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U.S. officials secretly visited North Korea last year to encourage them to moderate foreign policy: LA Times

US officials made two secret visits to North Korea last year in an effort to improve relations after North Korea leader Kim Jong Un assumed power, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. Citing unnamed former US officials familiar with the trips, the newspaper said the visits in April and August…

Activists launch campaign against ‘autonomous weapons’: Killer robots must be stopped

Autonomous weapons’, which could be ready within a decade, pose grave risk to international law, claim activists A new global campaign to persuade nations to ban “killer robots” before they reach the production stage is to be launched in the UK by a group of academics, pressure groups and Nobel…

Palestinian PM Fayyad ‘shocked’ by death of ‘Prisoner X’

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad expressed shock at the death of a Palestinian in an Israeli jail Saturday and called for full details of what happened. Fayyad “expresses his deep sorrow and shock over the martyrdom of prisoner Arafat Jaradat in Israeli occupation prisons,” said the statement from his office.…

Ecuador’s president vows to push large-scale mining despite indigenous protest

Ecuador’s re-elected President Rafael Correa said Saturday he will push large-scale mining projects during his next four years in office, despite opposition from some indigenous groups. “The Ecuadoran people have voted to responsibly take advantage of non-renewable resources,” said in a weekly address on his administration’s activities. Correa, a socialist,…

Cuban president touts ‘a good visit’ with Russian PM Medvedev

Cuban President Raul Castro expressed satisfaction with his talks this week with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the daily Granma newspaper reported on Saturday. “It has been a good visit,” said Castro after Medvedev wrapped up his three-day visit to Cuba, where he met with the Cuban leaders and his…

GOProud leader: Hayes’ appeal to include them in CPAC ‘the right thing’

The executive director of conservative LGBT group GOProud told The Raw Story on Saturday that MSNBC host Chris Hayes had contacted the group before calling for their inclusion in a leading conservative conference, but that the situation had not changed. “We don’t have a lot in common with him politically,…

Colombian president threatens to end peace talks with rebels

President Juan Manuel Santos, frustrated over a lack of progress in peace negotiations with leftist FARC rebels, threatened Saturday to abandon bilateral talks to end their nearly 50-year old conflict. “As long as we make progress we’ll be satisfied, but if we do not make progress we’ll leave the negotiating…

Academy Awards warn Ukrainian TV prankster not to crash the ceremony

A Ukrainian television prankster who gatecrashed the Grammys has been warned not to try the same at this weekend’s Oscars show, according to a lawyer’s letter. Vitalii Sediuk, who kissed Will Smith at a red carpet event in Moscow last year, was warned he would face prosecution if he tries…

Kerry heads for Europe and Middle East for first trip as Secretary of State

America’s top diplomat John Kerry will begin on his first official trip as secretary of state on Sunday, a marathon get-acquainted tour of America’s closest allies in Europe and the Middle East. Kerry will visit the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and…

Study: France tops U.S. in women on corporate boards

France has overtaken the United States in placing women on the boards of the world’s 200 largest companies, according to a study released on Friday. The average percentage of female directors among Fortune Global 200 companies, the world’s largest by revenues, came to a modest 15 percent, according to the…

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