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Republicans and Democrats hail Neil Armstrong as a ‘great American hero’

A “deeply saddened” President Barack Obama on Saturday hailed late US space pioneer Neil Armstrong as one of the nation’s greatest ever heroes, for having inspired a generation to reach for the stars. Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon, died after suffering complications from cardiovascular surgery,…

Ukraine extradites suspect in Putin murder plot

Ukraine on Saturday extradited one of the men suspected of plotting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin, state-owned Channel One reported. Ilya Pyanzin, who was arrested in Odessa in February, had already been taken to Moscow, the channel said, showing him at Odessa airport and then aboard a plane in handcuffs.…

Australian foreign minister rules out U.S. bases

The United States will not seek permanent military bases in Australia and nor would hosting one be in Canberra’s interests, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said on Saturday. Australia has welcomed long-term ally Washington’s plans for an enhanced naval presence in the Pacific and last year agreed to allow up to…

Report: Germany calls for new EU treaty

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a new European Union Treaty but is facing lukewarm interest from her EU partners, the weekly Der Spiegel reported. “The federal government would like to further European integration,” it said in its issue to be published Monday, adding that Merkel advocated a meeting…

Cuba releases award-winning dissident

Leading Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas told AFP Saturday he had been released after being detained 40 hours earlier, following an argument with agents guarding his home. Farinas said he was released at around 8:15 am, in a telephone interview from his home in the central city of Santa Clara. The…

Venezuela refinery blast kills 24

A massive explosion tore through Venezuela’s largest refinery on Saturday, killing at least 24 people and wounding more than 50 in South America’s largest oil producer, officials said. Vice President Elias Jaua said most of the dead were members of the country’s National Guard who were protecting the refining facility…

Syria media warn of ‘fake email’ saying VP sacked

Syria’s state news agency SANA said on Saturday that a fake email had been sent out in its name claiming that Vice President Faruq al-Shara had been sacked. Speculation has swirled since last week over the fate of Shara, the most high-ranking Sunni Muslim official in President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite-led…

Armstrong was ‘tipped off’ before tests: report

Lance Armstrong, who has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life, was regularly tipped off over drugs tests, a leading French anti-doper claimed on Saturday. The American went through his entire career without failing a drugs test, but Michel Rieu, the scientific advisor at…

Joe Biden scraps plan to crash GOP party as Isaac storm takes aim

Joe Biden scraps plan to crash GOP party as Isaac storm takes aim (via The Christian Science Monitor) Tropical Storm Isaac has been a thorn in the side of Republicans for a week as it’s threatened to disrupt the party’s nominating convention in Tampa, which begins on Monday. But as…

Tropical Storm Isaac hits Haiti on way to Florida

Tropical Storm Isaac battered impoverished Haiti early Saturday as a hurricane warning was issued for southern Florida days before the opening of the US Republican convention. With wind gusts of up to 60 miles (95 kilometers) per hour, the storm was expected to sweep over eastern Cuba later Saturday and…

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