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Brennan: A counterterrorism expert set to lead CIA

John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s pick to lead the CIA, is a 25-year agency veteran who has passionately defended the US campaign of unmanned drone attacks against Al-Qaeda militants. Brennan, who has spent the last four years devising counterterrorism strategy in Obama’s White House, is an Arabic-speaking Middle East expert…

Tunisia frees suspect in Benghazi attack on U.S. consulate

A court in Tunis on Monday ordered the release of Ali Hamzi, a Tunisian suspected of involvement in the deadly attack on the US consulate in Libya last September, his lawyer Abdelbasset Ben Mbarek said. The ruling came after Hamzi, 26, was interrogated by four FBI agents and a translator…

Clinton returns to applause and a football helmet

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received a standing ovation from her staff and an American football helmet to protect her from Washington’s hard knocks as she returned to work after a health scare. A month to the day since she was last seen on official duties when she flew back…

Pentagon nominee Chuck Hagel vows ‘total support’ for Israel

Chuck Hagel, bracing for a bruising Senate confirmation as the next US defense secretary, pledged Monday “total support” for Israel after lawmakers criticized his views on the Middle East. There is “not one shred of evidence that I’m anti-Israeli, not one vote (of mine) that matters that hurt Israel,” the…

William Shatner and George Takei chat with International Space Station crew

Fact and fiction blurred this week when a real-life astronaut boldly went where no man has gone before and conversed from orbit via Twitter with the crew of television’s “Star Trek: Enterprise.” It started with a message from actor William Shatner, who starred as Captain Kirk in the cult sci-fi…

Lottery winner poisoned with cyanide in Chicago

Not long after winning a $1 million jackpot with a scratch-off lottery ticket, a Chicago man was poisoned with cyanide, officials said Monday. Urooj Khan, 46, had planned to use the money to pay off bills and invest in his dry cleaning business. Instead, he was poisoned, the Cook County…

Lack of cancer prevention could stall decline in U.S. mortality rates

Fewer people are dying from cancer in the United States, but a government report published Monday warned that a lack of preventative measures could stem a steady decline in mortality rates. Mortality rates have been falling since the early 1990s. The study found that from 2000 to 2009, cancer death…

Supreme Court declines to hear stem cell research challenge

The US Supreme Court declined Monday to take up an appeal concerning stem cell research, thus allowing the federal government to continue funding it. The top US court did not give a reason for its decision, which ends a long judiciary saga. The appeal had come from two researchers working…

Hockey-mad Canadians thrilled at NHL deal

Hockey-mad Canadians are rejoicing after the NHL and players reached a tentative deal to end their lockout and salvage the season. In newspapers nationwide, frontpage headlines cheered NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s announcement Sunday after a marathon 16-hour negotiating session that included both Bettman and NHL Players’ Association chief Don Fehr.…

Siberian region places bounty on wolves

A remote Siberian region has placed a bounty on the heads of its wolf population, complaining that thousands of the predators are killing too many reindeer and horses. The vast Sakha Republic, home to diamond mines and the coldest inhabited place on Earth, declared a three-month cull of wolves, aiming…

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