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Literary giant Philip Roth content after putting pen down

Philip Roth’s surprise decision to lay down his pen after 31 books has left the acclaimed US novelist more relaxed, he says — and even with time to tackle the newfangled complexities of the iPhone. Roth, who is 79 and one of the surviving giants of a golden age in…

Tel Aviv bus blast ‘injures 10′

Seventeen people were injured in an explosion on a bus near the defence ministry in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, Israel’s emergency services said, in what an official said was a “terrorist attack.” The blast took place as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Israel for talks with Prime…

Britain recognizes Syria opposition as fighting rages

DAMASCUS — Britain formally recognised a newly formed opposition bloc as the sole representative of the Syrian people on Tuesday, as UN head Ban Ki-moon said he feared Syria could become a “regional battleground.” Britain’s recognition of the opposition National Coalition came as fighting raged across Syrian flashpoints, including in…

Reward offered for stolen California rock carvings

LOS ANGELES — Archeologists offered a $1,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to the arrest of vandals who stole four priceless ancient rock carvings, and damaged others in the California desert. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) called the carvings — sliced out of the rock face with cement-cutting circular…

Clinton: U.S. commitment to Israeli security ‘rock solid’

JERUSALEM — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Jerusalem on Tuesday during Israel’s conflict in Gaza that Washington’s commitment to the Jewish state’s security remains “rock solid.” But the top US diplomat also stressed that Washington expected a quick de-escalation to a seven-day conflict that has shaken the…

Mexico ‘risks corn damage’ if GM maize is planted

MEXICO CITY — Environmentalists are warning that Mexico, the cradle of corn, risks damaging its staple if the government gives US firms the green light to plant genetically-modified maize in huge swaths of land. The agriculture ministry is examining the possibility of allowing Monsanto, DuPont and Dow to plant GMO…

New York sues Credit Suisse over mortgage securities

NEW YORK — The state of New York sued Credit Suisse for fraud Tuesday over the sale of questionable mortgage securities that dealt buyers $11.2 billion in losses in the US housing meltdown. Following a similar suit against JPMorgan Chase in October, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the…

Bernanke steps up warnings over fiscal cliff

WASHINGTON — Fed chairman Ben Bernanke stepped up his warnings Tuesday over the looming “fiscal cliff,” saying its mandatory tax hikes and spending cuts posed a “substantial threat” to US economic recovery. With President Barack Obama’s administration and Congress locked in crunch talks on avoiding the cliff and slashing the…

Parents, teens uneasy Facebook ‘friends’: study

WASHINGTON — US parents are keeping a close eye on their teens’ activities on Facebook and other social networks, provoking a “mixed” reaction from the youngsters, a new study showed Tuesday. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project survey found parents are taking steps to monitor such online…

U.S. blocks UN Council statement on Gaza

UNITED NATIONS — The United States on Tuesday blocked a UN Security Council statement on the Gaza conflict, arguing that it would have been “counter-productive” amid efforts to reach a ceasefire. Russia had threatened to press for a full council resolution on the conflict if the Arab-proposed statement was blocked.…

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