, while the House backed a Republican blueprint that lays out budget austerity for the next decade. The two votes came in rapid-fire succession in the House of Representatives ahead of a two-week congressional holiday recess. The…

Thailand to distribute 1.7 million tablets to schools

Thailand plans to distribute about 1.7 million tablet computers to students and teachers this year in the world’s largest handout of the devices for education, officials said Thursday. Nine firms from countries including China, India, Germany and the Netherlands are set to join an online tender in April to supply…

Britain comes in second on TV exports thanks to ‘Downton Abbey’

Britain in 2012 held on to its position as the world’s second biggest exporter of television programmes after the US on the back of hit dramas such as Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife, a report said on Thursday. Talent shows such as the Dutch-originated The Voice, meanwhile, illustrated the…

European Union delays carbon tax for one year

The EU will put its controversial carbon tax on intercontinental airline flights on hold for a year to give time for international talks to reach a compromise on the issue, a European source said Thursday. EU environment ministers reached agreement with lawmakers from the European Parliament to put the tax…

U.S. tuberculosis cases hit record low

Cases of tuberculosis reached an all-time low in the United States last year, but the disease continued to affect minorities at much higher rates than whites, health authorities said Thursday. There were fewer than 10,000 US cases of TB for the first time since records began being compiled in 1953,…

Hundreds of Haitian farmers demand ‘food sovereignty’

Hundreds of small farmers have converged on the central Haitian city of Hinche to demand more space to grow their own crops in a country that imports more than half of its food. “Yes to land reform. Yes to environmentally-friendly agriculture,” chanted the 300-some farmers gathered for the 40th anniversary…

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