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Japan’s ‘stressed’ Princess Masako to travel abroad for the first time in seven years

Japan’s Crown Princess Masako, who has been undergoing treatment for a stress-induced illness for a decade, will travel abroad for the first time in about seven years, government officials said Friday. Accompanying her husband, Crown Prince Naruhito, the 49-year-old former diplomat will leave Tokyo Sunday on an official visit to…

Olympic wrestling brings Iran and U.S. together

Wrestlers from political foes Iran and the United States will compete in a friendly international meet in Los Angeles on May 19 as part of an international push to keep the sport in the Olympics. Dubbed “United 4 Wrestling,” the freestyle event is being organized by USA Wresting and youth…

Obama honors those killed at Texas fertilizer plant explosion

President Barack Obama on Thursday eulogized 12 firefighters who were among 14 people killed in a massive blast at a fertilizer plant in a small Texas town, during a week of tragedy in America. Obama told mourners of those killed in the town of close-knit town of West that they…

Scientists warn orbiting space junk an urgent problem

Governments must start working urgently to remove orbital debris, which could become a catastrophic problem for satellites a few decades from now, a space science conference heard on Thursday. Since 1978, the total of junk items whizzing around the planet has tripled, said Heiner Klinkrad, head of the European Space…

Obama campaign’s next target: Climate change deniers in Congress

The campaign group formed to support Barack Obama’s political agenda has launched an initiative to shame members of Congress who deny the science behind climate change. In an email to supporters on Thursday, Organizing for Action said it was time to call out members of Congress who deny the existence…

McCain and Feinstein demand action on Syria chemical weapons

Members of Congress urged US President Barack Obama to take action to “secure” Syria’s chemical weapons after he warned Thursday that strongman Bashar al-Assad likely used them against his own people. Republican Senator John McCain led the revulsion and anger in Congress, saying it was now up to Obama to…

D.C. protesters target NRA and other gun lobbyists

Lobbyists in Washington have blood on their hands for helping the top US gun lobby derail President Barack Obama’s push for tougher gun laws, protesters said Thursday. Several dozen people gathered in McPherson Square, near the White House, at lunch hour to name and shame six lobbying firms which, they…

Stocks climb as unemployment hits lowest level since mid-March

US stocks Thursday finished a volatile trading session higher following improved jobless claims data and a mixed bag of corporate earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 24.50 (0.17 percent) to 14,700.80. After touching close to break-even, the index rallied in the final minutes for a gain. The broad-based S&P…

HIV vaccine trial ends in failure: official

US authorities announced Thursday they have halted clinical trials of an experimental vaccine designed to halt the virus that leads to AIDS after discovering it did not stop infection. The program, which began in 2009, is the latest in a series of unsuccessful studies of candidate vaccines aimed at tackling…

Venezuela arrests accused U.S. intelligence agent

Venezuela said Thursday it has arrested a US national whom it accused of being an intelligence agent tasked with sowing chaos and civil unrest throughout the country. The alleged agent, Timothy Hallet Tracy, was detained Wednesday at an airport near Caracas as he tried to leave the country, according to…

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