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Senate Republicans ‘disturbed’ by Susan Rice’s Benghazi account

Republican senators opened the way for a new showdown with Barack Obama on Tuesday, after an apparently disastrous meeting with UN ambassador Susan Rice that had been intended to smooth her path to nomination as US secretary of state. The meeting on Capitol Hill had been widely expected to end…

U.S. clashes with France over Palestinians status at UN

WASHINGTON — The United States publicly disagreed with France, one of its closest allies, on Tuesday, after Paris said it would back a Palestinian bid for enhanced status at the United Nations. “We obviously disagree with our oldest ally on this issue. They know that we disagree with them,” State…

Google hits back against German copyright law

BERLIN — Google launched an Internet campaign in Germany on Tuesday aiming to drum up public support against a proposed law that would force the search engine to pay publishers for content offered on the site. The one-minute Internet video, entitled “defend your net”, shows consumers using the search engine…

Syrian rebels down helicopter for first time

ATME, Syria — Syrian rebels downed an army helicopter for the first time Tuesday with a ground-to-air missile from newly acquired stocks in what a watchdog said could be a turning point in the 20-month conflict. Meanwhile Russia, which has blocked UN resolutions critical of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, said it…

WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning may speak at pre-trial hearing

FORT MEADE, Maryland — A US Army private accused of passing a cache of confidential government documents to the secret-spilling WikiLeaks website is expected to testify during a new round of pre-trial hearings that began Tuesday. Bradley Manning, 24, could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted…

Alleged stalker of Alec Baldwin arrested after court hearing

NEW YORK — An aspiring Canadian actress accused of stalking US television star Alec Baldwin was arrested Tuesday in New York right after a court hearing. Genevieve Sabourin’s re-arrest came minutes after a chaotic hearing in which her lawyer quit her case, saying they could not work together. The lawyer,…

U.S. stocks fall amid fiscal cliff fears

NEW YORK — US stocks fell Tuesday as fiscal cliff worries overshadowed encouraging US economic data and investors shrugged off Greece’s revised bailout deal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 89.24 points (0.69 percent) at 12,878.13. The broad-market S&P 500 lost 7.35 (0.52 percent) at 1,398.94, while the Nasdaq Composite…

Obese traveler dies awaiting plane big enough to fly home

NEW YORK — A hugely obese New York woman visiting her native Hungary died while trying to find a plane to fly her home, and her family is reportedly suing airlines that had balked, citing her size. Janos Soltesz and his wife Vilma, an ill woman from the Bronx, visited…

Gruesome Kosovo probe held under tight security

BRUSSELS — Visitors need 24-hour security clearance, grizzled Belgian guards man the entrance, no phones or cameras please: welcome to the latest, and probably the last, of the big Balkans war crimes probes. The US diplomat and prosecutor leading the investigation into one of the most gruesome and politically sensitive…

Windows 8 sales hit 40 million: Microsoft

SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft said Tuesday it sold 40 million licenses for its Windows 8 operating system in the first month after a launch which got a mixed reception. One of the new heads of the Windows unit, Tami Reller, made the announcement to an analysts’ meeting and Microsoft provided…

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