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American states back Ecuador over Assange

The Organization of American States declared “solidarity and support” for Ecuador in its dispute with Britain over granting asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The meeting of the Americas bloc was convened at Ecuador’s request to consider a resolution rejecting any attempt to put at risk the “inviolability” of its…

Egypt blocks 120 tunnels in the Sinai

Egyptian military engineers have blocked 120 tunnels used for smuggling to and from the Gaza Strip since the start of operations in the neighbouring Sinai Pensinsula, security officials said on Saturday. “Tunnel entrances are being demolished every day and the operation will continue until all underground passageways are shut,” one…

Mormons buoyed by Romney run but church ‘neutral’

When Rudolf Hegewald left East Germany to join fellow Mormons in the US state of Utah more than five decades ago, he could only dream that a member of his faith would one day run for president. But with Mitt Romney all but certain to receive the Republican nomination next…

Obama calls for protecting Medicare

US President Barack Obama called Saturday for protecting Medicare — a government-run health insurance program for the senior, drawing a sharp distinction between his plan and that of his Republican opponents. “Here in America, we believe in keeping our promises – especially to our seniors who have put in a…

Do the political conventions still matter?

Why conventions still matter (via The Christian Science Monitor) Can it be? Yes! They’re shouting at him! “Put the microphones down! We can’t see you!” Harry Truman, wearing a white linen suit, peers out at the delegates. It’s 1948. Two o’clock in the morning. He’s trying to start his speech…

Guantanamo 9/11 hearings delayed to mid-October

Preliminary hearings for the trial of five alleged 9/11 plotters were canceled this week over Tropical Storm Isaac are now set for mid-October, the US military said Friday. The hearings, at which confessed September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is due to appear, are now due to take place from…

Apple awarded $1 billion in patent suit against Samsung

Apple won more than $1 billion in a massive victory Friday over South Korean giant Samsung, in one of the biggest patent cases in decades — a verdict that could have huge market repercussions. A jury in San Jose, California rejected Samsung’s counterclaims against Apple, according to media reports —…

As Tropical Storm Isaac advances, Gulf oil firms evacuate

WASHINGTON — Oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico braced Friday for Tropical Storm Isaac as it barreled toward Haiti on a northwest track that threatened offshore operations. BP said it was evacuating its Thunder Horse platform, the world’s largest offshore production and drilling facility. “With forecasts indicating…

Appeals court rejects graphic anti-tobacco packaging

A US court on Friday shot down orders to slap graphic anti-tobacco messages on cigarette packs, saying the government overstepped its authority by trying to “browbeat” smokers into quitting. In line with campaigns in several other nations, the United States planned from September 22 to require images on cigarette packs…

Sierra Leone passes law that carries heavy sentences for sexual abuse offenders

Sierra Leone lawmakers on Friday passed a sexual offences law introducing stiff minimum sentences for offenders that has been hailed as a victory in a nation where sexual abuse is rife. Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs Stephen Gaojia said the new bill was “a victory for Sierra Leoneans as it protects women, children and…

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